Surrendering to Social Media: Is It Addiction?

By Topher

When we think of addiction, we often think of chain smokers, alcoholics, and hardcore drug addicts. And for good reason – those addictions often bring ill effects on society, such as second hard smoke, drunk driving, and gang violence. But any habit can turn into addiction, including using popular social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

How do you know if you’re addicted?

Social Media Addiction

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Social Media Addiction

You see how many Facebook friends post pictures and update their statuses on a regular basis, but just how drawn into social media are we these days?

  • It’s been predicted that Facebook will reach 1 billion users by August 2012.
  • In September 2011, it was reported that 100 million people actively used Twitter.

If so many people are on social media sites, how excessively are they using them?

Is it Addiction?

In a national survey of 1,000 teens, 50% said they visited social a networking site every day.

  • Many admit to being addicted, but they also see social media as a positive.
    • 50% said social media had helped their friendships.
    • 30% said social networks made them feel outgoing.

Research from the University of Maryland showed 4 out of 5 students experienced negative side effects when disconnecting from technology for a day.

  • Most students couldn’t make it without media for 24 hours.
  • Some of them felt:
    • Depressed
    • Confused
    • Insecure
    • Panicked
    • Lonely
    • Dependent
  • Many admitted to being addicted to mobile phones and social networking.

Other recent research reveals it may be harder to refrain from tweeting than it is to refrain from:

  • Smoking
  • Consuming Alcohol

This might be because of the associated costs of using each:

  • Social media costs you your time.
  • Cigarettes and alcohol have long-term health and monetary costs.

Are You Addicted?

It’s not hard to get sucked into the social media frenzy.

In fact, social networking sites are designed to keep drawing you back in. They do this through:

  • Status Updates
  • Comments
  • Email Notifications
  • And any other way you can reach out to the site or have the site reach out to you.

The Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale has been used to determine if people are addicted to this extremely popular social networking site.

It’s based on how people rank the following statements: very rarely, rarely, sometimes, often, very often.

  • You use Facebook so much that it has a negative impact on your studies or job.
  • You become troubled or restless if you can’t use Facebook.
  • You’ve tried to reduce the time spent on the site, but it didn’t work.
  • You go on Facebook to forget about your personal problems.
  • You spend a lot of time using or planning to use Facebook.
  • You want to use Facebook more and more.
  • If you chose “often” or “always” for at least 4 of these statements, you might be addicted to Facebook (at least according to this study).

    Conclusion: Is Social Media Addictive?

    Whether people are “addicted” or not, social media is becoming a huge part of our society, both in terms of our personal lives and business lives.

    How much time does social media take up of your day?

    Provided by Total DUI.

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