5 Ways to Fight Social Media Addiction

While social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc serve as a valuable link to stay connected between families and friends, there is a small fraction of the individuals who rely solely on these networking sites as their only source of enjoyment.

The popularity of this pastime has grown rapidly over the past decade, but there is no official diagnosis of how much is enough. However, studies have shown that becoming addicted to this seemingly harmless hobby can have serious consequences for the user’s physical and mental health, especially in the case of teenagers and middle-aged adults.

Not everyone who uses social media will become addicted to them, but chances are, as these platforms become easily accessible to more and more people, they may develop an addiction to social media at some point in their lives.

The case for reducing screen time is now

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, says the platform allows the user to speak with everyone on an equal footing and that these standards apply to everyone. However, a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) investigative podcast series entitled The Facebook Files, created in October 2021, found company documents revealing that some secretive elites were exempt.

Similarly, researchers at Instagram, also owned by Facebook, found how photo-sharing apps affected the mental health of millions of young users, mostly teenage girls. WSJ went on to expose how criminals used these platforms for human trafficking, contributing to ethical violence and political polarization, but Facebook did nothing about it.

According to a study published in 2016 by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, the more time young people spend on social media, on average more than two hours a day, the more likely they are to be depressed. The findings further say that, despite public health interventions, social media could become the leading cause of disability by 2030.

Their calculations were based on the average daily use of social media on platforms such as Facebook, Tik Tok and Instagram, which were high on the list. These numbers translate into 36 days in a year on social media apps, a waste of precious time in which a person can learn an entirely new skill.

Breaking the Addiction

Abstinence is often recommended for the treatment of substance abuse-related addictions, but for social media addiction, the ideal way to break the habit is not by giving up the habit completely, but through strategies and setting limits through controlled use. from the internet. So here are five ways to break social media addiction and protect your mental health.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Intervention

YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok are some of the platforms where individuals, especially young people, spend countless hours each week. This can foster feelings of unrealistic expectations and low self-esteem.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help by empowering users to fight anxiety and depression through the effects of doom scrolling or social media. This most researched form of psychotherapy focuses on what happens when you have negative thoughts and uses tools to reframe them. thoughts to elicit a more positive or neutral emotion.

Most of the best online therapy sites in the US offer CBT treatments at extremely affordable rates. Many of these sites (such as Online-Therapy.com, for example) also provide resources that allow users to practice a do-it-yourself approach. This means you can easily replace your harmful social media addiction with a similar but healthier option.

Check your notifications once a day

This is easier said than done. The 2022 notification overload is real and on average a smartphone user gets between 70-80 notifications per day, which can be very time consuming and overwhelming.

While the appearance of icons on the screen is something most mobile phone users are accustomed to, automatically pressing the finger on the phone mechanism to see what’s new is an inevitable impulse. In fact, Americans check their phones on average once every ten minutes or as many as 96 times a day.

So while the fear of missing out on something important by turning off notifications for an extended period of time is obvious, a mini-detox by checking social media notifications just once a day can help the addiction the most.

Reduce your contact and app lists

One sure way to spend less time online is to delete friends and contacts you barely interact with, unused apps, and unsubscribe from those online sites that are of little or no use or send too many notifications. If you have any game apps on your screen, remove them as they are time consuming.

Spend time away from the screen

When social media gets toxic, it’s important to take a break. Challenge yourself and go on a social media cleanse for a set amount of time per day or if possible for several days. Referred to as digital detox, this is the period when individuals step away from their electronic devices to focus on real issues without the distraction.

This special time-out is not only a wonderful way to reduce negative symptoms, but also gives you ample time to reconnect with all your loved ones.

Leave your phone at home (or before bed)

Leave social media at home every now and then when you’re out with family or friends. Don’t be guilty of sitting in a restaurant and using your phone to access Facebook, or at the movies.

Also, avoid taking your phone to bed and leaving it in another room. By late at night and especially not checking into your bills, you get a perfect night’s sleep. Remember that screen light always keeps you awake.

Some Social Media Statistics

Since social media addiction is a relatively new phenomenon, long-term studies are limited and the addiction has yet to be formally recognized. Still, here are some revealing statistics from the 2021 Pew Research Study report:

  • 72% of US adults say they use at least one social media site.
  • 84% of adults aged 18-29 use social media
  • Facebook 69%, Instagram 40%, Pinterest 30%, LinkedIn 28%, Snapchat 25% and Twitter 23% are the most used sites
  • 70% of adults who use Facebook say they log in every day
  • As numbers suggest, the more people use social media, the greater the risk of addiction.

Leave a Comment