With a rapidly rising culture of excessive smart phone use, a great concern that is emerging is social media addiction. Addiction is a dependency on the overuse of any substance or behavior, and social media addiction looks a lot like addiction to any substance. The addicted user continuously browses social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and even portals like YouTube and other digital content providers like Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. They start to get agitated, and even angry when they are removed from contact with these platforms. They find it impossible to stay away from browsing and scrolling through the infinite content available on all these social media platforms.
Don't you think that social media addiction should be included in Mental Disorders???
They find it impossible to stay away from browsing and scrolling through the infinite content available on all these social media platforms.
An excessive dependency or uncontrolled consumption of social media leads to several problems such as anxiety, depression, body image issues, insecurities, false sense of personality, poor peer relationships, poor communication skills, and a constant need to compare self to others. It also leads to greater mood swings, irritability, and a sense of imperfection. These consequences can be detrimental to the mental health of any individual, and most importantly, the mental health of children and adolescents who do not have the cognitive ability to filter illusions from reality. Studies (National Library of Medicine Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Aug; 19(16): 9960. Published online 2022 Aug 12. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19169960 PMCID: PMC9407706; PMID: 36011593) suggest, the more time adolescents spend on smartphones, the higher levels of depression, insomnia, and anxiety are found one year later.
Students who spend a large amount of time scrolling on social media (often aimlessly and simply out of habit) are more distracted in their work and academics, leading to poor performance both in school and in extracurricular activities. They are also more absent-minded during conversations with friends and family.
If you are a parent, we encourage you to have a healthy conversation about the negative impact of excessive social media use with your children. If you are a teacher or mentor, you can gently have an informed dialogue with your students about how unhealthy these behaviors may be. And if you are an individual finding yourself glued to your screen watching videos and photos of other people on the internet.