What is a social media addiction?
Social media addiction is a type of behavioral or non-substance addiction in which someone becomes excessively preoccupied with social media use. To the point where it begins to interfere with their daily life, work, and relationships. Social media addiction is characterized by a compulsive need to check on social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and others. Even when it’s actually not necessary or appropriate to do so in certain situations.
How do I know my child has a social media addiction?
Social media is almost unavoidable intertwined in our lives. For young adults it has become normal to spend hours a day on social media platforms. When is social media usage getting out of control? How can you recognize an addiction and when do alarm bells need to go off?
These are important signs of social media addiction:
- Spending excessive amounts of time on social media platforms without taking a break. Feeling the need to be online, despite other activities or responsibilities.
- Spending five-plus hours a day on social media platforms.
- Feeling a compulsive need to check on social media notifications and updates.
- Losing sleep over social media usage, resulting in oversleeping.
- Feeling anxious or irritable when unable to access social media.
- Neglecting personal relationships, work, or school responsibilities and homework, due to social media use. Preferring social media over face-to-face socializing.
- Continuing to use social media despite negative consequences, such as sleep deprivation, decreased productivity, or strain on personal relationships.
Why is social media addictive?
There are several reasons why social media can be addictive:
- Experts point to dopamine as a feelgood hormone and important reason why social media can become addictive. When someone engages in an activity that gives them joy, the brain will release dopamine. A joyful feeling you’re likely to experience over and over again.
- Fear of missing out (FOMO): One of the reasons why social media are so intensively used is the sense of anxiety and urgency it creates. Uses feel the constant need to check for updates and notification to avoid the feeling of FOMO on important information or social events.
- Social comparison: Social media platforms promote social comparison. Users constantly compare their own lives to seemingly perfect lives of others on social media. Leading to feelings of inadequacy or a low self-esteem.
- Instant gratification: Social media provides a sense of connection with others, which can be addictive for some users who may struggle with building and maintaining relationships.
- Boredom: Social media serves as a form of entertainment and distraction, particularly when individuals are feeling bored or lonely.
What causes social media addiction?
Social media addiction can be influenced by individual factors, such as personality traits, social environment, and mental health. The addictive nature of social media can make it difficult for some users to regulate their use and avoid negative consequences.
How to break social media addiction?
Taking back control is important when trying to break social media addiction. Preventing and dealing with excessive social media usage starts with setting boundaries for yourself or your loved one. Set time limits for social media use. Try to limit usage to 30 minutes a day or less. Endless scrolling apps as TikTok are time consuming, adding up hours and hours. Set a timer or download an app that can track your usage and limits access. Secondly, try to avoid using social media when you’re feeling down. These emotions can worsen the addiction. Try to engage in other activities.
Most of the time other underlying issues can be identified as reason for why your loved one developed a social media addiction. By masking pain of negative emotions with this kind of behavior. Therefore, it’s important to seek help from professionals to find out what is driving your loved one to engage in this type of behavior. Professional treatment offers valuable insights and resources that will benefit a young person for a lifetime.
Treatment of social media addiction
Social media addiction can be treated with therapy. Therapy is beneficial to help individuals develop healthy coping mechanisms, address underlying issues contributing to the addiction, and learn how to manage triggers which lead to this type of behavior.
How can we help?
The Grange Youth Clinic offers a unique 8-week program for individuals, and their families. Our professional team of psychologists and other therapists helps them deal with mental health issues, such as social media addiction. Teaching young adults how to cope with social media addiction hands them vital tools for a new future and healthier family dynamics.
We help young adults identify and break free from struggles that are holding them back in daily life and future possibilities. Empowering their talents and qualities within the treatment gives them – and their family – an honest opportunity and chance to change their course, heading towards an honest, balanced future.
Parents or caregivers are closely involved in the treatment as you’ll join the clinic one week as well. Following a special program where we’ll work on family dynamics and communication. Read more about the program.
Schedule intake interview
The Grange Youth Clinic can help young adults who are struggling with social media addiction. Learn more about our treatment here or register for an intake interview below.
If you would like to register (or register a young adult 18-25 years old) for a treatment at The Grange Youth Clinic, please complete our intake form and we will contact you to schedule a personal intake interview.
Register now for the best care possible >>
Why it works
At The Grange Youth Clinic, you’ll be guided through a tough experience with empathetic support. You will have access to a comprehensive range of services, including a minimum of 6 weeks of intensive residential treatment, family coaching & counseling for parents/carers and aftercare tailored to your individual needs.
We are here for you
Our treatment has a very “Intensive goal directed specialised approach” which is uniquely tailored to each client, by a highly qualified and experience multi discipline team. We focus on primarily addictive problems combined with addressing social, emotional behavioural.