Do you check your mobile phone every few minutes for any notification on Facebook, Twitter mentions and Whatsapp pings? Do you feel anxious or irritated when you have no internet access? You cannot live a day without social media no matter how busy your day looks?
If you are nodding your head to a yes for each of these questions, then there’s a serious issue. It appears that you are already a social networking addict – A commonly used phrase that describes someone who spends too much time on Facebook, Twitter and other channels. While social media is a great way to connect with people all over the world, it should not overshadow any aspect of your life. Whether you consider it a compulsion, a pastime, or just a habit, social media has the potential to negatively impact your life.
Social Networking Addiction
What is an addiction? It is usually referred as a compulsive behaviour that leads to negative effects. Some people may experience damaging psychological and/or physical effects when their habit becomes an addiction. Over the years, we have heard or seen many such harmful addictions causing harm to people extensively. In today’s fast life, social networking addiction is growing as an epidemic. A social networking addict could be considered someone who actively, and consistently spend time on social media platforms – constantly checking Facebook status updates, posting every minute details of everyday life on these platforms or spending hours on social sites. If you find that you are becoming so absorbed in social media that you are neglecting work, ignoring your family and real life friends, and withdrawing from people and activities you used to enjoy, you may have a problem.
Social Networking Addiction Has Its Bad Effects
An addiction to Social Media is manifested in both physical and emotional symptoms; however, these specifics may vary for each person. These are basically warning signals that an addiction may be developing and it needs to be controlled.
Feelings of guilt – Anxiety – Depression – Elated feelings when able to use the sites – Unable to meet schedules – No sense of time – Isolation – Avoiding doing work – Agitation
Physical Symptoms are characteristic of someone who uses the computer/phone for a very long period of time:
Backache – Headaches – Weight gain or loss – Disturbances in sleep – Blurred or strained vision
Short-Term and Long-Term Effects:
The short-term effects include unfinished tasks, forgotten responsibilities, feeling restless, fear of missing out, negative impact on current lifestyle and weight alteration. Long-term effects are seen more in the physical symptoms such as backache, neck pain, mentally disturbed, and vision problems from staring at the screen. It may also lead to depression and evoke anxiety if one starts comparing his or her life with others on social platform. It can also cause social withdrawal, feeling more at ease interacting with people online rather than in person.
Getting Rid Of This Obsession
Social media addiction is real, and it can damage careers, degrade life and even harm relationships.Newsfeeds, timelines, celebrity tweets, fights, gossips etc. are sources that waste too much of your time. It’s like modern day idiot boxes.When you keep in mind that these platforms are designed to hold you back, and when you realise how it’s coming in between your work or real space, you might be motivated to set time limits.
Here are the Quick Tips to get rid of Social Media Addiction:
1.Try to stay off social media strictly during meals, when commuting, and in bed.
2. Take time away from the reel world to discover the real world around. Start with signing off for a weekend and instead do something that will boost your mood.
3. Try and disable all alerts while working and make sure to keep a track on how much time you are spending each day on social networks. Opt for Digital Detox.
4. Network more in person and see the change in life quality. This will limit your craving to stay connected all the time through social networks.
5. Understand the need for each social channel and use it accordingly. Use social media to your advantage, it also makes your social presence more purposeful.