Social Media Addiction

Effective Ways to Fight Social Media Addiction

When Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites first hit the scene, people were transfixed, and the fascination has not gone away. While there have been some shifts in the social media landscape, the population of Facebook users remains larger than the population of entire countries, and everyone from celebrities to presidents are sharing their opinions 280 characters at a time.

If you are one of the legions of social media users, you may have noticed how much of your life is being lived online. And while social media sites allow people to connect to one another in new and interesting ways, social media addiction can actually harm relationships.

If you are spending more time than you would like on social media, it may be time to do something about it. Here are some simple and effective steps you can take to take back control of your life and break your social media addiction.

Delete Social Media Apps from Your Devices

If you are spending more time with your Facebook friends than your real life ones, the smartphone in your pocket could be to blame. It is easy to spend hours scrolling through your Facebook feed or checking your Twitter messages when those things are as close as your phone screen.

It is much harder to sustain a social media addiction when you are offline for much of the day. So do yourself a favor and delete those social media apps from your phone. You can always catch up on the feeds when you get home.

Turn Off Notifications

If you cannot bear to delete Facebook, Twitter and other social media apps from your phone, at least turn off your notifications. Those social media notifications only feed your addiction, and they can get pretty intrusive if you let them.

You can still check your social media sites, but try to limit how much time you spend. If anything truly earth shattering happens, you will hear about it from the people in your real world network of friends, without the use of social media.

Explore the Real World

Social media is a wonderful supplement to the real world, but for many people it has become a replacement. If you find yourself spending all your time on social media, it is time to explore the world around you instead.

Take up a new hobby. Call an old friend on the telephone. Meet some colleagues for lunch. Whatever you do, spending more time in the pursuit of real world activities is one of the best ways to break a social media addiction.

Download a Social Media Tracking App

Until you know how much time you are spending on social media, it can be difficult to gauge the extent of your addiction. If you want a real wakeup call, just download a tracking app that reports on your social media usage.

Once you have that app on your phone, computer and other devices, you can work to reduce your social media usage. It may be tough in the beginning, but over time you can reduce your social media usage and finally break your addiction.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites have allowed people to connect across borders and enabled old friends to reunite across the years. At the same time, these sites have fostered some serious addictions, actually interfering with real world activities. If you want to enjoy the positive things social media has to offer while still avoiding the negatives, the tips listed above can help you break your addiction, so you can put your usage into perspective.

Social Media Teens

Is Social Media To Blame For The Rise In Teen Depression?

Social media sites like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram have drastically changed the way teens socialize, communicate, and develop and maintain friendships. While the digital world affords many benefits for the youth of today, it also has risks. One of those risks seems to be depression. Most parents have realized the mental distress of cyber bullying, but many may not be aware that exclusions, unrealistic comparisons, lack of responses to posts, lack of online followers/friends, and such may result in teen depression.

Teen Depression Is Rising

From 2005 to 2014, research showed that the prevalence of adolescent depressive episodes increased from 8.7% to 11.3%. With similar studies confirming the rise in overall teen depression, many have started to look at the whys and are exploring how social media consumption contributes to it.

Teen Social Networking Is Rising

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 22% of teens are logging into Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media sites at least 10 times per day. They also found that 75% of teens now own smartphones.

What Role Does Social Media Have In Teen Depression?

Analysts and psychologists are using terms like “ Facebook depression” and “Facebook envy” to describe the rapidly growing populace of social media users reporting that social media is causing them mental distress.

Interactions on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc can create a portal for harsh judgments, comparisons, self-esteem destruction, bullying, and attention-seeking. After all, it’s much easier to make critical statements to a screen that can’t fight back. It’s easy to be your own harshest critic and make comparisons when your feed is full of “friends” who may be prettier, smarter, more successful, or happier than you. And, it’s easy to have a negative self-esteem when posts are made in an effort to receive caring responses and end up sitting around with no comments or likes. In fact, many teens are turning to sites like buylikes.net, which offers automatic Instagram likes, out of desperation for attention or the perception of popularity.

One under realized social media problem causing mental distress is miscommunication. In real life, conversations depend on non-verbal communication, such as mannerisms and facial expressions, just as heavily as the words being spoken to convey a message, opinion, or emotion. Social media doesn’t afford such nonverbal cues. Between it being a singular communication and the disjointed ‘text language’ often used, miscommunication is a huge issue.

So how are these issues impacting teens?

Researchers at the University of Essex and University College London recently conducted a study that found girls using social media sites like Instagram were ten times more likely to suffer emotional issues as they transition into teenagers, such as unhappiness with friends, school, and their own body image. Happiness scores for the study group (girls between 10 and 15-years-old) dropped from 36.9 to 33.3.

Another report by UK’s Royal Society for Public Health surveyed 1500 individuals ranging in age from 14 to 24 and found that YouTube had the least negative impact and Instagram, Facebook, SnapChat, and Twitter had the greatest negative impact on mental health.

As a parent or caretaker, the knee jerk response is to delete all social media apps and ban teens from using them. Experts dissuade parents from the avoidance and ban approach. Teens often use social media to gain support, expand knowledge, and as a tool to seek help. Instead, it’s often recommended that parents take the time to monitor how teens use social media and understand how and what to watch out for in teens.

Symptoms Of Depression

A depressive episode is sadness and/or disinterest that deviates from normal for at least two weeks. Symptoms to watch out for in teens include:

  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Disinterest in normal likes
  • Changes in friends
  • Spending significantly more or less time on social media
  • Hopelessness
  • Eating and weight changes
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Isolation
  • Promiscuous, reckless, or dangerous behaviors
  • Difficulties in school and/or attendance of school
  • New physical complaints, such as headaches
  • Instagram Feed May Provide Clues To Mental Health

Fortune Magazine recently published a study of Instagram users by researchers at Harvard University and The University of Vermont. The study surveyed 166 individuals with Instagram accounts. In all, the researchers looked at almost 44,000 photos. A standardized clinical depression survey was given in regards to social media habits and history of depression as it related to their Instagram feeds.

Depressed user’s tended to post darker and more grey pictures with increased hue and decreased color saturation and brightness. The depressed subjects more frequently used Instagram filters, especially Inkwell. They posted more frequently and were more apt to post face-only photos, but had less number of faces within each photo than the non-depressed subjects.

Instagram Influencer

How To Become an Instagram Influencer

Instagram has become the most popular photo sharing app on the planet. It gives users the opportunity to share photos of themselves and their lives with a potentially worldwide audience. It also offers individuals who post regularly and build a substantial following to become influencers.

An influencer can be described as anyone whose posts influence the decisions of people who follow them. For example, by wearing a piece of clothing in a photo, it may lead their followers to go out and buy a similar item. If they go to watch a certain film at the cinema, this may also lead their followers to want to watch the same film with their friends.

But how does someone become an influencer on Instagram? There is no single answer to this question, as each influencer has often built their following in different ways and by adopting different strategies. For example, some influencers have built a following solely because they have appeared on a television show or in a movie and so people who have seen the show or film want to follow them. Others have built a following based on the interesting or beautiful photos they have posted.

However, all those who have built up large followings on the platform do share some things in common. These include posting regular photos to keep people interested and often responding directly to the messages of people who are following them. This creates a personal connection between the influencer and those who are following them and increases the chances that they will encourage their friends to also follow them.

Other ways in which a large following can be built on Instagram are by focusing on a niche and attracting people who may be interested in receiving photographic updates in that area. For example, if you are a football fan and regularly go to matches you could document it on Instagram sharing photos from before and after the game as well as of the players and fans. You could also start following others in the hope that they will follow you back. You could also comment on their posts to encourage them to follow you.

Instagram is a hugely popular platform which has encouraged users to share photos to an extent which they would not have done previously. It has opened new opportunities for those who wish to promote their brand or themselves to the world.

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