We usually go with the herd. We were raised to be just another sheep. For this reason, it seems normal and acceptable to us to do what the majority does, regardless of whether it is right or wrong.
The philosopher, author, and speaker, Jiddu Krishnamurti, had this to say:
“It is not a measure of health to be well, adapted to a profoundly sick society.”
In this case, it is not right that you spend a lot of time on social networks, no matter what the majority does.
The point is that it is not easy to break away from the standards and even more so when our habitat is digital…
We pay bills online; we get transportation and food through apps, and we have all the entertainment we need on social networks. In other words, it is very easy to fall into the trap of addiction to social networks and technology in general.
However, one way to pause and reflect is to see how the leaders of technology companies limit the use of technology in their families:
- Bill Gates didn’t let his kids use cell phones when they were under 14.
- Evan Spiegel, the founder of Snapchat, only allowed his son an hour and a half of screen time a week.
- Steve Jobs did not let his children use the iPad.
- Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, limits the time his children can watch TV.
Imagine a priest who tells his children not to believe much in God… You immediately begin to think that there is something wrong.
What is social media addiction?
Social media addiction is a behavioral addiction that is defined as being overly preoccupied with social media, driven by an uncontrollable desire to use it, and spending so much time and effort on it that it affects other important areas of life.
Before seeing if you meet the characteristics of a person addicted to networks, let’s see why they are so addictive.
Why is social media so addictive?
The origin lies in instant gratification. A simple action brings a good result.
Just by putting a finger to go to the next story or swiping to see the next reel, rewards are obtained in the form of dopamine signals; the same ones sent when you gamble or use recreational drugs.
When rewards are given out randomly (such as with a slot machine or a positive social media interaction), and receiving the reward is easy, the dopamine-triggering behavior becomes a habit.
It is also important to think that our brain is the same as it was thousands of years ago. This has given man a lot of time to learn how to manipulate the mind; Not surprisingly, the algorithms of social networks know perfectly well how to capture more and more of our attention and sell it to the highest bidder.
And as if that were not enough, social networks are free. This democratizes its use and therefore increases the chance of addiction.
How to know if you have a social media addiction
The only one who can give an official diagnosis is a specialist. However, several patterns have been identified that could indicate that you have an addiction to social networks:
- You think a lot about social media. To the point that you connect to them as soon as you have the opportunity.
- Your mood changes when your use of social media decreases.
- You often use social media to escape from your problems.
- You use them even when you are doing other activities.
- Your results at school and/or work decline.
Disadvantages of addiction to social networks.
An addiction has disadvantages. However, it is important to know them to have extra motivation and change our habits, so as not to let addiction take advantage of our weaknesses.
Have you ever eaten so much to the point that you feel sleepy? The body needs the energy to do the digestion process. And if you eat more, your body will consume more energy.
The same happens with your brain and the information it must process. Therefore, the more information you consume, your brain will distribute its ability to concentrate in more parts.
Use of time.
How much time do you spend on social networks? According to the Statista portal, the average consumption is 145 minutes a day. Assuming you’re going to be using social media for another 20 years, you’d spend almost 2 years!
In a year you can live incredible experiences… Do you prefer to see the world from a screen? Think of everything you can learn to improve your quality of life. Everything you can share with your family and friends. All the people you can meet. All the books you can read…
Do you know how long it takes people to open an email as soon as it arrives?… Only 6 seconds. At first glance, it does not seem to be a relevant fact, but there is something called Attention Residue, which causes our productivity to plummet.
For many people, social networks are the ideal space to show their best moments. And to the extent that it is the only thing you see, you will tend to compare your life against a mistaken perception of the reality of others.
If you prefer to immerse yourself in your mobile instead of interacting in person, you will fall into a vicious circle where you will be left more and more alone.
FOMO (fear of missing out)
It is the fear of missing out. In this case, it is the fear of not being aware of the latest information.
Disrupted sleep patterns.
If you tend to watch social networks late at night or early in the morning, likely, you will not be able to fall asleep peacefully.
Decrease in physical activity.
It’s very simple, the time you’re on social media is the same time you’re not exercising.