Social media addiction is a growing problem. More and more young people with this addiction are treated in clinics. The addictive aspect of social networking is associated with FOMO — fear of missing out. Everyone is on Facebook. They’re posting things, sharing news and content and talking to each other 24/7.
Spending too much time on social networks could create false self-image, false sense of reality, false sense of security, false sense of friendship. What does a like on Facebook really mean? What if certain posts on Instagram are not liked at all or WhatsApp messages are not responded to within a certain time span desired? Anxiety and stress might be the only reward.
Is my child addicted to social media?
Social media are very addictive. A young person is suffering from a social media addiction when he/she feels compulsion to spend time online and fails to reduce this, even if he/she experiences first hand that time spent online leads to problems, such as broken friendships, poor school results or serious fatigue. Instead of decreasing, the youngster will increase online time even more. When limiting access or even when removing tablets or phones, aggressive behaviour can be displayed.
How to recognise social media addiction
Some of the symptoms:
- Having difficulty leaving the computer or phone for a meal. Food may be taken when chatting or scrolling through social media pages.
- Daily life, such as social contacts, work or study all have to make way for being online.
- Daily tasks and activities are rushed because the youngster wants to sit at the computer or phone as soon as possible.
- Ultimately, sleep will give way to be online.
- Sometimes young people do not recognise their own addiction, simply because these repress it.
- Care and personal hygiene can (strongly) decline or even be exaggerated (modelling to peers).
As a young person, one should pay attention to the following signals:
- Do you need to constantly check your phone for messages?
- Do you feel uncomfortable if you can’t?
- Are you mindfully busy with your posts online, even if you are not active?
- Does time spent on social media lead to conflicts with parents, friends, yourself and/or interferes with other activities such as work, school and hobbies?
- Do you want to use social media less, but are you unable?
The risks of social media addictions
- Shortage of sleep
- Social fear
- Negative self-image
- Run away from reality
- Poor work/school results
- Not taking care of yourself/bad hygiene
- Call in sick
- Not doing any homework
- No energy to study
- Going to bed to late
- Hardly any friends, except online
- Fights with parents
- Stop sports or all other hobbies
Treatment of a social media addiction
At Yes We Can Youth Clinics we help teenagers and young adults to overcome their social media addiction and to live and function in society in a pleasant way. We help young people with an addiction to slowly demolish the wall they have built around themselves, to leave their destructive life behind them forever and to face a bright future. Yes We Can Youth Clinics strives to reduce any medication that the teenager or young adult already receive to zero or as little as possible during the treatment.