Social media platforms allow us to stay constantly connected with friends and family members alike.
Unfortunately, for some people social media isn’t just a convenience – it’s a way of life.
What is Social Media Addiction?
Social media addiction, also known as social networking addiction, is a condition characterized by an obsessive need to stay up to date on social media. People with social media addiction may constantly check their Facebook feedback, curate images for Instagram or lose themselves in Twitter rather than engage in the world around them.
Although social media addiction is not yet included in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the so-called “bible” of mental illnesses, it is often compared to other behavioral addictions like gambling disorder.
Addiction to social media can affect teens and adults alike.
Symptoms of Addiction to Social Media
Social media addiction can result in psychological symptoms including:
- Anxiety or irritation when away from the internet
- Repeated, unsuccessful attempts to cut back on social media use
- Constant planning and thinking about social media
- Needing to spend more and more time online to experience the same rush
- Lying about the amount of time spent online
Social media addiction can also cause physical symptoms including:
- Eye strain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
Some people who are addicted to social media ignore meals, sleep or personal hygiene in favor of spending more time on the internet. Teens may skip school or work, ignore friends and postpone chores.