Have you ever thought about the amount of time you spend on social media? The answer is difficult because social media is an integral part of our lives today. A study shows that in January 2019, the number of daily active Instagram users is 500 million.
Another study reveals that the amount of time internet users spend on social networking is 144 minutes per day as of 2019. As you can see, social media has become an indispensable part of our lives.
However, social media usage can get tricky. What if you end up developing an unhealthy obsession with social media? What if you are not able to put down your mobile phone and interact with your friends and family? In 2019, a survey conducted by Pew Research Center says that 48% of people who belong to the age group of 18-29 years go online constantly.
Social media addiction statistics reveal that some teenagers spend around 9 hours per day on social media. Particularly, if you look at Facebook users, statistics show that over 240 million people in America check Facebook on an everyday basis. Overall, the estimated number of people who suffer from social media addictions is around 210 million. Look at this staggering number of people who suffer from social media addiction!
WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA ADDICTION?
Social media addiction refers to the obsessive use of social media platforms by the individual which leads to that individual spending most of his/her time and energy on social media. Consequently, this kind of compulsive behavior harms the individual.
In 2017, Daria J Kuss and Mark D Griffiths published a research work that shows that smartphone addiction, Facebook addiction, fear of missing out (FOMO), etc might be a part of social networking sites addiction.
A survey shows that there is a relationship between social media addiction and self-esteem. An obsessive over-use of social media deeply impacts how you feel about yourself.
For instance, research findings show that if people can reduce the amount of time spend on social media to 30 minutes per day, then there is an improvement in their mental health. Similarly, an experimental study on Facebook usage shows that taking breaks from social media platforms boosts one’s well-being. As the result, we tend to be more satisfied with life and experience positive emotions.
HOW DOES SOCIAL MEDIA ADDICTION IMPACT MENTAL HEALTH?
Research studies show that social media addiction is strongly associated with mental health. A research study demonstrates that the overuse of social media platforms is connected to mental health problems such as internet addiction, symptoms of depression, and low self-esteem levels.
In 2017, the Youth Health Movement along with the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) published a report on the impact of social media platforms on mental health. The report discloses that Snapchat and Instagram are the most harmful platforms for mental well-being.
In 2018, a study shows that increased use of social media is associated with anxiety and depression.
Now you know that increased use of social media addiction affects your mental health and reduces the quality of your life. You should take the initiative to combat this addiction problem by using social media mindfully.
WHAT IS MINDFUL USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA?
Being mindful while using social media is about staying conscious and alert while participating in social media platforms.
STEPS TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA MINDFULLY: HOW TO GET STARTED?
Practice staying in the moment. Avoid posting everything about your life.
Right intention is the key
Focus on how you want to use social media. Do you want to converse with a friend? Do you want to read a book review? Being clear on your intention can help you avoid random, mindless scrolling.
Decide on who you follow
Be in touch with people who inspire and motivate you. Remember, avoid people who post demotivating content. Be an active designer of your social media interactions.
How to post?
You should have the right kind of mindset while posting special moments from life. Stick to posting things that motivate, excite, and inspire you. Don’t look for validation in the form of comments and likes.
Practice kindness and empathy
Honestly appreciate people and their achievements. Practice the art of listening to what other people have to say and respond thoughtfully.
Don’t engage in pointless arguments and mindless banter. If you find that interactions with a particular person are draining you, then it is better that you limit your interactions with that person.
Take a break
Make it a strict practice to take small and frequent breaks from social media. Spend time with friends and family.
Practice taking breaks regularly and you will find it easier to detach yourself from your social media life.