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Scrolling down social media and checking phones frequently have become the most common activities among the youth. Although most of the users of social media are using it in a non-problematic way, some are addicted to it. Teens are the most vulnerable to compulsive use of social media. They can’t just get their heads off social media networking. There is this urge that forces them to log in and give a proper amount of time to scrolling, commenting, sharing, and watching.
Social media addiction is just like any other addiction like substance abuse which includes mood changes, behavioral and cognitive changes, withdrawal symptoms, conflicts, and relapses. It is researched that the use of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat produces the same neural activity that is caused by gambling and using recreational drugs.
Studies have also shown that actions like retweets, likes, share, comment affect the brain reward area the same way as any other drug such as cocaine. Neuroscientists have even compared social media networking to a syringe of dopamine that is injected right into the system.
Social media addiction affects both the physical and psychological aspects of a person. In the brain, it induces the brain reward center where the dopamine is produced with each interaction. Social media provides endless rewarding actions in the form of attention from other people. When someone likes your comments, shares with you, appreciate you, or even respond to your post, the brain perceives it as positive reinforcement.
Social media usage also becomes problematic when kids see it as a way to cope with their depression, loneliness, and stress. For such people, social media becomes the source of reward that they never receive in real life. So, they end up relying on social media as the way of their interaction with others and ignoring real-life issues.
The latest researches have revealed that there is a straight connection between social media usage and poor mental health. While social media has its benefits, but using it more frequently than usual can leave people depressed and isolated. And, the case is worst when teens are the victims. The negative emotions raised due to social media addiction are not only because of the excessive use but also due to the comparison of things and lifestyle.
On Facebook or Instagram, users are shown glittery posts and advertisements that are specially made to attract users. As the user scrolls down or clicks the post, he sees a person with a great job, home, lifestyle, everything that one hopes for in a good perfect life. Though it is all made just to inspire the user the users often get despaired and disturbed as they start the comparison of their own lives with theirs.
Especially kids get addicted to the glittery world of perfect things on social media, little do they know that it is all made to allure them. As they keep on using social media and see the glittery lives of others, they can fall into depression and think of their life as useless.
Although a large amount of people is using social media every moment, there are a few that are addicted to it. If you are worried about your kids being addicted to social media, you can look for the signs of social media addiction in them. Here are a few things to look for in a person who might or might not be addicted to social media usage:
If you find ‘yes’ the answer to most of these questions, you ought to be worried about them. It might be time to intervene and help them with their addiction. Because, if it gets worse, social media addiction can have terrible consequences. Most of the times kids don’t seem to understand anything else but only what they see on social media. This needs to be changed.
If you are a parent and you are watching your kid falling into this abyss of social media addiction, there are a few things you can do. Such as:
Social media addiction is as dangerous for adults as it is for kids. But, for kids, it is new and adventurous, so they need more guidance and knowledge. Parents are responsible for providing them that guidance.