Today social media has become the most popular method of interaction and socialization. Rampant use of mobile phones and advancement in telecom technology has only made social media more popular than ever before. Today, millions of people across the world are connected on social media- sharing views, discussing plans, and raising concerns. Despite the advantages of social media, it also presents a danger of addiction.
Long Essay on Social Media Addiction in English
We have provided below a long essay on addiction of social media to give you an insight of what is social media and what constitutes its addiction.
Through this social media addiction essay, you will also understand the effects of social media addiction and possible measures to prevent it.
Introduction - What is Social Media Addiction?
The term “social media” is used to refer to the social media accounts like – facebook, instagram and twitter, pinterest, snapchat, whatsapp etc. Today it is impossible to find anyone who doesn’t has at least two or three of these social media accounts. The ease of internet access through mobile phones has become the prime contributing factor for the spread of social media and its addiction.
“Social Media Addiction” refers to a situation in which a person is so much engrossed in surfing through his/her social media account/s that s/he put other important work on hold or cause their unintentional delay. Such person is so much addicted to social media that s/he doesn’t realize the harm s/he is bringing upon her/his mental and physical health as well as to their personal and professional lives.
While social media could be informative and knowledgeable sometimes; addiction to the social media has only adverse effects and no benefits. In the essay provided below, we will go in detail through all the aspects of social media addiction, like- the symptoms of social media addiction, triggers that contribute to social media addiction, effects of social media addiction and the methods to avoid it.
Symptoms of Social Media Addiction
There are various, distinctly visible symptoms of social media addiction. It is extremely easy to ascertain whether a person is addicted to social media if any of the following traits are visibly present. Please go through the below mentioned symptoms of social media addiction-
1) You and Your Phone are Inseparable
There is high probability of you being a social media addict, if your phone is always found in your hand or at least a hand’s distance from you. Persons, who are addicted to social media, never let their phones out of their reach. Such persons, even while working, think continuously about their social media account and the likes or shares they might be getting from friends and family on a particular post or picture upload.
2) You are Online During late Night and Break of Dawn
If someone is going through his/her social media account, in the middle of the night or in the early morning hours, then s/he must be considered as addicted to the social media. Such people often go to bed in night with their mobile phones and lie down surfing the accounts for hours in a stretch; simple going through the posts and updates, those doesn’t matter at all.
3) Delaying Work.
If you are in a habit of delaying any of your work for simply surfing through your social media account, for an extra minute; there is no doubt that you are addicted to the social media. You must have experienced that deciding to delay for few minutes, quickly becomes an hour’s delay; though, you realize the loss of time, you just can’t let it go, because you are so much addicted to it.
4) Regularly Updating Status
If your status on social media is found regularly updated then you are an established social media addict. Posting regular updates, telling people about your routine activities, indicate that you are nothing short of a social media addict. If you post status updates like – leaving for office, going to school, eating lunch or dining with family; you are a sure shot social media addict and need to pull back from your dangerous affection.
5) Keep Checking the Phone Every Few Minutes
This is one of the sure signs to tell if one is addicted to social media or not. If you are in the habit of constantly checking your phone, every now and then, for new notifications, posts, likes, shares or status updates by friends and family; you are indeed addicted to social media. This is one of the most common signs of social media addiction and people could be seen accessing their phone every now and then even when they are working.
6) Shying away from Personal Interaction
Social media addicts display an unusual inclination towards interacting with people on social media accounts only. Such addicts avoid face to face conversation and rather prefer to chat on social media. They gradually become more and more introvert and avoid any kind of direct interaction. Even if a social media addict talks to you, he will be more interested in your social media IDs than in yourself. Such people are likely to befriend you only on social media, and probably have no clue on how to deal with real humans in real world.
7) Constantly wanting to get More “Likes” and “Shares”
Is your heart regularly craving for more likes and shares on your status update? Do you like your photos to be liked by more and more people by every passing minute? These signs indicate that you are obviously addicted to your social media accounts. This urge to get more likes will only worsen your addiction and you will regularly post new statements and pictures in order to satisfy your greed. The more likes you get, the more you will desire and the more you will be online, establishing the fact that you are a social media addict.
8) Taking Photographs always almost anywhere
If a person is in a habit of taking photographs of him/herself and companions, wherever s/he goes – in parks, bus stands, railway station, office lounge etc, then the person is undoubtedly addicted to the social media. Such persons are seen busy in clicking photographs for the purpose of uploading them on their social accounts, rather than enjoying the place or the company they are in.
9) Craving for the Internet
If you can’t live without internet and you get restless whenever the speed is low or the sever down; there are quite good chances of your being a social media addict. Most of the people, who surf through the internet without any specific purpose, are found to simply surf through their social media accounts.
10) Killing free time on Social Media
If you go through your social media accounts, even in all of your spare time, then you are a social media addict. If you rush for your mobile phone wherever you get break from work, mostly to check status updates by family and friends or to update your own status; you too are at a considerable risk of developing social media addiction.
Triggers of Social Media Addiction
There are many factors that trigger one’s addiction to the social media. Some of the most significant factors that aid in the addiction of social Media are discussed below-
1) Easy access to Smart Phones and Internet
The ease at which smart phones can be purchased and internet could be accessed today, has only fuelled the addiction of social media in users. High competition among mobile phone manufacturers has made smart phones cheaper enough to ensure that nine in every ten common men owns it.
Internet access has also become quite cheaper and better, further ensuring that every smart phone user has 24/7 access to the internet. With smart phone in hand and 24/7 access to the internet; social media addiction isn’t a surprise.
2) Societal Changes
The society that we live in is fast developing and everyone from a scratcher to a professional is facing cut throat competition. We want to stay ahead and let the world know about our progresses. Moreover, today people are being judged, based not on their personalities but on their social media accounts. Anyone who posts pictures of his/her cozy and lavish lifestyle, has more friends and followers. This blind rat race has only triggered the addiction of social media.
3) Psychological and Physiological Factors
Many psychological and physiological factors may cause an inclination towards social media. Persons who are suffering from depression, stress or other such conditions are most likely to surf the internet for hours in a stretch, mostly as it gives a sense of engagement to them and though temporary, let them forget their troubles.
Many physiological factors like inability to move or engage in other tasks due to some ailment or physical condition, can also act as a trigger for social media addiction. Such persons are more likely to spend their time on social media, rather than doing real things.
4) Free Access to Social Media Accounts
Almost zero cost of opening and operating a social media account is one of the major factors contributing to the social media addiction. Anyone can open a facebook or instagram account by providing few minor details and can operate them easily by moving his/her fingers. This zero cost of operation and maintenance has made social media accounts popular among all age group and subsequently led to the widespread addiction of social media.
5) False Sense of Self Worth
Every time a friend likes your picture or post, you get a false sense of pride and higher self worth. You start measuring your achievements and appearance based on the number of likes you got, which actually is a fallacy. The person who liked your post or pictures might not even have read your post or seen your picture carefully; however, we get so engrossed with this false sense of self worth that we constantly get more and more engaged to social media, in order to gain more appreciation.
Effects of Social Media Addiction
Addiction to social media may lead to many unwanted psychological and physiological complications. Apart from these, the addiction to social media largely affects the society as well. Please go through the below given effects of social media addiction-
1) Compromising Privacy
Social media addiction seriously compromises the privacy of an individual. An addicted person makes constant updates about his engagements and activities, without realizing the harm he is doing to his own privacy. Letting others know about where you live, what you do, what you did today or what are your plans for tomorrow, who are your friends, relatives etc, is actually a kind of self inflicted privacy infringement.
2) Mindless/Insulting Trailing
Addiction to social media often results in useless trailing, which could be insulting or dangerous sometimes. People who are addicted to social media are more likely to trail someone else on trivial issues or might be pestered themselves, by someone else. These mindless trailing often result in insults and expletives, creating a war of words on social media.
3) Decreased Efficiency at Work
Social media addiction seriously interferes with your ability to perform your everyday office work or other household works. An addicted person tends to become careless about his/her work and is more concentrated on his/her social media accounts. They develop a tendency to postpone their routine work to check new likes and updates.
4) Stress and Tiredness
Surfing the social media account for long hours, might feel entertaining, but could actually result in stress, headache and tiredness. Persistent surfing of your accounts will eventually make you a dull person, always feeling tired and stressed out.
Reduction in number of sleeping hours and an inability to sleep, are some of the common complaints given by the social media addicts. Late night surfing of social media accounts, will not only deprive you of your sleep, but might also results in insomnia, a sleep disorder in which one find it difficult to fall asleep.
6) Inferiority Complex
While getting likes on social media accounts, results in a false sense of pride, looking others do well than us, might also results in an inferiority complex. When we have access to someone else’s details of personal and professional achievements, we instantly start comparing our life with the life of that person. This obviously results in making us feel inferior to that person.
7) Deceptive Opinions and Judgments
Since the advent of mobile phones, our views or thoughts about a person have become narrow minded and unreal. Today we judge a person based on his/her status updates on accounts like facebook or Instagram. If the picture of the person looks good and glamorous we make a false perception of his/her personality, purely based on the picture. This deceptive perception alters with our ability to give fair opinions and judgments.
Methods to Avoid Addiction of Social Media
1) Keep your Phone at a Distance
Keeping your phone out of hand’s reach is one of the best ways to avoid addiction to social media. While in office or at home, take a resolve to let the smart phone rest on the table or shelf, to be picked up only when needed.
2) Don’t pick your Phone too often
Stop picking up your phone every few minutes and then putting it back, only to repeat the process. Your doing so only indicates that you are addicted to the phone and social media and are ever looking for new likes or updates.
3) Switch off Notifications
Switch off the notifications for all of your social media accounts, if you don’t want to turn yourself into a social media addict. As long as the notification tones are ringing, you will find it impossible to resist, so it’s a wise decision to switch off all your notifications and work, read or play.
4) No unnecessary Posts
Don’t pick up your phone for making that lousy comment or an unnecessary status update. Once you login to your social media account for making an update which was not needed at all, you will probably find it difficult to log off, and will be more likely to surf your account purposelessly for hours.
5) Delete Insignificant Accounts
The more number of social media accounts you have, more likely you will turn up as a social media addict. It is wise to keep the number of your social media accounts as low as possible or to completely avoid having one, if possible. Not having a social media account will not spoil your life or career, rather it will increase your work efficiency and social life.
6) Keep the Phone out of Bed
Many people have the habit of going to bed with phone in hand simply surfing through their social media accounts till late night hours. The habit is very addictive and result in serious kind of sleep disorders. So, next time you go to bed, keep your phone out of reach, probably in a shelf or on a table.
In today’s world it is impossible to completely let go the use of mobile phone, internet or social media accounts, but we can always optimize their use, so that they do not interfere with our personal and professional life.
Of course social media accounts can be informative as they give us an opportunity to interact with various people from different walks of life. Nevertheless their uncontrolled and unwanted use has more adverse consequences than the benefits.
It is therefore our own responsibility to exercise restrain while operating our social media accounts and do so only when it is extremely necessary and unavoidable. We must also take necessary preventive measures to keep our children out of the reach of social media and its affects, rather ensuring that we all spend our valuable time in reading, socializing, playing and on other similar and constructive activities.