Addiction! Everyone is addicted to something in their life. Addiction towards anything creates negative impacts on one’s lifestyle. Addiction, as defined by Psychological experts, is that – “A Psychological condition in which a person involves in the persistent use of a substance or in a behavior for which the rewarding effects stimulate a compelling incentive to repeatedly pursue the behavior despite pernicious consequences”. Addictions like Alcoholism or Substance abuse, Gambling, Gaming addiction, Food addiction, Pornography addiction are prominent, and their ill effects are easily recognizable. However, there are certain types of behavioral addictions that are so subtle that their negative impacts on life are not identified. One such is social media addiction.

With the arrival of smartphones, the time spent on digital platforms has increased exponentially. Studies show that people tend to check the mobile phones on an average of 10 – 100 times a day. Dependence on Mobile phones and Social networking sites (SNS) are interlaced to form Social media addiction. Social media addiction has gained momentum and has become pandemic.

How to identify Social media addiction?

Studies have summarized a simple technique and emphasized on using 4C’s to identify the addiction.

Craving: Compulsive desire to check on one’s mobile phone now and then for notifications. Spending more screen time than face time.

Control: The inability to control oneself from checking feeds on various social networking sites.

Conflict: 1) Internal Conflict – When social media interactions lands in trouble affecting one’s mental health. 2) External Conflict – When social media addiction affects real-life relationships.

Consequences: Negative impacts on life such as Fomo, low self-esteem, poor interpersonal skills, Narcissism, Attention seeking behavior, suicides, loss of humanity, anxiety, depression, etc. as a result of social media addiction.

Detrimental effects of Social media Addiction:

Phubbing – The habit of ignoring one’s companion or companions to pay attention to one’s phone. This leads to relationship issues.

Narcissism – Obsession to take more than 4 selfies a day and uploading it on social media is a sign of narcissistic behavior.

Nomophobia – Aka no mobile phone phobia is the fear of inability to use the phone for some reason such as the absence of signal, low battery power or running out of data.

Phantom vibration syndrome – Aka Phantom ringing syndrome is the perception that the mobile phone is ringing or vibrating when it is not ringing.

Text thumb syndrome – Also known as “de Quervain syndrome”, is a condition in which the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist are affected severely due to repetitive usage of the thumb for texting or gaming. Pain, swelling, and partial paralysis of thumb are possible consequences of the syndrome.

Digital Amnesia – Dependence on social networking sites and mobile phones has led to the deterioration of mental ability such as the inability to remember phone numbers, birthdates or anniversaries.

Holding a mobile phone on hands for prolonged hours could create strains and pain on the outer part of the elbow. It is closely associated with “Tennis Elbow”.

Eye strains, the formation of dark circles around eyes and altering sleep patterns are a result of overexposure to mobile phones.

Prevention Techniques:

Internet Fasting – Most people around the globe have come to senses and started abstaining from the internet once or twice a week to overcome social media addiction.

Digital Dieting – It is a form of digital detox. Reducing the time spent on social media and optimizing the usage of mobile phones in day to day life.

Addiction Treatments – Attending counseling, Group therapies and Rehabilitation programs offered in Addiction treatment centers.

Do you find yourself or someone from your peer group addicted to social media? Does that affect your life and the people around you? Are you finding it hard to get over it?

The addiction treatment center is the answer. The significance of Social media addiction has gained momentum globally and most of the Addiction centers across the world are offering treatments for social media addiction. And it is a good sign that a well-reputed multinational raking site, has listed out the best addiction centers on their site. The right path to salvation is near you. It’s time for a digital detox!