Is social media taking over?

Hilary Jackson, Editor

Are you spending hours on your phone? Disengaged when it comes to conversation with friends? Seeming moodier lately? Up so late that you didn’t even realize that it was way past your bedtime? That sounds like a social media addiction.

Social media addiction is a behavioral addiction that is described as being overly concerned about social media. This can be caused by an uncontrollable desire to log on to or use social media, and dedicating so much time and effort to social media that it damages other important life areas. If this sounds like you, don’t worry you’re not alone.  According to Science Direct, there are around 210 million people that suffer from social media addiction. These people suffer from depression, anxiety, weight gain/loss, self-esteem issues, isolation, and much worse. These are some of the many side effects that social media can have on you and your mindset. Sound like you? Don’t worry there is a way to fix this.

Doctors recommend that you spend no more than 30 minutes per day on social media. This may sound impossible but it can be achieved as long as you keep up with it. Here are some tips in order to keep your social media use down to 30 minutes per day.

  • When eating dinner, turn your phone off and keep it in a different room.

  • Turn off notifications to social media apps.

  • Learn something new.

  • Got an essay you need to finish? Stop procrastination and hop to it!

  • Do not use your phone as an alarm clock.

  • Hide the apps that you use most so you won’t be tempted to check them automatically.

  • When out with friends, use your phone only for emergencies.

  • Make new goals for yourself.

These are just some of the many ways that you can lower your usage but do what works best for you. Now there is a flip side to all of this. Social media is not completely bad just as long as you can control your daily usage. It’s just like when you eat candy. Your parents have always told you especially on Halloween not to eat tons of candy or you’ll get sick. There is nothing wrong with having a piece here or there though. The same goes for social media. As long as you are not trying to use it for bad reasons or always using it then you should be doing other things.

You are not alone in this. We are gonna get through this together. Just take it day by day. If this does not seem to be working for you then tell a trusted friend, adult, or maybe even your doctor. This is not something to be ashamed of or to be embarrassed about.  It’s never too late to get help.