Social Media Addiction (2022)

Checking and scrolling through social media has become an increasingly popular activity over the last decade. Although the majority of peoples’ use of social media is non-problematic, there is a small percentage of users that become addicted to social networking sites and engage in excessive or compulsive use. In fact, psychologists estimate that as many as 5 to 10% of Americans meet the criteria for social media addiction today. Social media addiction is a behavioral addiction that is characterized as being overly concerned about social media, driven by an uncontrollable urge to log on to or use social media, and devoting so much time and effort to social media that it impairs other important life areas.

Addictive social media use will look much like any other substance use disorder and may include mood modification (i.e., engagement in social media leads to a favorable change in emotional states), salience (i.e., behavioral, cognitive, and emotional preoccupation with social media), tolerance (i.e., ever-increasing use of social media over time), withdrawal symptoms (i.e., experiencing unpleasant physical and emotional symptoms when social media use is restricted or stopped), conflict (i.e., interpersonal problems ensue because of social media usage), and relapse (i.e., addicted individuals quickly revert back to their excessive social media usage after an abstinence period).

The phenomena of social media addiction can be largely attributed to the dopamine-inducing social environments that social networking sites provide. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram produce the same neural circuitry that is caused by gambling and recreational drugs to keep consumers using their products as much as possible. Studies have shown that the constant stream of retweets, likes, and shares from these sites cause the brain’s reward area to trigger the same kind of chemical reaction seen with drugs like Cocaine. In fact, neuroscientists have compared social media interaction to a syringe of dopamine being injected straight into the system.

How Social Media Affects The Brain

Due to the effect that it has on the brain, social media is addictive both physically and psychologically. According to a new study by Harvard University, self-disclosure on social networking sites lights up the same part of the brain that also ignites when taking an addictive substance. The reward area in the brain and its chemical messenger pathways affect decisions and sensations. When someone experiences something rewarding or uses an addictive substance, neurons in the principal dopamine-producing areas in the brain are activated and dopamine levels rise. Therefore, the brain receives a “reward” and associates the drug or activity with positive reinforcement.

This is observable in social media usage; when an individual gets a notification, such as a like or mention, the brain receives a rush of dopamine and sends it along reward pathways, causing the individual to feel pleasure. Social media provides an endless amount of immediate rewards in the form of attention from others for relatively minimal effort. The brain rewires itself through this positive reinforcement, making people desire likes, retweets, and emoticon reactions.

(Video) SOCIAL MEDIA ADDICTION | Leslie Coutterand | TEDxMarin

Another perpetuating factor of social media addiction is the fact that the reward centers of the brain are most active when people are talking about themselves. In the non-virtual world, it’s estimated that people talk about themselves around 30 to 40% of the time; however, social media is all about showing off one’s life and accomplishments — so people talk about themselves a staggering 80% of the time. When a person posts a picture they may receive positive social feedback, which stimulates the brain to release dopamine, rewarding that behavior and perpetuating the social media habit.

Social media use becomes problematic when someone views social networking sites as an important coping mechanism to relieve stress, loneliness, or depression. Social media use provides these individuals with continuous rewards that they’re not receiving in real life, so they end up engaging in the activity more and more. This continuous use eventually leads to multiple interpersonal problems, such as ignoring real life relationships, work or school responsibilities, and physical health, which may then exacerbate an individual’s undesirable moods. This then causes people to engage in the social networking behavior even more as a way of relieving dysphoric mood states. When social network users repeat this cyclical pattern of relieving undesirable moods with social media use, the level of psychological dependency on social media increases.

Recognizing A Social Media Addiction

Although many people habitually use social media, very few are genuinely addicted. To determine if someone is at risk of developing an addiction to social media, ask these 6 questions:

  • Do they spend a lot of time thinking about social media or planning to use social media?
  • Do they feel urges to use social media more and more?
  • Do they use social media to forget about personal problems?
  • Do they often try to reduce use of social media without success?
  • Do they become restless or troubled if unable to use social media?
  • Do they use social media so much that it has had a negative impact on their job or studies?

A “yes” to more than 3 of these questions may indicate the presence of a social media addiction.

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(Video) Overcoming the Pull of Social Media

(Video) Social media addiction - how it changes your brain | Luke Burgis | Big Think

A digital detox, a period of time during which someone significantly reduces the time spent using electronic devices such a smartphones or computers, could be a wise precaution. This can include simple steps, such as turning off sound notifications and only checking social media sites once an hour. Other changes can include having periods in the day where there is self-imposed non-screen time, such as during meal times, or leaving the phone in a separate room at night so as not to disturb sleep. This allows for a restored focus on social interaction in the physical world and reduces dependency on networking sites.

Social Media And Mental Health

Research has shown that there is an undeniable link between social media use, negative mental health, and low self-esteem. While social media platforms have their benefits, using them too frequently can make people feel increasingly unhappy and isolated. These negative emotional reactions are not only produced due to the social pressure of sharing things with others but also the comparison of material things and lifestyles that these sites promote.

On Instagram and Facebook, users see curated content: advertisements and posts that are specifically designed to appeal to users based on their interests. Users may see others posting about their great jobs, excellent partners, or beautiful homes and feel happy or inspired as a result. Others, however, may see these pictures and feel jealous, depressed, or even suicidal due to the fact that their own life is not as “perfect” as those that they see on Facebook or Instagram.

Recent studies have found that frequent social network users believe that other users are happier and more successful than they are, especially when they do not know them very well in real life. Social media facilitates an environment in which people are comparing their realistic offline selves to the flawless, filtered, and edited online versions of others, which can be detrimental to mental well-being and perception of self. Excessive social media use can not only cause unhappiness and a general dissatisfaction with life in users but also increase the risk of developing mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Constantly comparing oneself to others can lead to feelings of self-consciousness or a need for perfectionism and order, which often manifests as social anxiety disorder.

Another aspect of social anxiety triggered by online media use is the fear of missing out (FOMO), the extreme fear of not being included or missing a social event. Users may see pictures of parties to which they were not invited, or glimpses of fun outings that they were unable to attend because of work or school obligations, and experience anxiety that no one misses them as a result — or fear that they will be forgotten since they’re not there. FOMO can take a toll on self-esteem and lead to compulsive checking of social media platforms to ensure that an individual isn’t missing out on anything, which can cause problems in the workplace and in the classroom. A study conducted by Harvard University found that social media has a significantly detrimental effect on the emotional well-being of chronic users and their lives, negatively impacting their real-life relationships and academic achievement.

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At-Risk Youth

An estimated 27% of children who spend 3 or more hours a day on social media exhibit symptoms of poor mental health. Overuse of social networking sites is much more problematic in children and young adults because their brains and social skills are still developing. Research has shown that adolescents who habitually use social media from a young age have severely stunted social interaction skills. Despite the fact that users are interacting with each other on these platforms, many of the these types of interactions don’t necessarily translate well to the real world. Studies have found that these individuals have worsened social anxiety in groups, higher rates of depression, negative body-image, and lowered levels of empathy and compassion toward others when surveyed.

A study performed by California State University found that individuals that visited any social media site at least 58 times per week were 3 times more likely to feel socially isolated and depressed compared to those who used social media fewer than 9 times per week.

The constant barrage of perfectly filtered photos that appear on social network sites can also cause low self-esteem and disordered eating in young adults. Though many teens know that their peers share only their best pictures and moments on social media, it’s very difficult to avoid making comparisons. The ongoing exposure to unrealistic beauty standards through social networking sites can affect how teenagers perceive their own bodies. One study from the University of Pittsburgh found a correlation between time spent scrolling through social media apps and negative body image feedback. Those who had spent more time on social media had 2.2 times the risk of reporting eating and body image concerns when compared to their peers who spent less time on social media. Everything from physical appearance to life circumstances to perceived successes are scrutinized and processed by users. The need to gain likes on social media can cause teens to not only alter their appearance but also to make choices they would otherwise not make, including accepting risky social media challenges and engaging in negative behaviors.

The competition for attention and likes can even lead to online bullying. Name-calling, rumor-spreading, and harassment among adolescents has always happened, but social media presents young users more opportunities to do so than ever before. Teenage girls are at particular risk for cyberbullying through use of social media; however, boys are not immune. In addition to the implemented techniques of face-to-face bullying, the spreading and posting of non-consensual explicit pictures is a form of cyberbullying that has gained popularity within recent years. One quarter of teens say they have been sent explicit images they didn’t ask for, while 7% say someone has shared explicit images of them without their consent. This type of abuse, along with other forms of cyberbullying, has led to increased suicide rates among young adults. Additionally, these factors have also contributed to the development of increased levels of anxiety in teens and adolescents.

Find A Solution

While many people are able to use social media on a daily basis with no problem, those suffering from a social media addiction are consumed by their need to use and engage on social networking sites. Luckily, the condition is very treatable and many have successfully recovered. Reducing screen time is a great way to combat problematic social media use; however, if the addiction is too severe you may require professional help.

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If you have a hard time controlling your social media use and think you may be addicted, think about why you use social media and what the advantages and disadvantages of the time spent on various platforms has been so far. To paraphrase a famous quote, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is — at the very least — illogical. The good news is this: cutting down on harmful social media use is possible, and you’re not alone. We’re all in this together — and a healthy relationship with our social selves and our virtual neighbors is more than possible.

FAQs

What is social media addiction? ›

Social media addiction is an unhealthy dependence on interactive platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Like most dependencies, social media addiction manifests as overuse and difficulty in abstaining. Ironically, one common effect of the problem is social isolation.

How does social media cause addiction? ›

Using social media can lead to physical and psychological addiction because it triggers the brain's reward system to release dopamine, the “feel-good” chemical. Dopamine is actually a neurotransmitter (a chemical messenger between neurons) involved in neurological and physiological functioning.

What are signs of addiction to social media? ›

Signs that you may be addicted to social media include: Spending a large amount of time on social media. Thinking about social media often when you're not using it. Spending less time doing other activities, hobbies, or spending time with others in order to use social media.

What are the types of social media addiction? ›

5 Types Of Internet Addiction
  • Cybersex Addiction. A cybersex addiction is one of the more self-explanatory internet addictions. ...
  • Net Compulsions. ...
  • Cyber (Online) Relationship Addiction. ...
  • Compulsive Information Seeking. ...
  • Computer Or Gaming Addiction.
Jun 27, 2019

What are 3 risks of social media? ›

The risks you need to be aware of are:
  • cyberbullying (bullying using digital technology)
  • invasion of privacy.
  • identity theft.
  • your child seeing offensive images and messages.
  • the presence of strangers who may be there to 'groom' other members.

How social media addiction affects students? ›

Mostly among the teenagers social media addiction has become a serious problem. This causes low self-esteem and eating disorders by comparing to other people. The affects that are caused by social media are cyber bullying, decrease in productivity, fatigue and stress, and other mental health related issues.

How social media affects our lives? ›

The negative aspects of social media

However, multiple studies have found a strong link between heavy social media and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts. Social media may promote negative experiences such as: Inadequacy about your life or appearance.

How social media affects your brain? ›

Researchers believe that since social media competes for your attention with the promise of continuous new content, heavy social media users become less able to ignore distraction in general, which leads to poorer cognitive performance and shrinks parts of the brain associated with maintaining concentration.

How do I stop my social media addiction? ›

6 Ways To Beat Social Media Addiction
  1. Social media addiction signs. ...
  2. #1 Turn off notifications. ...
  3. #2 Don't have your phone by you whilst you sleep. ...
  4. #3 Remove your phone from your morning routine. ...
  5. #4 Place less weight on your personal social media appearance. ...
  6. #5 Opt for analogue alternatives. ...
  7. #6 Digital detox.
Oct 25, 2020

How many hours is social media addiction? ›

Social Media Addiction Statistics and Facts

Teens addicted to social media can spend up to 9 hours a day on it. Teens who spend more than 5 hours a day on social platforms are twice more likely to suffer from depression.

Why social media is toxic? ›

Many people enjoy staying connected on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Yet a growing body of research is finding that excessive use—more than three hours a day—can exacerbate mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, in teens and young adults.

What is the biggest threats about social media? ›

Social media is a great way to promote your products and interact with customers. But as you expand your social media presence, you also increase your exposure to brand fraud, offensive content, and security threats.

What age should you get social media? ›

Dr Kristy also agrees that 13 would be the absolute minimum, however 'It's difficult to prescribe a precise age limit as kids need to have social and emotional skills to cope with the demands of social media. For some kids, this is 13 years and for other kids it may be 15 years.

Who is most at risk for social media addiction? ›

The percentage of people feeling 'somewhat' addicted to social media is highest at 40% among those aged 18-22 and 37% among people between 23 and 38. Then, 9% of people between the ages of 39 and 54 feel they are addicted.

What are 5 negative effects of social media? ›

However, social media use can also negatively affect teens, distracting them, disrupting their sleep, and exposing them to bullying, rumor spreading, unrealistic views of other people's lives and peer pressure. The risks might be related to how much social media teens use.

What are the negative effects of media? ›

Why limit media use?
  • Not enough sleep. Media use can interfere with sleep. ...
  • Obesity. ...
  • Delays in learning & social skills. ...
  • Negative effect on school performance. ...
  • Behavior problems. ...
  • Problematic internet use. ...
  • Risky behaviors. ...
  • Sexting, loss of privacy & predators.
Jul 20, 2022

What is social media positive and negative effects? ›

There are many positive aspects of social media, but there's also a darker side to the endless scroll that keeps coming back for more. Social media can often harm one's mental health. It can cause depression and anxiety and can lower self-esteem.

What is the most addictive social media? ›

ACCORDING to a survey, over lockdown people people have spent more time on the video sharing app, Tiktok, than any other social media platform. The platform was labelled the 'most addictive' social media site as the average person spends 12 hours and 12 minutes on the app per week.

What is a meaning of social media? ›

Social media is a collective term for websites and applications that focus on communication, community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration. People use social media to stay in touch and interact with friends, family and various communities.

How social media affects your brain? ›

Researchers believe that since social media competes for your attention with the promise of continuous new content, heavy social media users become less able to ignore distraction in general, which leads to poorer cognitive performance and shrinks parts of the brain associated with maintaining concentration.

What age is more addicted to social media? ›

The percentage of people feeling 'somewhat' addicted to social media is highest at 40% among those aged 18-22 and 37% among people between 23 and 38. Then, 9% of people between the ages of 39 and 54 feel they are addicted.

How can I stop my social media addiction? ›

6 Ways To Beat Social Media Addiction
  1. Social media addiction signs. ...
  2. #1 Turn off notifications. ...
  3. #2 Don't have your phone by you whilst you sleep. ...
  4. #3 Remove your phone from your morning routine. ...
  5. #4 Place less weight on your personal social media appearance. ...
  6. #5 Opt for analogue alternatives. ...
  7. #6 Digital detox.
Oct 25, 2020

How social media affects mental health? ›

When people look online and see they're excluded from an activity, it can affect thoughts and feelings, and can affect them physically. A 2018 British study tied social media use to decreased, disrupted, and delayed sleep, which is associated with depression, memory loss, and poor academic performance.

Why do people use social media? ›

Billions of people around the world use social media to share information and make connections. On a personal level, social media allows you to communicate with friends and family, learn new things, develop your interests, and be entertained.

What is social media good for? ›

For many, social media appears to have a range of benefits. It provides a way for many of us to connect with others. We can support other people and feel supported by them. It may even be a useful way for those with social anxiety and those who have a hard time with face-to-face interactions to connect with others.

Social media addiction is becoming more commonplace, and it may have serious repercussions to your physical and mental health. Learn how to identify this type of addiction and what you can do about it.

Such a reaction may be more felt whenever you make a post of your own and gain positive feedback.. In some cases, social media can be a welcome distraction if you’re isolated due to work or an illness.. Turn off your personal phone during work, as well as during school, meals, and recreational activities.. You can also adjust the setting on each social media app so you can turn off certain notifications.. Set aside a certain amount of time dedicated to social media per day.

These social media addiction statistics reveal how many people suffer from the condition worldwide, how it manifests, what affects it most, etc.

Facts about social media addiction establish that the growing adoption of these platforms causes dramatic spikes in usage by certain age groups which often leads to uncontrollable or excessive use of social media.. Social media addiction research reveals that some 210 million people worldwide suffer from some form of internet and social media addiction.. While teenagers all over the world have a tendency to use digital technologies excessively, social media addiction facts also reveal that American teens spend 7 hours and 22 minutes on average per day browsing through various social media.. According to Statista’s report, a staggering 90% of people aged 18-29 state that they use social media in any form available, meaning they are at the highest risk of becoming social media addicts.. Social media addiction statistics reveal 15% of people aged 23-38 admit they are addicted to social media.. When asked whether the statement “I am addicted to social media” somewhat or completely describes them, 30% of all surveyed said ‘somewhat’ while 9% said they feel they are social media addicts.. When discussing social media addiction statistics and trends, addictive social media behavior is most strongly associated with being a young, single female.. Statistics on social media addiction disclose the number of young adults experiencing social media addiction symptoms which often pass unnoticed is growing by the day.. The fact that, according to social media addiction facts, 70% of US teenagers feel left out or excluded when using social media is more than distressing.. Taking into account the data that the majority of US teens (95%) own a smartphone and are obsessed with checking their phones, a recent social media addiction study revealed that a staggering 71% of teens who spend over 5 hours a day on social media are more vulnerable to suicide compared to their peers who ‘socialize’ for an hour or so.. Social media addiction facts show that the dependency impairs other important areas of their life because they devote so much effort and time to their social media cravings.. Data about millennials and social media reveal their age group is most prone to become social media addicts.

Using social media can directly impact emotional wellness, physical, and mental health. Here are the signs that you are affected.

Why we keep going back to social media The impact of social media on our mental health Tips for healthy social media use in adults and teens. The same goes for social media sites.. “If I was to continue using social media, I had to learn what would trigger my anxiety and how using different platforms made me feel,” says Michelle.. She’s still active on several other platforms, though.. When teens start using social media, parents can ask them to turn in their phones at night with the understanding that parents can review posts and messages.. Of course, Sperling says, the way parents are using social media is the model for their kids.

Researchers are investigating whether social media addiction constitutes a mental disorder. Is this a moral panic or food for thought?

A special series about social media and well-being This month, BBC Future is exploring social media’s impact on mental health and well-being – and seeking solutions for a happier, healthier experience on these platforms.. Social media addiction has been a much-flouted term lately; maybe it’s because it’s January and users are looking to be more active and spend less time online, or maybe that’s because social media can have a negative impact on our mental well-being.. Extroverts appear to use social media for social enhancement, whereas introverts use it for social compensation (Credit: Getty). Amy Orben, a social media psychologist at the University of Oxford, says that for now, she has strong reservations about defining social media as an addiction.. Unfortunately, if social media addiction is ever a recognised disorder – self-appraisal, and the realisation that heavy social media use is affecting us more than we think, might happen too late.

there are many people who report social media has a negative impact on them, their mental health, and their relationships, but continue to use it anyway, causing some experts to wonder whether it’s possible to develop a social media addiction.

Similar to addictive drugs, social media content and likes can trigger the release of the pleasure chemical dopamine, which may explain why some people report feeling addicted to these platforms Some experts estimate up to 10 percent of people in the United States have social media addiction but it is hard to put an approximate figure as so many of us regularly engage with social platforms Social media giants like Facebook, Tiktok, Twitter, and youtube pour billions of dollars into advertising and hire engineers that are paid to make content more addictive.. Also, there are many people who report social media has a negative impact on them, their mental health, and their relationships, but continue to use it anyway, causing some experts to wonder whether it’s possible to become addicted to social media.. Similar to addictive drugs, social media content and likes can trigger the release of the pleasure chemical dopamine, which may explain why some people report feeling addicted to these platforms.. One of the hallmark signs of addiction is continuing to use something even after it has clearly had negative impacts on your physical or mental health, relationships, work, or other important areas of life.. More and more people are reporting that heavy social media use has a negative impact on their relationships, self-esteem, and makes them less productive at work or school, which is a red flag that may indicate addiction.. Those who meet two or fewer criteria would be classified as mild (not addicted) and those meeting six or more criteria would be classed as having a substance use disorder.. Cutting back on activities you enjoy to use social media more often. Here are a few simple steps to combating a social networking addiction, or even cutting down if you are using apps too much:. Turn off your personal phone during work, as well as during school, meals, and recreational activities.

Find out how to stay off social media, from getting a new hobby to turning off your notifications.

Early studies on social media during lockdown suggest some correlation between frequent social media use during the events of the last two years and a higher prevalence of mental health issues.. In 2020, Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma examined our relationship with social media, featuring interviews with tech experts who have worked everywhere from Facebook to YouTube to Pinterest.. Jessica, 34, who’s done a social media cleanse, previously told Bustle: “I am also more productive at work because updates are out of sight, and if my phone isn't going off, I'm deep into my computer focusing on my projects.” For Sherrell, 43, detoxing from social media leaves more time to get in touch with loved ones: “I use that fast to reconnect with family and friends.. The bonus is, when you do come around to check your social media, you may have a build-up of more notifications which will make it more exciting and will make the experience more rewarding.. Set a timer on your watch or phone to limit the amount of time you spend on social media.. Choose a limit depending on the severity of your social media dependence — say an hour a day, which equates to seven hours per week — and whenever you check your accounts, start your timer going.. Depending on how bad things have gotten, it might be time to go cold turkey and stay off social media entirely.. If you're spending more time on social media than you are interacting with people in real life, give yourself a reality check by having a holiday from social media.. If you normally spend a minimum of two hours on social media per day, you will have an extra 14 hours per week which are totally free to do whatever you want with — letting the world be your WiFi-free oyster.

Do you know that we touch our mobile phones 2600 times a day? Even during research it was found that Indian Smartphones users’ average screen time spiked by 25 percent to 6.9 hours during the covid-19 pandemic. It means that we fix our eyes for 7 hours daily on our smartphones. Sometimes we scroll on […]

In reality, social media addiction can be compared with cigarettes, alcohol, drugs and gambling addiction.. It is very strange that both cocaine and social media are different things but the addiction caused by both of these in the human body can be compared.The Human body follows the Dopamine Pattern when thereis addiction to anything.. For earning money, if you have an ease of access or quick easy way to earn money with a speedy reward then you can be addicted to earning money like doing corruption and gambling.. Tiktok got popularity in no time because of its instant reward of entertainment and ease of access, as it is the biggest as compared to other social media platforms.. The easy access factor must be shunned and finished at any cost, and only that way you can eliminate the addiction of social media from your life because mental calmness is the real thing to lead a simple happy and healthy life.. The most dangerous thing is that all these social media apps companies have designed their apps in such a way that these keep you addicted.. These companies have studied in detais that to which things people feel attracted psychologically, to which things people get addicted and feel attracted, or how people will use their apps more and how they will spend more time on screen.. The easy access factor must be shunned and finished at any cost, and only that way you can eliminate the addiction of social media from your life because mental calmness is the real thing to lead a simple happy and healthy life.

What can you do to help?

Alina says teenagers on social media have “increased exposure to harm, social isolation, depression, anxiety and cyber-bullying.”. It’s not just a case of losing sleep and getting distracted during the day – social media can have far-reaching negative effects on a teen’s mental health.. While researchers have only just started to uncover the link between depression and social media, what they’ve discovered suggests increased social media use can intensify the symptoms of depression.. Add cyber-bullying and other offensive online behaviours to the mix, and it’s easy to see why social media causes a great deal of anxiety for teens.. Another way social media affects teenager’s mental health is by exacerbating any existing problems with low self-esteem.. The average teenager spends about 1.6 hours on social media every day.. “Humans are inherently social, so our use of social media is consistent with this.. Teens shouldn’t have the privilege of their own social media accounts unless they’re able to conduct themselves responsibly online.. And thirdly, if your teen is showing signs of mental illness such as depression, anxiety or disordered eating related to social media, it’s a good idea to restrict their use and seek professional help.. So, we asked Alina how else parents can help their teens with their social media usage.. Social media platforms allow teens to:. There are many positives associated with social media, and it’s important for teens to develop social media savviness to prepare them for adulthood where, undeniably, social media remains a major part of daily life.. You can work with your teen to help them find the right balance between social media and their mental health.

As social media and smartphone use has increased, so have mental health conditions. Here’s our list of 40+ statistics that prove that statement.

Using social networks has increased significantly since the release of these smartphones.. By 2017, 69% of adults were using social media compared to just 5% of Americans in 2005.. As social media and smartphone use has increased, so have mental health conditions.. Another 80% of people aged 30-49 and 64% of people aged 50-64 are on social media.. Since the release of smartphones, mental health concerns have increased in children and young adults .. From 2009 to 2017, it grew by 63% in adults ages 18 to 25.. Even worse, the rate of suicidal thoughts in young adults increased 47% during that same time.

Social media can be addictive.

I've been busy with house work and playing with my son, so I've not missed social media.. Anyway, the point is, my social cup feels well and truly filled.. I've had some heart-to-hearts with loved ones recently, and it's made me realise how close some of my relationships are, and that I don't need to seek comfort, connection and validation from social media.. I am a little gutted that I can't put the funny family photos on Facebook, though - it's a lovely way for friends and family who can't see my son often to track his development.. That's something I love about social media: being able to keep in touch or reconnect with old friends or extended family who live far away.. Day five: I'm back at work and can't help thinking about all of the stories I'm missing out on by not being involved in community groups on social media.. I've certainly had work addiction in the past, and my relationship with social media works the same way.. People who are truly confident about their self-worth can probably enjoy social media without it feeling like it makes or breaks them.. But I don't want instant and constant access to social media, because it's so addictive, and I need time and space to recharge after social interactions.. Essentially, I want to use social media to make it easier to live and love in the real world, not to hide from it.

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