A conversation about reducing the harms of social media

Over the past couple of years, she had given up almost all activities that did not involve posting on Instagram/ Twitter and barely interacted with her family as well. Arya often planned her life around her posts, rather than the other way round.Recently, Arya’s Instagram followers had been decreasing, which led to her posting more pictures in hopes of gaining them back. For days, Arya stayed cooped up in her room staring at her phone and refusing to eat anything. She was convinced that if she lost enough weight, it would help her get more likes.

  1. Addiction Resource is not a healthcare provider, nor does it claim to offer sound medical advice to anyone.
  2. 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.
  3. Research is still ongoing but many studies suggest social media platforms can cause the same brain chemistry activity that is found in other behavioral addictions.

One is “intermittent reinforcement,” which creates the idea that a user could get a reward at any time. As with a slot machine, users are beckoned with lights and sounds but, even more powerful, information and reward tailored to a user’s interests and tastes. Social media is increasingly omnipresent today, but this doesn’t mean you’ll automatically develop an addiction to it.

They must keep a check on the youngsters’ online activities and put a time limit on their online presence to curb this problem. According to Facebook’s own internal surveys, more than 13% of teen girls said that Instagram worsens suicidal thoughts, and 17% said their eating disorders got worse with Instagram use. Web developers and graphic designers created Instagram using sophisticated algorithms and attractive visual presentation, to keep users engaged and interacting with its nearly limitless content for as long as possible. According to surveys done by Facebook (owner of Instagram), youth describe Instagram as current, friendly, trendy, and creative.

Why We Are Increasingly Susceptible to Behavioral Addictions

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. Government regulations should protect our freedom of expression while mediating risks, especially to children. The government could consider regulating some of the advanced algorithms that social media corporations use to increase user time expenditure (and thus profits).

What Is Social Media Addiction?

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 sober houses in boston 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.

Call our helpline today to learn more about social media addiction and to find treatment that’s right for you or a loved one in your life. Social media overuse can often be a sign of an underlying condition, such as a mental health disorder or substance use disorder. For people with substance use issues, like heavy drinking or drug use, a substance addiction treatment program may be recommended. However, it is considered by some to be an emerging type of behavioral addiction similar to a gambling disorder or internet addiction. Hailey Shafir is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist, and Certified Clinical Supervisor with extensive experience in counseling people with mental health and addictive disorders.

When it comes to identifying the causes of social media addiction, there is no single known cause. Although, one’s compulsive desire for “likes” and attention through social apps could be linked to low self-esteem, loneliness or lack of affection, and personal dissatisfaction. This type of psychological withdrawal is similar to that seen with other types of behavioral addictions, such as gambling addiction or internet addiction.

Children and Social Media

If you excessively or compulsively use social media and find it difficult to control your habit, talking to a mental health professional is worth considering. The treatment for social media addiction can involve different types of therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and other behavioral strategies. Social media addiction is a type of behavioral addiction that causes you to use social media compulsively and excessively. It can lead to an overwhelming urge to log on to or stay logged in to social networks and devote so much time on them. Scrolling through posts and other content has also become harder to control to the point that it interferes with your daily life. On average, she spent about six to seven hours on Instagram daily, mostly keeping track of likes, comments, followers and other numbers.

PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts. Further, our brains aren’t equipped to process the millions of comparisons the virtual world demands. We can become overwhelmed by our inability to measure https://rehabliving.net/ up to these “perfect” people who exist only in the Matrix. We give up trying and sink into depression, or what neuroscientists called “learned helplessness.” It’s kept us alive for millions of years in a world of scarcity and ever-present danger.

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