Joined Dec 27, 2015
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Social Media Addiction Shares Similarities to Drug Addiction

The impact of social media forever changed the way people interact with one another. A simple free social media profile makes it possible to send messages to large audiences all over the world. Joining popular social media group further allows collectives of people to interact. Some “average persons” even became celebrities due to their activities on social media.


Accessing social media isn’t difficult. Just tapping on a smartphone leads to opening several social media pages. Active members of social media communities become habitual in their daily social networking. Unfortunately, social media habits can turn into outright addictions. The notion of addiction isn’t a provocative overstatement. Social media addiction shares similarities with the throngs of drug addiction.


Time Consumption and a Lack of Self-Control

Obsessions with social media lead to investing incredible amounts of time interacting on social media each day. The hours continue to expand. Other daily duties become ignored. Soon, social media time consumption becomes the primary thing people do during the day and evening. Taking a break from social media for a mere two days becomes an impossible — and painful — thought. The social media user now lacks the self-control to step away. Doing so would bring forth pain and, possibly, a loss of identity. If this description doesn’t fit addictive behavior, what else does?


Now, a tremendous number of people spend a lot of time on social media for important reasons. They stay in touch with family. The news feeds on top social networking sites keep them informed. Perhaps even overdoing it a bit on social media isn’t entirely wrong. When someone becomes so compulsive with social media activities that the activities interfere in other areas of life, however, a problem exists. When someone loses a job due to blatant social media obsessions at work, that’s a visible sign of a severe problem. Worse yet, imagine someone who wants to curtail social media use and cannot. Consider that another sign of a problem.


The Negative Consequences of Social Media Use

Two traits commonly describe dire addictive behavior. A person wants to stop, but cannot. Use continues even in the face of drastic consequences. The previous example of someone being fired for on-the-job social media abuse reflects these traits play out in the real world.


Quitting social media behavior isn’t an option to those suffering from psychological addictions. They may attempt to cut back on social media time, but “cravings” return them to their computer and platform profiles. The pain of curtailing social media use becomes worse than the other potential consequences. Lost jobs and ruined relationships matter not. Again, the similarities between social media addiction and drug addiction become apparent.


Tougher for Millennials

All age demographics embrace social media use. Millennials seem to use social media the most. Millennials grew up in a culture consumed by social media. They don’t necessarily understand what life without social media involves. Perhaps adults should take steps to help lead young persons down different paths. Enrollment in college gap year programs could very well show a young person there’s life outside the virtual realm. Enrollment in sports and other hobbies may be beneficial as well.


Dealing with the Addiction

Legitimate social media addiction treatment programs do exist. Undergoing therapy and rehabilitation for social media — or any addiction — could help alleviate the negative consequences. Professional help does exist. Seeking out such help might be worthwhile when life suffers due to social media behavior patterns.


As with other addictions, the treatment path often starts once someone recognizes he/she has a problem. If the sufferer refuses to acknowledge the possibility of an addiction, an intervention may be necessary. Friends and family might find it odd to intervene over someone’s social media behavior. Upon viewing social media addiction through the same lens as drug addiction, an intervention won’t seem like something odd.

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