If you have an account on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, then you’re most likely addicted to social media. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s wrong to have these accounts, it’s absolutely fine if used properly. You can use it to stay in touch with your family and friends, entertainment, or do business. The problem comes in when you become addicted to using social media and spend most of your time on different media sites until it affects your life.
Facebook has the most active users in the world who spend at least 50 minutes every day on social media. It might not seem like a lot of time but if accumulated it’s time-consuming and it eats a part of your life. People spend more time on media sites than they do reading or exercising which is not acceptable.
Common signs that show you’re addicted to social media
It’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning
If the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is to check the updates on social media sites then you’re an addict. A social media addict will feel like they’ve missed out a lot while sleeping so they have to check their status to see if something new has been posted.
You procrastinate and spend a lot of time looking at meaningless material
Procrastination will make you accomplish less in life and become less productive. Social media will cause and motivate you to procrastinate scrolling for hours reading meaningless news and updates that don’t add any value to your life.
You check notifications all the time
It’s normal to check notifications when your phone buzzes but if you’re checking it all the time even when it doesn’t buzz, you’re a serious addict. Most of the notification from social media isn’t that important but addicts even imagine receiving notifications and they keep checking their phones.
You only use social media to contact and talk to your friends
If social media is the only means of communication for contacting other people then you have a problem. Anyone who chooses to use media platforms to contact you instead of real physical contact is an addict.
You constantly check the ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ you receive
Wanting to have many followers for your page isn’t wrong. You can even buy Instagram views for video posts to boost your followers. The problem comes in when you constantly check the ‘likes’ you received from your friends for a post, photo, or video you posted. The desire for acceptance soon becomes a habit.
Strong desire for internet connection
You can easily connect to social media if there is internet access however if the internet isn’t available an addict will become anxious and feel uneasy. A social media addict can’t survive in a place without internet access.
You take photos of everything
A video of someone involved in an accident can go viral while the person taking the video just stands there instead of helping. If you’re constantly taking selfies, photos of food, places, you might be an addict.
Factors that make you addicted to social media
According to research, 80% of all content posted on social media sites are of people having conversations about themselves. Having your own personal account on social media means that you have the freedom to post anything you want and talk about none other than yourself.
The end users are the one with all the power to decide what to do with the content posted on social media. When the consumer is in the marketplace, he or she has the power which comes from choice. As the end user, you can choose which content you want to read, how, and when you want it.
A ‘high’ of sorts
You feel good and validated when you see people liking your posts. That ‘high’ that you feel is like a drug because the unpredictability of someone liking your post is an addictive process. But if you knew that people will like your posts every time you post them, you will get bored very fast. It’s the same in gaming. Social media sites are using games like Candy crush where you are allowed to play with filters. Snapchat even rewards you with a trophy which encourages you to send high-quality snaps.
Fear of Missing Out
FoMO is one of the main drivers of social media addiction. Even though your self-esteem is boosted when you post about yourself and get affirmation from your friends, you still search for something better and exciting happening on social media. Your status updates and photos on your social media account show you people doing better things than you and having a better life than you. This makes you start comparing your life and other people then you start to feel bad about the things you like doing.
Social comparison and self-esteem
If you’re in a situation where you don’t know how to behave, you are more likely compare with other people so that you can assess the strengths, perspectives, weaknesses, feelings, and abilities. Social comparison is related to self-esteem. Your self-esteem increases after your social connectors and support are reaffirmed.
The Attention Economy
This simply refers to the demand and supply of your attention on social media. The advertising space of any platform becomes valuable if it can get more attention. Unfortunately, human attention is becoming a limited resource. Social platforms are coming up with creative ways of keeping you as engaged as possible taking advantage of your curiosity. Your company can take advantage of social media because it offers targeted advertising, high ROI at low costs, and a larger market for potential customers.
All social media platforms are modeled according to what humans crave the most, being social. Social media is a great way to connect with others but physical communication is also very important don’t let social platforms control you or steal precious time away from your life. If you’re addicted to social media get help and take back control of your life.