It is imperative for us to be aware of how quickly the world has become addicted to technology and social media, as well as the effects this is having on our happiness and lives.
The average person spends two hours on social media daily. Social media addiction statistics report that young, single women spend the most time on social media and it is a direct cause of depression and low self-esteem.
Humans thrive on their interpersonal relationships, and without them, depression and social anxieties begin to take hold. However, social media creates the illusion of human connection when it actually creates isolation. It’s time to see if you are addicted to social media and address it so you can be free of the negative effects of social media addiction.
Social anxiety increases and creeps into our life as the addiction to dopamine triggers increases without our knowing. Before long we feel anxious when we haven’t checked our social media or posted something within a few minutes. We start to hide behind our phones and laptops and avoid social situations by binging Netflix. Guys, this is a really big deal! This is a mass social media addiction. Statistics say 210 million people are addicted to social media and teens are spending up to 9 hours daily on these apps. We desperately need to detox from these apps. The same way any other addict might not know they have a problem, social media addicts are so deep in it that they don’t see how it’s affecting them and those around them.
Let’s first confirm that you’re showing the signs of social media detox, become aware of how it’s affecting you, and then plan to start a new chapter in your life, today. In this chapter, you can choose to write out social media and write in more personal growth and development by replacing the addiction with stress management and relaxation techniques.
6 Signs You Are Addicted To Social Media
1. You plan your day around finding things to post - Think about how much time you spend on social media, how many times you post, or your first impulse when you see something that moves or excites you. Is your first impulse to grab your phone to snap a picture or make a post about what you’re doing?
2. You check your phone dozens of times per day - If you’re picking up your phone constantly without thinking about it, the impulse to get hits of dopamine is actually controlling your behavior. If you know you’ve checked your phone five times within thirty minutes, it’s time to call it a real addiction.
3. You feel on edge or anxious without your phone - If you get panicked when you can’t find your phone or when you can’t check it, that’s a sure sign of addiction. It’s not a healthy attachment and a sign of codependency. If you’re checking it in the middle of the night multiple times, that’s another sign or if the first thing you do upon waking is reach for your phone, that shows addiction as well.
4. You spend hours on apps - Do you find you’re scrolling through social media for hours each day? If you are unconsciously wasting your life on social media without meaning to, this is a sure sign of addiction. You probably don’t realize how much time you’re really spending on your phone or computer.
5. You compulsively use your phone when you’re nervous or bored - Do you check your phone in awkward silences instead of making small talk? Do you find yourself on your phone waiting for someone at a restaurant or at a party because you don’t feel comfortable talking to strangers? This unconscious habit reveals a much bigger addiction.
6. You secretly (or not so secretly) want to be famous - Are you obsessed with building followers and getting likes? Do you post your entire day and try to make everything perfect by altering the image and then checking to see how many people like it? If you’re constantly checking who is watching your story and liking your photos or thinking about how to improve your social media profile, this is a sign of narcissism which is a dangerous self-obsession that can be increased from social media addiction.
How To Do a Social Media Detox
Don’t just say you’re going to do a detox and change nothing. Delete the apps and don’t allow yourself to use them. You don’t need them. You will be fine and you will get yourself to a more balanced state. If you cringe at the thought of deleting the apps and feel it’s too extreme, that’s a sign of addiction!
We need to sign off, meet people in person, talk to them for hours and get to know each other again. So get dinner, cook together, stay up late and go for hikes. Be human again and don’t let yourself be sucked into the digital abyss.
Reclaim your ability to focus by reading, studying, and learning new things and stop reading digital tidbits, half sentences, and communicating through miniature pictures that are meant to replace entire paragraphs. Challenge yourself to explain your feelings in conversations or by typing full sentences.
Replace the time you spent on social media by inviting some mindfulness techniques into your day. Spend time meditating with a journal, taking a relaxing bubble bath, attend a yoga class, or going on a walk-in nature. Find some activities that are soothing and relaxing to invite healing energy into your life so you can better deal with the emotional detox your brain will undergo while it weans itself from the dopamine addiction. Find other ways to get dopamine such as doing nice things for others and exercising. Happiness increases with these simple wellness lifestyle habits and there are many mindfulness benefits including better brain function, improved health, and more positive emotions.
Read this next: 10 Quick Tips To Unplug From The Digital World
Challenge yourself to commit to a social media detox or at least really pay attention to how much time you spend on it. Notice your impulses and habits and how the digital world become such a deeply ingrained part of your life. Try going without it for even one day and see how much time opens up in front of you and how much better you feel. You’ll start to notice your surroundings and see your quality of life improve.
Technological advances are not always beneficial. The average person’s attention span just a few years ago was 50 minutes. Now it’s 12 seconds. Think about that. How will we continue to learn when we are so easily distracted?
Social media can be used for building connections, activism, and awareness, but more often than not it’s used by people unconsciously seeking validation. Take back control of your mind. Discuss this with your friends and family and see if you can work together to do a social media detox. Talk about how our social skills are atrophying. Talk about how we are easily manipulated by social media. Start a movement in your local community or in your group of friends.
Related Article: Easy Ways To Reduce Your Screen Time To Improve Your Well Being