Social Media: the 21st Century’s Most Popular Drug

Imagine that you are sitting in on a Narcotics Anonymous meeting to support a friend or family member. When the meeting begins, you notice a new face sitting across the room. Eventually, it is their turn to introduce themselves, something that every addict must do at the beginning of NA meetings. After a few seconds, they mustered up enough courage to speak. “Hi. I am Kyle and I am addicted to social media.”

Okay, yes, this scenario is highly unlikely, but when does the obsessive craze of social media become an addiction?

The Indiana University listed 10 signs of addiction:

  1. The person becomes obsessed.
  2. They will seek it out, or engage in the behavior even though it is causing harm
  3. The person will compulsively engage in the activity.
  4. Upon cessation of the activity, withdrawal symptoms often occur.  These can include irritability, craving, restlessness or depression.
  5. The person does not appear to have control as to when, how long, or how much he or she will continue the behavior.
  6. He/she often denies problems resulting from his/her engagement in the behavior, even though others can see the negative effects.
  7. Person hides the behavior after family or close friends have mentioned their concern.
  8. Many individuals with addictive behaviors report a blackout for the time they were engaging in the behavior.
  9. Depression is common in individuals with addictive behaviors.
  10. Individuals with addictive behaviors often have low self esteem, feel anxious if the do not have control over their environment, and come from psychologically or physically abusive families.

I don’t know about you, but I can name a few people who fall under all ten of these signs of addiction. I even find myself succumbing to social media addiction from time to time; every time my phone goes off, I get a little rush of excitement and check it immediately.

Here are some general stats found on OnlineSchools.org:

  • More than half the world population talk to people more over the internet than face-to-face.
  • 90% of people from 18-29 use social media on a daily basis.
  • Internet users have an average of 5.54 social media accounts

If that’s not enough to convince you, here are some more stats on specific social media use:

 

Today’s technology has allowed us to literally take our social media sites with us every where we go. Children with smart phones are getting younger and younger and smart phones are becoming smarter and smarter. Literally everywhere you go (in the bathroom, on the highway, in class, at coffee shops, at grocery stores, at concerts, etc.) you can find people on social media sites. Everyone documents everything on social media now; it is almost as though the whole world lives within the internet more than in the physical world around us all. So you tell me, is social media an addiction?

 

To find out if your addicted to your social media, here’s a quick test found on http://brandongaille.com/28-social-networking-addiction-statistics/

(just replace the word “Facebook” with any of your social media sites):

Social-Media-Addiction-Statistics-and-Trends

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