Addicted to social media… Who? Me?

19 Mar

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit it; my alarm goes off at 7.30am and most mornings the first thing I do is check social media to see what’s been going on while I’ve been sleeping – sad, I know but I see it as just the same as reading the morning paper.

Statistics show I’m not the only one and I already know most of my friends do it too. A recent survey of over 1000 Americans shows that 48% admitted to checking social media channels in bed, either as soon as they wake up or even during the night, I’m not that bad… yet.

Social Addiction

We all joke about being addicted to social media but it is now a recognised clinical illness for which hundreds of UK patients are being treated. A survey last year by the University of Chicago found that social media channels can be more addictive than smoking or consuming alcohol. One of the major neurotransmitters that fires when we’re addicted to something is dopamine, which has a similar affect to adrenaline and is found to be produced when people ‘like’ or ‘re-tweet’ a person’s status. The same survey showed that social media addiction is directly linked to depression and anxiety.

Treatment for social media addiction is like any other starting with a “social media detox” and focussing on other offline activities. But could you do it? Katie from our team has a self-proclaimed Facebook obsession (not quite an addiction) and she has deactivated her account for lent. 40 days with no Facebook… I can feel her getting fidgety already!

Are you an addict?

If you think some of this blog describes you, then you might want to check the symptoms of the addiction. The five main signs of social media addiction are:

  • Checking social media channels more than 10 times a day
  • Avoiding or delaying necessary daily activities such a eating, sleeping or working
  • Feeling down or depressed it there’s no engagement on recent posts.
  • “Cyber-stalking” friends/acquaintances and feeling paranoid/felt out
  • Unable to complete offline activities or need to check social media channels while driving.

How many ticks did you have?

This comes as no surprise to me. With over 1billion people using Facebook on a monthly basis it must have some hold over us. Humans are social animals and our world of work, work, work has taken away some of our social time, so it’s natural to try and make it up somewhere else. Even my mum who struggles to use technology at the best of times and in the past has vowed never to join any social media site jumped on the Facebook band wagon and is now active every day. I’m being watched!

facebook logotwittelinked

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2 Responses to “Addicted to social media… Who? Me?”

  1. macipoulin March 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    Reblogged this on macipoulin and commented:
    I love Facebook! ❤

  2. Merita King March 19, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    Interesting blog. I ticked all but one, However, for me, social media is my only way of communicating as I’m autistic. Without it, I’d be totally isolated as it’s the only way I feel comfortable interacting with people.

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