Social Media Addiction Can Negatively Impact One’s Well Being

In Education

The addictive qualities of social media are often likened to smoking, with frequent phone checking becoming equivalent to taking a smoke break. Some argue that concerns about social media reflect a recurring pattern of moral panic over new technologies. Researchers studying its impact on youth mental health note that over 75% of teenagers check their phones hourly, with half feeling addicted to their devices.

Social media addiction akin to smoking

Many individuals express feeling addicted to TikTok, acknowledging its grip on their attention. Despite recognizing its impact on their mental focus, they struggle to disengage, experiencing shame as a result. This sentiment is relatable across age groups, reflecting concerns about excessive online usage and potential addiction. While social technologies offer benefits, such as connectivity, some users grapple with feelings of discomfort regarding their online habits, akin to concerns about addiction associated with smoking.

After extensive research, researchers suggests a novel perspective: considering media consumption akin to managing a diet. Similar to maintaining a healthy diet, cultivating personalized and beneficial social media habits offers numerous approaches for individuals

Numerous studies since the early 2010s explore the effects of social media on body image, eating disorders, and social comparison, revealing both negative impacts and mental health benefits such as social well-being and diverse perspectives. However, conflicting results and inconclusive findings are common, underscoring the challenge of understanding the complex interaction between social media and human psychology.

Stress, self-esteem issues and anxiety can stem from social media usage

Users’ experiences of stress, anxiety, and challenges to self-esteem on social media vary depending on their activities. Not all time spent on social media is equal; messaging distant friends for an hour a day can be more fulfilling than spending 30 minutes doomscrolling negative content. As a result researchers differentiate between active and passive social media use: active involves social exchanges like messaging or posting, while passive is merely consuming content without engagement.

Adopting healthier media consumption habits, akin to any behavior change, necessitates time, commitment, and self-analysis. Practical ways to decrease reliance on social media include turning off notifications, limiting harmful apps, unfollowing certain accounts, and setting the phone to grayscale.

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