Images courtesy guardianlv.com
By: Blanca Reyes
We are living in the digital era; almost everything now must be faster and reachable, especially when we talk about social media. Many people have accepted that they can’t spend a long time without checking the status of their publications other notifications.
But, how real is social media addiction? It is real and dangerous. Social media creators work hard to make their platforms more and more addictive, every day. Data collected from 99DaysofFreedom.com, where people take the pledge to quit Facebook for 99 days, shows people think that they can quit social media anything they want. However, many of the participants could stop using their social media just for a few days.
FOMO, fear of missing out, is the cause of this addiction. People are constantly posting, sharing, comment and linking in social media, so nobody wants to be left out of this avalanche of information. This effect can be compare with the effect of phones nowadays: you have to have a phone because everybody else has one.
But not only Facebook has this effect, other platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Linked, among others, have the same impact in our brains. Actually, YouTube is one of the most addictive social media because it contains all the ingredients to be the perfect scape: it is similar to watch TV, but with the options of thousands of channels whenever and wherever you want.
Although social media has not been classified like a mental health, by itself, the National Institutes of Health added the Internet Gaming Addiction to its books, in 2013.
This addiction can ruin relationships, careers, social lives and mental health, but there are ways to break down this habit. You can start reducing your visits to social media one or twice per day; uninstall the apps from your phone, so it is going to be harder to fall into temptation of checking those red number in the notification icon.
However, if you feel that it is stronger than you and you can’t make by yourself, look for support groups in your area.