Home Health & Fitness Social media addiction: How can we avoid it?

Social media addiction: How can we avoid it?

Social media addiction: How can we avoid it?


Sure, let’s have an additional post. This is kind, isn’t it? Which comes next? There’s no doubt that the material will become more interactive.

A recent study discovered that kids are spending an increasing amount of their lives in front of screens. (Partners with Image Union, Channel, Zoonar, and DW)

The feeling is familiar to anyone who has used X, previously on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok: a “quick peek” can quickly turn into an arduous hour or two of scrolling. There is social media everywhere. We have access to it at work, on our computers, on our phones, and during our leisure time. We employ it to communicate, share, keep up with the newest rumors, and read what other people have to say.

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However, social media has drawbacks. People who regularly consume a lot of content from social media platforms are growing in number. Approximately 600,000 boys and girls, or over 6% of Germany’s youth, suffer from social media as well as gaming addiction. This is supported by a study conducted this spring and published by University Medical Center of Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) and the German well-being insurer DAK. It discovered that over two million kids used streaming services or social networks in a way that was classified as “problematic.” As a result, in comparison with pre-pandemic levels, children and adults are spending a great deal more time in front of screens—up to two hours and forty-five minutes a day on the internet alone.

Does it make a difference?

Is social media just another risky diversion then? According to Tobias Dienlin, a visiting professor of multimedia communication that the Catholic University for Vienna in Austria, “to put it mildly, their role is ambiguous.” “It’s is an abundance of ineffective material, yet certain portions of it may be helpful.”

The specialist delved into the myriad approaches for utilizing social media. You’re presented with a decision: either actively engage on social platforms to cultivate connections and interactions, or solely consume the available content.

Anything is OK, he said, so long as this occurs in moderation. He cautioned that users should only begin to visit social media platforms on a regular basis to avoid complications.

At present, there exists no precise medical delineation for social media addiction. Dienlin emphasized that the absence of a formal medical classification does not negate the existence of the problem. The media expert highlighted that the overindulgence in social networking platforms often transforms into a habitual behavior, leading individuals to disregard their real-life social connections, neglect crucial facets of their lives, or struggle to focus on anything beyond engaging with social media intermittently.

Captivating algorithms

Numerous social media sites take advantage of the neural network’s complexity by providing a system of instant rewards. Emojis and likes offer excellent reinforcement, and it’s simple to remove any offensive content.

Dienlin emphasized how users nowadays are constantly engaged in browsing, all thanks to the feature of infinite scrolling. This perpetual stream of fresh content makes it incredibly captivating, effectively compelling users to remain glued to their screens. Unlike the finite nature of finishing a book or the conclusion of a TV program, the online realm offers an endless array of content, perpetuating this addictive browsing behavior.

Furthermore, a lot of social media sites use algorithms that are intended to tailor the material we see to our individual interests. It becomes challenging to limit our consumption as a result.

Addiction to media is more common in those who experience difficulties in other spheres of their lives. ” Individuals that possess weakened control over their impulses, or that have trouble with organizing every day, had more difficulty in posting on social media,” Dienlin stated.

Get out of the echo chambers

Utilizing a great deal for online platforms may be an opportunity for depressed or lonely people to escape reality.

In such situations the trainer mentioned it enables us to manage our emotions and escape from unpleasant experiences. Personally, whenever I feel bored, overwhelmed or burdened by guilt and shame, I resort to using my cell phone to browse through social media. Instantly, all those negative feelings vanish.

However, overusing social media can also make pre-existing mental health issues like depressive disorders or eating disorders worse. This may occur when users seek out specific harmful content, that the system learns to provide on a regular basis based on the user’s specified preferences.

The United States class action once more, big tech

Several hundred of households are participating in a well-known lawsuit in the US toward four of the biggest tech companies in the world. They hold Facebook operator Meta, ByteDance, YouTube, Google’s Alphabet, China’s TikTok operator, and Snapchat worker Snap accountable for not only ignoring but additionally actively promoting the dangers of children developing social media addictions.

Lawsuits have also been filed by several school districts. The plaintiffs claim that the businesses have not put in place sufficient age verification and parental controls, which makes it challenging to remove social media accounts.

The defendants dismissed the charges as unfounded, so it was unclear over an extended period if the case would proceed. However, a United States federal court judge denied the social networking giants’ request to keep the matter out in mid-November.

What might the case signify, though? Dienlin is uncertain: Cases like this garner an abundance of focus. In my opinion, these things don’t need to be explained. However, as is typical, there are opposing viewpoints. Naturally, service providers will raise the risk of addiction if they wish to make their offerings more alluring something that any profit-driven company would want to do. However, users are unable to shirk their obligations. Enhancing the technology is not enough; we also need to train and assist users.”

Concurrently, the European Union has initiated an inquiry to the websites of TikTok and YouTube regarding purported transgressions of child safety protocols.

Techniques for avoiding addiction

Above all, the specialist advised users to keep a close eye on their children’s social media usage habits. It’s best to discuss it in a group setting, avoid focusing on specific genders, and don’t assume that everything that people post on the internet is completely ridiculous.

In addition, he suggested setting time limits for social media use and occasionally putting phones away. It’s crucial for customers to re-discover smartphone alternatives. Dienlin recommended engaging in physical exercise, taking up a hobby, making friends, or volunteering.

It would be incorrect to believe that our sadness is a result of social media. Frequently, spending too much time on phone calls is a sign of a more serious issue. However, it may lead to additional issues,” he clarified. He claimed that acknowledging this can be the first step toward kicking a social media addiction.