Human beings have an internal need to communicate with each other. However, in recent years with the development of the Internet, virtual connections become more important than the real relationship between people. This problem leads to social media addiction. This term refers to the unreasonable application of social media networks leading to negative effects on health and life satisfaction of individuals.
Recent research proved that social media addiction leads to the reduction of students’ academic performance, as well as has some negative implications for their health and life satisfaction. People who had such problem spent too much time surfing social media and were not able to stop themselves. To make it simple, these people spent many hours in a row communicating and surfing their social media accounts. Such individuals experience frequent depression and anxiety. They constantly avoid communication with their classmates in real life. Anxiety is their most common mental state. The problem is especially severe among college students who experience constant stress and look for relaxation online.
How to Detect Social Media Addiction?
There are a number of symptoms outlining social media addiction:
- Frequent surfing of social media networks both day and night
- Anxiety associated with limitation of social media excess
- Reduction of self-esteem due to social media usage
- Inability to communicate with other people without searching the Internet
Remember that you can’t draw a conclusion that a person has a social media addiction on the basis of the time he spends online. In reality, there is no scientific proof that there exists a linear relationship between social media addiction and anxiety. The real distinction of the over-engagement with social media is its influence on personal well-being. When you are stuck in depression after several hours without Facebook, it can serve a real negative indicator. You can also take this quiz to test whether you experience this psychological problem.
How to Overcome Social Media Addiction?
Recently researchers constructed an effective procedure for reducing the social media addiction effects. This program is mostly based on the communication with students explaining to them the implications of excessive online presence on their state of mind.
Students controlled their addiction in several ways:
- Social media diaries – in these diaries students described their activities in social media
- Locked screens – students used special applications to shut down their social media accounts after a certain period.
The positive results of this program are likely to have an impact on the development of similar programs within other education institutions in the U.S.
The other good opportunity to overcome this problem is to substitute virtual connections by real ones applying so-called “digital detox.” Spend time with friends, read books and discuss them with other people, exercise and take long walks at free air. Control your Internet usage and improve your mental health, by avoiding long-term use of social media networks.