Social media addiction isn’t something that a doctor can diagnose. That said, some experts believe that 10 percent of the U.S. population meets the criteria for social media addiction. And it’s possible for social media use to become a compulsion and become too much of a priority in your life.
Used in moderation, social media can encourage connection between friends and family who aren’t close by, and can provide an outlet for socializing. But it’s important to evaluate your relationship to social media periodically, and to determine how it makes you feel about yourself. Using social media too much can lead to low self-esteem, fear of missing out (“FOMO”) when not using social media, a sense of loneliness and isolation, ignoring or neglecting real-life relationships and failure to tend to responsibilities like work or family.
Social media can feel all-encompassing, but it’s artificial. People post only what they want you to see, being careful to leave out the messier, less appealing and less attractive sides of life. So it can become tempting to compare an insider’s view of your own life to an outsider’s view of other people’s lives. And that can make you feel like you’re coming up short in comparison.
It’s smart to pay attention to your relationship to social media and evaluate whether or not it may have gotten out of control. If you recognize these signs, it’s time to take steps.
Be honest with yourself about the way you feel while using social media. Is it something you enjoy doing? Or something you feel like you have to do? Do you find yourself comparing your life to that of other people? Are you in it for the experience, or for the followers and “likes”? Remember that you’re the one in control of your social media accounts, not the other way around.
At Golden Peak Recovery, we believe social media can be used appropriately and in moderation for a variety of health purposes. But we also believe it cannot and should not replace real-life interactions. And when it becomes a problem, there are a number of ways to treat it. As you experience addiction treatment at Golden Peak Recovery, we’ll help you find ways to end your dependence on social media. And as you undergo recovery, you’ll develop real-life relationships that are much more gratifying and authentic than anything you’ll find on social media.
Want to try a few things on your own? You don’t have to delete your social media accounts. There are smaller steps you can take. One good way to start is by adjusting the settings on your smartphone so you don’t receive push notifications from social media apps. Also, you can set time limits to help you police the amount of time you use any given app each day. Also, think about removing social media apps from your smartphone altogether.