Social media addiction is becoming an increasingly common occurrence in the 21t century. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are nigh ubiquitous in their usage among the populace. As such, a growing number of people are finding themselves unable to function in the various aspects of their day-to-day lives due to their usage of social media.
Various statistics show that social media addiction is increasing yearly at a steady rate. As of now, excessive social media exposure has not gained acceptance from the WHO (World Health Organization) as a mental disorder.
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Social media addiction is often linked to such mental disorders as social anxiety and depression. The signs of social anxiety include (but are not limited to): a feeling of insecurity, trouble maintaining eye contact, speech problems, difficulty communicating and interacting with others, and even physical symptoms such as an increased heart rate, nausea, and excessive perspiration.
While excessive social media usage can have a detrimental effect on one’s mental health and life, there are some situations where social media usage can be used to help one’s mood. A study conducted by Michigan State University found that people who use social media are 63% less likely to experience anxiety and depression from year to year. The positives and negatives of social media usage remain under heavy scrutiny and discourse, and while some social media usage can satisfy the need for connectivity, there is no denying the correlation between excessive social media usage and depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems.
List of Social Media Addiction Facts:
-An estimated 27% of children who spend 3+hours a day on social media typically exhibit signs of poor mental health.
-A study conducted by California State University uncovered that people who visited social media websites at least 58 times per week were 3x more likely to feel socially isolated and depressed compared to those who use social media less than 9 times per week.
-Those that spend more time on social media have 2.2 times the risk of developing body image disorders as well as eating disorders compared to their peers who used social media less often.
-As of 2017, an estimated 210 million worldwide suffer from some form of internet and social media addiction.
-Regarding teenagers, those who spend at least 5 hours a day on social media are 2x more likely to show depressive symptoms than their counterparts who spend less time on social media platforms.
-The relationship between excessive mobile use for social media and depression is linked to gender as well, with 58% more females than males experiencing depression or depressive symptoms.
-Of all the groups addicted to social media, young, single females are the most addicted group.
-50% of people driving while using smartphones are checking social media, which is a very, very dangerous prospect while on the road.
-Social media addiction affects sleep, causing sleep disruption among 4 out of 10 adults in the United States.
-1 billion people use Instagram every month.
-Approximately two-thirds of adults in the United States have a Facebook
-90% of young adults in the United States are active on Social Media
-Generation Z spends the most time on social media (a length of time spanning 2 hours and 55 minutes per day
-45% of the world’s population is on some form of social media
-70% of internet users in the United States use social media
-35% of American aged 65 and over now use social Media
-1 in 3 divorces are caused by problems arising from Social Media usage
-71% of teens who use social media for more than five hours a day are more vulnerable to suicide
-29% of 18-24-year-olds admitted to some form of social media addiction in 2017
-People in North America spend an average of 2 hours and 4 minutes on social media a day
Social media addiction is still a relatively new phenomenon and there is still much research being done on the subject. Although it is not officially recognized as a disorder, it has undoubtedly affected the lives of countless people who have been exposed to it and researchers recognize this fact. Excessive social media usage can distract one from the rest of their lives and even prevent one from doing meaningful work. A former Facebook employee likened his social media usage to “a digital water cooler” and remarked that he believed that his usage of Facebook acted as a deterrent from his work (this according to an article by CBS News).
The potential dangers and risks associated with social media should be recognized and taken seriously, especially when one considers the effects it has on one’s mental health and well-being.
Social media addiction affects the lives of those who use it in a very real way and hopefully now the world can take steps toward alleviating this very real problem.