10 Ways Social Media Addiction Affects Your Lifestyle

Social media is no doubt among the greatest innovation of the 21 century. Although it has revolutionized the communication industry, however, like the saying goes, “too much of everything is not good for you”. It has offered so many advantages with regard to communication, access to information, and the rapid dissemination of information.

What is Social Media?

Websites and programs that emphasize communication, community-based input, engagement, content-sharing, and collaboration are referred to as social media.

People utilize social media to keep in touch with friends, family, and other members of their communities. Businesses utilize social media to market and promote their products, as well as to keep track of client complaints.

Social Meda Addiction

Over the previous decade, checking and browsing through social media has become increasingly popular. Although the majority of people’s use of social media is unproblematic, a small minority of users become hooked to them and use them in an excessive or compulsive manner.

How To Know If You’re Addicted To Social Media?

According to Addictioncenter, answering these questions would help you identify whether you are a social media addict:

  • Do they spend a lot of time thinking about social media or planning to use social media?
  • Do they feel urges to use social media more and more?
  • Do they use social media to forget about personal problems?
  • Do they often try to reduce use of social media without success?
  • Do they become restless or troubled if unable to use social media?
  • Do they use social media so much that it has had a negative impact on their job or studies?

How Social Media May Affect Our Lifestyles

Social media greatly influence individuals and their lives. While some of the effects are favorable, social media has been proved to have a negative impact on our moods and stress levels. Social media can also lead to addiction.

With access to it at all hours of the day on our phones, it’s easy to slip into the terrible habit of checking it while eating, in class while a professor is speaking, or even in bed when it’s time to sleep! Here are some of the ways that social media addiction can affect your lifestyle.

1. Affects relationships with friends and family

 social media addiction may affect relationship withFriends And Family

The influence of social media is enormous. Most of the time, technology causes bad or no interaction between siblings, partners, or parent-child relationships. It deprives the family of the opportunity to acquire and model social cues, interpersonal connection skills, communication skills, and connecting with one another.

When you spend more time on social media, you not only spend less quality time with friends and family who are fully present in your life, but they will become irritated if you are aimlessly browsing through social media platforms rather than paying attention to them.

When you are unable to communicate face-to-face with individuals around you, social media can be helpful, but being physically present with someone provides a degree of comfort and support that social media will never be able to match.

Nonverbal clues are just as significant as what we say when we speak with someone face to face.

The effect of social media on families has been studied to determine the harmful and positive aspects. Psychologists are highly concerned that technological advancements are obstructing family interaction. It can deprive families of attention, communication, and a sense of family protection.

Alone Together, a book by Sherry Turkle (via addictionhope) discusses research in which parents and children were asked their thoughts on technology. The end result was breathtaking. Many children believe their parents are glued to their smartphones or computer.

Children expressed a wish for their parents to interact with them and spend meaningful time with them. This study demonstrates the rise in family social media addiction and the need for more family social engagement.

2. It can make you do odd things for attention

 social media addiction may cause you to Crave Attention

If you’re wondering why social media is terrible, one of the main reasons is the indiscriminate haunt for the spotlight. For people who use social media frequently, posting vague, and provocative statuses on Facebook to attract others’ attention might easily become a bad habit. You may become consumed by the never-ending race for likes and alerts.

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The need for what is known as “belonging” attention is a basic human need. It evolved as a means of communal survival. “Attention is one of the most essential commodities in existence for social animals,” says Dr Geoff MacDonald, a psychologist at the University of Toronto(via Lifehack). It ensures that if we ever need to land, we will have a safe area to do so.

We get attention on social media for portraying a “fake” version of ourselves rather than our true selves. This results in us receiving a lot of attention while also feeling more lonely and isolated than before, resulting in a number of negative social media repercussions in our life.

3. May distract your Life pursuits

 social media addiction may Distract you from goals

Today’s society relies heavily on social media. We may use it to form meaningful relationships with others and connect with friends, but as beneficial as social media can be, it’s no secret that if we’re not careful, it can also be used in negative ways.

Public leaders are now more accessible than ever before because of social media. Networks like Twitter and Instagram have made it simple for us to stay up to date on the things we care about, whether it’s the next album from our favourite artist, the next magazine in which our favorite model will grace the cover, or the next big campaign launched by our favorite charity.

It’s all too easy to become engrossed in what’s going on -on social media, to the point where people forget about their real-life goals. People tend to aspire for internet popularity rather than pursuing their desired profession by acquiring relevant abilities.

Goal-setting requires work and effort, and a strong sense of motivation. When we don’t feel like working hard, we can use social media as an easy way to distract ourselves, and we can end up not getting things done because it’s too easy to find something else to do.

4. An established source of depression

Social Media addiction is a known cause of Depression

Some estimates proclaim that almost 4 billion individuals use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Because of this, mental health professionals are looking into whether social media’s massive popularity plays a part in depression.

According to certain studies on social media and mental health, there is a link between social networking sites and depression. Other research goes even further, claiming that social media may be a contributing factor in depression.

As people increase their amount of social media usage, the more negative emotions, such as depression, they experience. This could be especially dangerous for persons who have been diagnosed with anxiety or depression in the past.

It has been hypothesized that heightened social comparisons and a lack of social contact induced by spending more time on social media are to blame for these unpleasant feelings and depression symptoms.

Recognize that this is one of the negative consequences of social media and that it’s probably time to take a break if you’re starting to feel unhappy on a regular basis.

5. Interferes with Intimate relationships

social media addiction may affect intimate relationships

With regards to forming intimate connections, social media has done a great job in connecting potential lovers together than ever before. More and more networks keep popping up that would suit your search preference.

If you and your partner are having arguments over (or prompted by) social media, or if you and your partner are spending less quality time together, social media may become problematic in your relationship.

If this is the case, there are actions you can take to keep social media in its proper place while also maintaining the strength of your connection.

Although social media has numerous advantages, it has the ability to destroy a relationship. Reduced time with a partner, missed connections, jealousy, conflict stemming from disagreements or hurt sentiments, and unwanted comparisons are some of the negative consequences of social media on relationships.

If social media promotes “connections” then how can it be bad?

Relationships can be harmed by social media since it reduces attention and the quality of time spent together. Distraction, frustration, and less quality time are all detrimental effects of social media on relationships, according to a recent study. 2 If someone is immersed in social media, they are more likely to miss or irritate a spouse if they are interrupted.

Other ways social media affects you and your relationships include:

Negative comparisons

We may easily compare our connection to other relationships or our spouse to other people we see on social media thanks to social media. This can have an impact on our devotion to our relationship, leading to betrayal and possibly the end of it.

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A recent study found that the greater the influence of social media in a person’s life, the less rewarding their love relationships are.

People may observe what is going on in other relationships and wish they had the same, resulting in a reduction in relationship happiness. This is frequently a misleading comparison. People rarely post about the negative parts of their relationships on social media, mainly the positive ones.

Jealousy

Jealousy is frequently the result of ongoing encounters with exes or interactions with someone with whom you have a prospective attraction. You might notice your partner interacting with someone they might be attracted to and infer something between them that isn’t there.

Retroactive jealousy happens when a person is dissatisfied with their partner’s love history despite the fact that ex-partners are not a factor in the current relationship.

Might not have shared interest in controversial topics

Couples may find themselves at odds about what constitutes appropriate behavior on social media. For example, you might believe in blocking ex-lovers on social media while your partner does not.

You might also post something your partner didn’t want to be shared or vice versa. Alternatively, you may choose not to discuss something that your partner wanted you would. All of these activities have the potential to cause hurt feelings and conflict in the relationship.

Can become a tempting ground for either spouse

With social media accessible to billions of people, a man, for example, would automatically have access to millions of alternative choices for a spouse. This may leave him wanting to have intimate affairs with other attractive women as well. Apps like Snapchat and Instagram are picture-based social media platforms. When a man sees the differences between the ladies online and his current spouse, he may cheat or lose interest in the spouse.

6. Might distract you during productive sessions

Social Media Distraction

Some Scientists define the phenomenon of being distracted by social media as being driven to check your social media accounts often. Sometimes the urge to check and update your social media

We refer to social media distraction as the phenomenon of social media cues (the distractors) drawing the attention away from the task at hand and directing it instead toward social media.

When confronted with internal or external social media distractions, users can choose how to react and deal with the problem. There are three possible responses to social media distractions:

  • Disregarding the distraction and continuing with the activity
  • Interrupting the task to use social media instead, or
  • Beginning to multitask (frequent switching between the task and social media).

Social media cues divert attention away from activity and provide the opportunity to use social media. Starting to use social media as a distraction can occur for a variety of reasons, and how users deal with this distraction varies. As a result of the diversion, individuals may begin to utilize social media.

One reason why people utilize social media instead of ignoring it while doing something else could be a lack of self-control. Self-control failure on social media has been linked to a high level of social media use, according to research. Furthermore, users may engage in social media use to postpone the task at hand after becoming distracted.

7. Exposes you to Lots of Stangers and Cyberbullies

Cyber Bullying

Adolescents are spending more time online traversing a sophisticated virtual world as social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and others continue to increase in popularity.

According to new research(via UGA TODAY), more time spent online is linked to cyberbullying. Higher social media addiction scores, longer hours spent online, and male identity all predicted cyberbullying perpetration in adolescents, according to a study from the University of Georgia.

What is Cyberbullying?

Personal attacks, harassing or discriminatory conduct, disseminating libelous material, misrepresenting oneself online, spreading private information, social isolation, and cyberstalking are all examples of cyberbullying.

Why do People bully on Social Media?

Adolescents adapt to a distinct set of social norms when they connect with their classmates online than when they interact with them in person. Because of the anonymity, they have online and the opportunity to escape punishment, they are often more aggressive or critical on social media.

Furthermore, because they cannot see the actual consequences of their acts, cyberbullies may experience less sorrow or empathy when engaging in these activities.

8. May trigger low self-esteem

Low Self Esteem
Low Self Esteem

We all have a natural tendency, whether purposefully or not, to compare ourselves to others, whether online or offline. Such comparisons assist us in assessing our own accomplishments, skills, personalities, and emotions.

This, in turn, has an impact on how we perceive ourselves. But what effect do these parallels have on our happiness? It all depends on how much we compare. Comparing ourselves to those who have it worse than us on social media makes us feel better. Comparing ourselves to those who are performing better than us, on the other hand, makes us feel inferior or insufficient.

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Social media addiction and unrealistic comparisons

As a result, social comparisons have an impact on our behavior as well as our mental health. Comparing yourself to others during a restaurant dinner, on the other hand, does not always have the same impact as comparing yourself to others on Facebook.

On a social media platform, it is easier to create an interesting existence or inflate certain aspects of things than it is in real life. Many experts believe that the introduction of social media, which allows us to post content in which we always appear in our best light, has amplified unfair comparisons.

According to studies, the more time people spend on Facebook and Instagram, the more socially they compare themselves. This social comparison has been associated with poorer self-esteem and increased social anxiety, among other factors.

9. Loss of sleep

Can't Sleep
Can’t Sleep

Sleep deprivation is a broad phrase that refers to a state characterized by insufficient sleep quantity or quality, as well as involuntary or involuntary sleeplessness and sleep disorders affecting the circadian rhythm.

Sleep is as essential to human health as food and water, but many of us don’t get enough of it. Inadequate sleep, poor sleep quality, or interruptions to the sleep-wake cycle (such as those associated with shift work or travel to a different time zone) have an impact on how we operate throughout the day, resulting in sleepiness and weariness.

There is no denying that social media has changed the way we live. A growing number of social media sites allow users to instantly interact with individuals all over the world, giving connection, news, and limitless amusement.

How social media affects the sleep cycle

Checking social media, sending emails, or reading the news before bedtime might keep us awake, as the stimulating effects of light from digital devices can interfere with sleep. While all light can disrupt our circadian rhythms, which are 24-hour internal clocks that control activities such as the sleep-wake cycle, blue light released from electronic screens has the most impact on sleep2.

Blue light stimulates regions of the brain that make us feel alert3, keeping us up at night when we should be sleeping. The temptation to check social media before going to bed may be too strong to resist. According to a poll of hospital personnel and university students, 70 percent of respondents use social media after getting into bed4, with nearly 15 percent spending an hour or more each night.

Those who wake up to check their phone after falling asleep may be more affected by blue light exposure. Around 21% of adults report they wake up in the middle of the night to check their phone, putting them at an even higher risk of missing sleep and developing a sleep condition like insomnia.

Why people can’t resist checking social media in bed?

The fear of missing out, also known as “FOMO”, is one reason for excessive usage of social media before bed. We are faced with an untenable conundrum when it comes to social media: there are unlimited opportunities for connection, but only so much time in the day. One answer to this conundrum is FOMO, which is defined as an insatiable want to stay connected to what others are doing and seeing.

10. Security Threat

Security Threat

With millions of users getting online every day, social media has proven to be a terrific method to connect with individuals all around the world. Many attackers, on the other hand, have identified this as the ideal opportunity to collect personal information in order to fuel cyberattacks such as phishing or brand impersonation.

Social Media Threat

A social media threat might be anything that jeopardizes an account’s security. Because many people share their personal information on social media networks, it might be simple to initiate an assault. Attackers can readily gather this information and exploit it to their advantage.

Phishing scams are one of the most common social media risks. It indicates that the attacker has effectively obtained personal information via social media and exploited that information to send an email to their target. These kinds of messages frequently persuade the recipient to click on an attached link, which sends the attacker sensitive information that they can use for blackmail.

Cyber security is a critical issue that must be addressed. Any threats to a person’s social media account should be addressed as soon as possible, with the user’s safety in mind. If you suspect you’ve received an email with dangerous links or attachments, disregard it and block the sender.

To create a secure working environment, organizations should invest in giving suitable educational seminars to their staff and consider using the services of brand protection companies.