Recovery from social media addiction is not hard to do if you follow the proper steps. It can happen in a few weeks or even days, but it takes effort and dedication, which does not last forever. Furthermore, understanding how recovery works will help you stay motivated while getting back into real life without feeling too bad about yourself for being addicted to something that’s supposed to be fun. This article aims to enlighten you on the factors triggering the addiction, signs and symptoms, and plausible recovery tips. Read on!
What Is Social Media Addiction?
Social media addiction is best described as a compulsion to communicate with people online. This is a result of the increased use of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tiktok, making it easy for people to stay in touch with friends from all over the world.
Though the effect is not much different from meeting and communicating with people in person, which can still be done, and we strongly recommend, it is markedly different when done online.
What are the Factors Causing Social Media Addiction?
Social media addiction is caused by internal and external factors. Notably, the internal factors are personal, while the external ones revolve around how society views social media.
Internal factors include:
- Low self-esteem and negative thoughts about image; therefore, the need to see what other people are doing and what they are posting
- The need to show off life achievements, being driven by the need for attention/likes and comments on pictures uploaded
- The need to keep up with friends and acquaintances from school, college, or work
- The need to show off how many friends and followers you have, which makes you get addicted to checking posts and updates from celebrities and other famous people
- Using social media as a means of venting one’s anger on the touch screen rather than getting angry at the person responsible for your anger
External factors include:
- Social life: the need to impress the people at work, school, or college by showing them you are on top of things
- Media depicting the social media platforms as a source of entertainment and information about what is going on around you
- The need to remain connected with friends and family as well as business, school, or work relations
- The perception of social media being a place where relationships are built, friendships strengthened, and shared ideas discussed
- The need to have access to search engines without leaving the social media platforms from where you can find all the information you need
Signs And Symptoms Of Social Media Addiction
Social media addiction can be diagnosed by checking out these signs and symptoms.
- You experience a withdrawal syndrome when off social media: this is a combination of anxiety, panic, and agitation whenever you leave social media sites
- You tend to use social media more than you originally intended: this is quite widespread, and you should be worried if the consequences of using social media are beginning to outweigh your benefits
- You lose interest in other activities: this is as a result of spending too much time using social media sites to experience satisfaction and happiness
- You sleep less: This is as a result of checking your social media accounts several times before going to bed and as soon as you wake up
- You experience relationship problems: This is directly caused by the fact that you spend more time on social media than with your family and friends
- You experience low productivity at work or school: This is because you are spending all your time and energy checking social media sites rather than concentrating on academics and work matters
Recovery Strategies and Tips on Overcoming Your Social Media Addiction
Here are key recovery strategies and tips to beat social media addiction.
Keep Your Device Out Of Sight
this is a very effective tip that keeps you away from social media sites. You can also activate the ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode on your device to avoid the urge to check your social media accounts
Set The Right Goals For Yourself
When trying to beat social media addiction, setting the right goals for yourself can help you make significant progress. You can start by limiting the time spent on social media, especially during idle times such as commuting or during night times. You can gradually limit your time spent on social media platforms as you continue to meet your targets and goals.
Have Healthy Interactions With People
While checking in on social media can be fun, ensure you also interact with people face-to-face. This means that you should avoid checking social media if your friends want to hang out with you. This will help give more meaning to your time spent on social media.
Only Use One Social Media Platform At A Time
Make a conscious decision to only monitor one social media platform at a time. Keeping up with several profiles will only make checking updates from the different profiles harder. Since you will be busy switching between profiles, following the ongoing conversations and discussions becomes difficult.
Schedule Your Time On Social Media
Now that you only have one social media platform to monitor at a time, ensure you schedule your activities on each profile. Also, avoid browsing through the different social media platforms as a way of escaping from other responsibilities. Rather than surfing through your profiles all day, you should stick to the schedule you have made for yourself.
Do Not Open Social Media During Meetings or Important Events
Try and avoid opening your social media accounts whenever you have something important to attend, such as a meeting or an event. It is often difficult to disconnect from social media because you want to see if anyone engages with your posts. As a result, you end up spending more time on social media than necessary.
Reward Yourself After Completing a Task
As part of your recovery strategy, you can give yourself a treat every time you complete a task without checking social media profiles. Treats can be anything that works for you, such as watching your favorite show, eating your favorite meal, or buying yourself a new item.
Social media addiction is a problem that has become increasingly common in recent years. With just a few clicks, you can easily access any social media platform you want. While social media can be fun, ensure you keep sedentary time under control and try not to focus on what you are supposed to be doing.