While doctors can’t diagnose you with “social media addiction,” it can still interfere with your mental health and physical health. Here’s a social media addiction statistic that may surprise you: Some experts suggest that a full 10 percent of Americans meet the criteria for addiction to social media.
Of course, when used in moderation, social media can be a wonderful way to interact with family and friends. It can also be a relaxing and mindless activity. But especially with the availability of smartphones, it’s very easy to lose track of time and to devote too much of your energy to scrolling through social media throughout the day. Sometimes, it can be truly debilitating.
If you’re concerned that your social media use has gotten out of control, you’re not alone. Below are just a few indications that social media has become a problem for you:
It can be difficult to identify the line between being enthusiastic about social media and being addicted to it.
There’s nothing wrong with scrolling through TikTok or checking your Instagram each day. In fact, it can be a great way to connect with others. But like anything, it can be used to the point that it causes legitimate emotional problems, such as:
Consider how social media impacts your emotions. How does it really make you feel? Are you envious of the lives you see projected on social media and feel like yours doesn’t measure up? Do you worry that failing to post or maintain your social media presence will negatively affect you? It’s important to consider whether or not social media truly serves your best interests.
One good way to get started is by deleting social media apps from your smartphone. Or if that seems too drastic a step, you can adjust the settings so that certain apps (like Instagram and Facebook) don’t send you push notifications. Many smartphones allow you to set time limits for specific apps, so you only use them for a certain period of time before getting an alert to move on. You may be surprised by how quickly time flies when using social media!
Harbor Village can help you move away from any behavioral pattern that’s not working for you — including social media. Our approaches to addiction treatment — including dialectical behavior therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and rational emotive behavior therapy — can show you how to deal with the craving for social media. With Harbor Village, you’ll have the chance to interact with other people and form real-life friendships that are much deeper and more fulfilling than social media followers and “likes.”