Are you a social media addict?

Are you a social media addict? Warning signs and reevaluating your relationship with your phone

If you are overusing social media, you might suffer from social addiction. Find out what happens when you depend on your electronics too much.

We are spending a lot of hours on social media –more than ever before– and this has an enormous impact on our mental and physical health.

What is social media addiction?

Social media addiction is a type of behavioral addiction where a person feels the urge to repeatedly take part in certain behaviors regardless of the negative consequences to their well-being. Smoking, drug and alcohol abuse and gambling are types of behavioral addictions.

If you get anxious when you can't access social media, it may be a sign of an addiction.

Many people use social media to stay in touch with their friends and relatives and to stay up-to-date with the news, but when does this use become problematic or stats to show a dysfunctional pattern?

The symptoms

The causes

This addiction is mostly driven by the dopamine system –this system plays a major role in motivating behavior by making us desire things. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is released when we exercise, have sex, eat the kind of food that we like and when we have successful social interactions.

Dopamine delivers a rewarding feeling which makes us want to do it again, the problem is when we develop tolerance to it, thus we need to do it more frequently and for longer periods to get a similar effect.

Big tech companies predict the type of content you are interested in and slowly predict and influence your behaviors and thoughts and keep you scrolling for longer.

The areas associated with social media addiction are the same associated with drug abuse and it might lead to craving, urges and desires to be liked on social media.

The risks

Children and young adults are at a higher risk as their frontal cortex is not yet fully developed –this has a huge impact on the dopamine reward system. For teenagers having at least one social media account seems to be a must, so peer pressure plays a big role if you don’t want to feel left out. Adults who depend on their phones because of their work or because they rely on social media as a means of interaction are negatively affected when they receive negative feedback online.

Social media addiction can cause anxiety.

How to stop social media addiction

If social media makes you feel extremely anxious, make sure to contact a therapist. There are, however, some measures you can take to reduce the amount of time you spend on social media:

Always make sure to consult an expert if none of these strategies work.

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Victoria Thais

A trip to India was all it took for Victoria to realise that meditation is not a fancy word for sitting around in silence. It truly changed Victoria’s life to a less stressful and more mindful one. Now a freelance consultant and journalist, Victoria joined KOKO to share her knowledge on those little things that are life so much better, and cosier.+ info

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