Are you addicted to social media?

Dhaka, Friday   03 April 2020


Are you addicted to social media?

 Science & IT Desk Daily-Bangladesh

 Published: 01:42 PM, 26 April 2018  

Steps need to be taken now, while the number of social media addicts is still small. We shouldn’t wait to see if it becomes an epidemic.

Are you addicted to social media? Ask yourself these six simple questions:

  1. Do you spend a lot of time, when you’re not online, thinking about social media or planning to use social media?
  2. Do you feel urges to use social media more and more over time?
  1. Do you use social media to forget about personal problems?
  1. Do you often try to reduce your use of social media, without success?
  2. Do you become restless or troubled if you are unable to use social media?
  3. Do you often try to reduce your use of social media, without success?

If you answered “yes” to a few of these questions, it’s likely that you are a fairly standard, habitual social media user. Like most of us, you would   probably benefit from a “digital detox,” a strategy to force you to reduce the amount of time spent on social media. This can be achieved through a few basic steps such as turning off the sound function on your phone, only allowing yourself to check your phone every hour or so, and dedicating periods in the day as self-imposed no-screen time.

However, if you answered “yes” to most or all of these questions, then you may have or be developing an actual addiction to using social media. Like any psychological disorder or condition, the only way to confirm this is through a formal diagnosis from a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist.

Back in 2011, systematically review the scientific literature on excessive social media use was done. It is found that for a small minority of individuals, social media had a significant detrimental effect on many aspects of life including relationships, work and academic achievement. It is argued that such signs are indicative of addiction similar to what people experience with alcohol or drugs.

Years later, “smartphone addiction” and “screen addiction” — closely tied to social media addiction — have become fairly common concepts. In a 2017 paper, revisiting the latest research on the topic and showed that social media use for a minority of individuals is associated with a number of other psychological problems as well, including anxiety, depression, loneliness and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

While a relatively small number of people are diagnosed as addicted, the negative impact of social media is apparent whether it’s deemed clinical addiction or not. Most people’s social media use is habitual enough that it spills over into other areas of their lives. It results in behavior that is problematic and dangerous, such as checking social media while driving.

While the majority of our behaviors around social media may be annoying rather than dangerous, they are nonetheless indicative of a societal problem.

Daily Bangladesh/Sohug