Social media use includes any online platform used to share and receive information from other members of that community like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat. The number of people using social media has increased two folds over the last few years,especially amongst older adults. Several research papers studied that nearly 7 out of every 10 Americans who make use of the internet use Facebook, just one of many popular social media sites. And 75% of Facebook users and 60% of Snapchat and Instagram users report to checking the site every day.
1.Are you addicted to social media?
Studies compare addiction to using social media to substance abuse. Behavioral addiction (here internet addiction) similarizes drug addiction but with a difference that the person is not addicted to substance but instead the behaviour or the feeling brought about by relevant action.
Facebook’s former vice president for user growth, went up to the point as to say, “the short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works.” Dopamine is a chemical in the brain associated with reward and reinforcement. When something positive happens to ( e.g. we get a “like” on a new post) dopamine is released to “reward” our behavior. This “dopamine” reward essentially reinforces that behavior or teaches the person to seek the positive outcomes.
Therefore, addictive behavioral social media use turns into: Notification. Dopamine Release. Rinse. Repeat
2. Take a break
Shutting of the noise on social media can be healthiest to set your boundaries in life, which is the ultimate form of self care. Keeping distance from it ensures that you keep your eyes on the goal.
It will be refreshing to do things about which you feel that it’s for you and not for Instagram or Facebook stories. And no public approval of how good or ugly you look.
Similar to detox diets and cleanses, there are phone detoxes too.With the evolving technology, you can track your social media usage time through various inbuilt apps on phones.
You can even set a limit to use it. When the limit exceeds the phone doesn’t let you use those apps(e.g.Space, Moment). This way you will be able to do your incomplete tasks and you will find yourself using it less.
3.You check up on social media mindlessly
Mindlessly scrolling through social media pages is equivalent to stress eating. You should never use phones while on a break as this is going to make it more stressful than your work.
While sitting idle, your automatic response should not be resorting to scrollling through social media pages. You can try doing some more meaningful things in life than this. Using phones finally don’t fetch you anything. The outcome for using it is more a harm than a benefit.
4.You feel that your wrists, hands or the neck pain
Not just the mental draining, being too busy on social media can also lead to physical pain and other health risks. Spending more time on it, and finding your wrists, hands in pain and the dreaded “text neck” is smuch unhealthy than you think . Text neck is basically a term used to describe the neck pain and damage resulting from looking at your cell phone or tablets more frequently and for too long.
This is a big sign that your social media addiction is crossing limits.
5. You are being too much distracted
Not long ago did I notice that I wasn’t being productive with my work as once I had been. We all go through stages where we are stopped unknowingly where my distraction was Instagram. Dance forms, photography posts, new dance vloggers- these were the posts and videos that I got stuck into before I found myself wasting 3 hours and realising thw work being incomplete. You may be facing the same, but keeping a wall from a time draining online pastime can gift you so much more time in the day.
There is positive reality of online media too. But the negative ones have succeeded over the positive ones. Our wisdom must rise above our emotions so that we are still in touch with reality and are able to make the right moves and decisions.