Networking is one of the great things that technology has ever presented to humans. Though way back in history where it is already a thing, the current generation made everything about it quite accessible, relevant, and convenient. Thus, who would not dive into its interaction and social connection benefits? Who would not love to utilize the internet to meet new people, and of course, gather all sorts of information that is probably helpful in our everyday lives? I bet everyone would agree that we are all guilty of using social media too often. We didn’t care enough to point out some of its damages to our mental health, particularly the things related to judgments, learning, memory, and decision-making, as well as behavior control.
Are We Addicted To Social Media?
Ordinary people spend almost 2 to 3 hours a day on social media. Considering the amount of time we utilize on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, it pretty much means we can no longer live without it. It becomes necessary to scroll, comment, and watch some clips every time we find nothing to do. So does that mean we are entirely addicted to social media? Well, let’s try and define addiction for a start.
Based on the American Psychiatric Association (APA), addiction is a complex state of the brain where an individual has a compulsive use of something despite there being damaging consequences that can soon come out over time. People with addiction perform an intense focus on things that they believe is only a habit. However, that said habit usually comes to the point where it takes over their lives. It changes the way the brain functions as it intensifies the cravings day by day. Thus, it makes the habit difficult to break. So can we assume that this psychological dysfunction that’s what’s happening to us right now is already an addiction?
What Makes Social Media So Captivating
Honestly, for most people, linking social media use to addiction is unacceptable. That is again because of the belief that it is only a habit that often saves us from boredom and distracts us from other sources of stress. Furthermore, social media websites, particularly Facebook, have quite a few good qualities that are entirely helpful, which is why it makes us want to come back to using it. The common of them all is the newsfeed, where we do not mind spending hours and hours just to view other people’s posts and pictures and gather the information that is not accessible from the mainstream media. At some point, we get overwhelmed with a lot of information we get that we often didn’t realize that we are entirely hooked into something unrelated to our lives. Thus, with a single notification on our phones, we instantly feel the need to check what is on it because we are so interested in other things that are relevant at the moment.
The Unnoticeable Negative Vibe
While quite a few of us use social media for leisure, some valued it as an important part of their lives. Somehow, social media impacts the way we feel and changes the way we think about people and our surroundings. Unfortunately, our constant interaction with negativity from the information we get from social media news feeds also triggers whatever emotional and mental problems we currently have. That explains why most people post something bad about a particular thing; we somehow feel the need to connect with them even if we don’t genuinely have to. It means that social media does not only benefit physical interaction but has a lot to do with emotional relationships too. In some way, it could be advantageous because we learn the significance of empathy through digital means. But then, this only proves that emotions are contagious. So when we regularly attached ourselves to the world’s negative vibes, we unnoticingly incorporate it into our lives.
Honestly, how we spend time with social media is not an entirety of a mental illness. We have to consider a lot of things before finally saying that our 2 to 3 hours spent on social platforms relate to addiction. But then again, its overall effects, which can take a toll on our lives, are something we should all watch out for. Because even if we seem not to care, for now, the problems that we may face along the way still has something to do with the way we use social media. So if you feel your time spent with social media is taking you away from the most important areas of your life, then you might want to consider using it less or at least take a break from it. Not only will you stay away from negativity, but you will also do your well-being a great deal of favor.