Social Media Addiction: Do You Have it?

To some, it may be one of the most entertaining activities our generation has experienced. To others, it can cause a big problem in their everyday lives. Social media is designed to connect people around the world for business and entertainment purposes. We use it to post pictures and communicate with people we are not able to see every day.  The addictive side, loosely defined, refers to someone who spends exorbitant amounts of time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or any other social networking site. It becomes an addiction when a person spends so much time social networking that they forget other aspects of daily life outside their screen. Although, in our day and age, it can be very common to see a person with eyes glued to their phones everywhere you go, at what point does the fondness for this activity become a dependency and crosses the line into a damaging habit?

As of 2018, 3.1 billion people (almost a third of the human population) use social media, meaning the number of people using social media has grown by 13% in only one year! Out of those 3.1 billion, an estimated 210 million people suffer from internet and social media addictions. Studies show that the average person spends a total of 2 hours on social media websites a day. This adds up to 5 years and 4 months over the average lifetime. For teenagers, the statistics are way higher.

Teens can spend as much as 9 hours a day on multiple social networking websites which can, unfortunately, lead to a lot of negative mental effects. For example, teens who spend as much as 5 hours a day on social media are twice as likely to show symptoms of depression. This can lead to development issues in the mind because these teenagers are still in growing stages.

If you are someone who uses social media for hours during the day, try to work on putting your screen down and going outside. Go get exercise or communicate with people in person more often than you would over the phone. Stripping five minutes off of your screen time every day can benefit you in more ways than you think!