It’s common for people to spend a lot of time on social media. Sometimes, social media use begins to take a toll on other areas of life, like relationships and academics. You might be surprised to learn that social media use can become a full-blown social media addiction over time. Healing from social media addiction is possible, but it requires evidence-based treatment methods facilitated by behavioral health specialists. Contact Foothills at Red Oak Recovery at 866.300.5275 for more information on social media addiction and how to treat it.
What Is Social Media Addiction?
Social media addiction is a form of process addiction, which means that the user is addicted to certain actions and how they make them feel. Other common process addictions are gambling, shopping, sex, and video game addictions.
A person addicted to social media might display the following behaviors:
- Spending many hours a day on social media
- Compulsively checking their phone
- Feeling anxiety when they don’t have their phone
- Only expressing interest in social media
- Letting grades, relationships, and hobbies suffer
Social media addiction involves the need to spend excessive amounts of time on social media, usually to the detriment of other areas of life.
Facts About Social Media Addiction
Sharing facts about social media addiction with teenagers can help them understand the consequences of spending too much time online. Here are some social media addiction facts you should know.
Your Brain Can’t Tell the Difference Between Social Media and Drugs
Your brain loves dopamine, the chemical that makes you feel happy. The brain produces dopamine when you do things like eat, sleep, and exercise. However, unhealthy activities can also make the brain produce dopamine. Social media use produces dopamine, which is why apps like Instagram and TikTok are so popular. One of the most alarming facts about social media addiction is that chemically speaking, using social media and doing drugs produces the same effects on your brain.
Social Media Use Can Cause Anxiety and Depression
Excessive social media use has been tied to depression and anxiety. Teens are particularly at risk, as one study showed that teens who spend five hours a day on their phones are almost 50% more likely to experience depression. Addiction to social media means that a teen’s life outside of social media suffers, including:
- Family dynamics
- General interest in everyday experiences
10% of Teens Check Their Phones Ten Times a Night
Staring at a screen for long periods of time is already scientifically proven to impact sleep negatively. An estimated 10% of teens check their phones at least ten times a night. Continued screen time throughout the night means it’s harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Interrupted sleep can lead to issues with physical and mental health.
Social Media Addiction Causes Low Self-Esteem
People often present staged and filtered versions of themselves on social media, trying to make their lives look more glamorous than they really are. Therefore, much of what you see on social media isn’t real. When you spend hours of your day watching how other people present themselves on social media and comparing it to your life, it can result in low self-esteem. Excessive time on the internet means it’s easy to forget that what you see online isn’t real life.
Foothills at Red Oak Recovery Treats Social Media Addiction
These social media addiction facts scratch the surface of the negative effects excessive social media use can have. Untreated social media addiction can have serious consequences on mental and emotional health, relational skills, academic performance, and many other areas of life.
Teenagers are particularly susceptible to developing social media addiction because the brain is still developing during the teenage years. This means that when social media addiction develops, it can lead to lifelong issues without proper treatment. Contact Foothills at Red Oak Recovery at 866.300.5275 for information on social media addiction treatment for teenage boys.