7 Social Media Addiction Symptoms
“Am I Addicted to Social Media?”
Ah, social media… it helps us stay connected with friends and family wherever they are, and it can be a great way to get information, especially on fast-moving news topics. There is a lot of good that can come from it!
However, too much of a good thing can be a problem, and social media is no exception. If you’re already asking yourself, “Am I addicted to social media?”, it may be time to evaluate and see if you’re in need of a social media detox.
Why is Social Media Addictive?
Many social media platforms were built to pull you in, delivering a tiny boost of dopamine with each like, follow, and share. It can become an all-consuming time waster.
When you get sucked in, by the time you pull yourself out of it, subconsciously you may feel a little down on yourself… the worst part of it is, a lot of times we don’t even realize it!
In the last few months, I’ve intentionally stepped back from my personal social media. If I could remove all the apps from my phone, believe me, I would (because of the platforms I’m on and the work I do, I have to keep these apps on my phone).
Reading these social media addiction symptoms will help you evaluate and your time spent on social media and see if it might be time for you to have a social media detox too!
7 Signs of Social Media Addiction
1 – You can’t start your day without checking your phone
This can be an easy habit to develop if you set your morning alarm on your phone, but it’s one you should break ASAP. It can be tempting to scroll through your Instagram feed first thing in the morning, but if you begin your day scanning for new likes or shares, you likely have a social media addiction.
Even if you’re not looking for likes and shares but you simply feel the need to check each one of your social media accounts and all your notifications, that is still a problem.
2 – You can’t do anything without taking a photo (or twelve)
If you’re the kind of person who can’t rearrange your bookcase, paint your nails, or wash your car without sharing it with the world, here’s a tip – you don’t need to do that. You don’t have to post pictures of every single thing you do.
You’re allowed to eat your dinner without a full-blown photo shoot first. Let your house be a little messy. Try living in the moment, and not through the lens of your cell phone camera, and you may be surprised how much more fun you have.
3 – Your spouse or kids complain that you’re always on your phone
If the issue has come up in conversation that you’re always looking at your phone, that could definitely be a sign of social media addiction. If it wasn’t always happening, they wouldn’t have a reason to point it out to you, right?
4 – You look at your phone to see if you have a notification. All. The. Time.
Do you find yourself picking up your phone just to see if you have a notification? Do you sometimes think you feel your phone vibrate, only to pull it out and see that there was not a new notification? And/or do you have notifications turned on for every little thing on every social media app? This is a sure sign that you’ve got a social media addiction.
5 – You’re more connected with your friends on Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook than in real life
Social media can certainly help us keep in touch, but if you’re spending more time commenting on your friends’ Instagram posts than you do actually hanging out with them, it’s time to change. While social media can be a great tool to maintain our relationships, especially when don’t live close, there’s no replacement for real human interaction.
6 – You can’t sit through dinner or watch a movie without checking your phone
It shouldn’t be difficult to spend a few hours phone-free. Whether you’re surrounded by good company and fresh food, an exciting film, or a good book, you should be able to enjoy the experience without itching for your mobile device or checking your smartwatch for updates.
7 – Your mood is impacted by your social media use
Scrolling through our news feeds can take a toll on our self-esteem. They’re often filled with carefully-curated photos of perfect experiences, not reflections of our daily realities, but it’s hard to keep that in mind as we constantly compare ourselves with others.
As I was researching about social media addiction, I stopped in that very moment and snapped a pic of our main living area and posted it on Instagram just because I wanted to let people know that I am NOT a supermom nor do I care to be one.
I’ve come to really notice how social media can affect my mood. In fact, I stopped following people that made me feel like I wasn’t doing life good enough. And I’m going to be really honest and vulnerable here, as a blogger, not getting enough ‘likes’ or ‘shares’ on a post can be pretty demoralizing. (Ugh. And I am really annoyed that this feeling creeps up in me!).
If you find yourself thinking negatively or feeling down after a social media session, it might be time to consider a break.
So, if you take a long hard assessment of your social media use, you might decide you need to make some changes. I evaluated myself a few months ago and decided I was tired of being chained down to my phone. I did a few things to detox from social media and I’ve been much happier as a result.
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