As it’s mental health awareness week, we’re raising awareness of Social Media Addiction.

Social media helps us to stay connected to our friend and family all the time, keeping ourselves up to date with all that is happening in their lives and share ours as well however, the excessive use of it can cause some serious side effects especially if majority of the usage is targeted towards stalking profiles and checking status updates of other people. This is referring to as social media addiction and based on a study by Chicago University, it is much stronger than an addiction to alcohol or nicotine.

Although, we may think it is not as common as some other addictions like alcoholism or drug use but as the users of social media growing day by day which according to Go-Globe has reached over 2.03 billion out of which around 18% can’t live without checking Facebook updates for couple of hours. With so much new content uploaded on daily basis including 5 million photos on Instagram and 500 million tweets on twitter, the users will never get bored and will always find something new and exciting to checkout. The excessive use can be disastrous to the health and wellbeing of users if they don’t get restrictive about the amount of time spent on these social media apps.

People with social media addiction can easily spend over an hour flipping and posting on various social media apps. An addict also tends to share every single thought that comes to their mind trying to be seen as active as possible and hoping to get some likes which they consider as a validation and appreciation by their followers. Desperately trying to be active all the time in order to stay up to date can also lead to destroying your sleeping habits as well which can lead to odd sleeping hours and insomnia. On the plus side, people also use social media to distract themselves from work or school related stress.  While people often think of drug rehab, rehab can actually be helpful to many different forms of addiction.

Social Media addiction can also cause some severe physical health issues including carpel tunnel syndrome which is a condition that cause tingling, numbness and pain in hands due to excessive typing. Excessive tapping or typing on smartphone can cause a serious strain in your fingers tendons and staring on screens for too long can cause strain on your eyes. Apart from these serious side effects, it is also dangerous to check for social media updates on your cellphone while driving since they can cause distraction.  Social Media Addiction and other behavioral addiction disorders is something that can be addressed at rehab clinic.

As far as mental health issues are concerned, the most serious one caused by social media addiction is developing low self-esteem by comparing your lives with the lives of your social media idols as they post about their eye-catching experiences. The ability of sharing something to the whole world of your social media makes any normal social interaction not worth your time causing you to move further away from the real world and can also be damaging to your ability to learn new skills as you indulge yourself in social media activities.

As with any addiction, the recovery always starts by first identifying it as a problem and then start taking tiny steps to reduce its impact on your life. You can start by disabling push notifications on your smart phones which will stop alerting you on whenever something new is posted reducing the urge of reactively checking for it. Try to get yourself occupied with a new hobby or something you use to love before the invasion of social media like reading books, jogging or riding a bike. Whatever you do in your life, do it to cherish the experience and not for the indulgence of your social media viewers.