OUTBREAK: Social Media Addiction
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Social Media addiction is a phrase sometimes used to refer to someone spending too much time using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other forms of Social Media — so much so that it interferes with the other aspects of daily life.
There’s no official medical recognition of Social Media addiction as a disease or disorder. Still, the cluster of behaviors associated with heavy or excessive use of Social Media has become the subject of much discussion and research.
Have look at the research below –
The Network Effect
The addictive aspect of social networking is associated with FOMO — Fear of Missing Out. Everyone is on Facebook. They’re posting things, sharing news and content, and talking to each other 24/7.
The network effect itself is addicting, according to Instagram software engineer Greg Hochmuth, as quoted by THE NEWYORK TIMES (A network effect is an idea that any network becomes more valuable as more people connect to that network. The phone system is the best example of this phenomenon – you have to have a phone because everybody else has a phone.)
In the world of social networking, Facebook benefits most from the network effect. Facebook happened to be the top social network when social networking busted out as a mainstream activity. Now, everybody’s on Facebook because everybody else is on Facebook. And even people who don’t like the social network use it anyway because that’s where their family, friends, and colleagues are — and because of addiction.
The contribution of the network effect to the addictive quality of web sites is accidental.
The Notification Game
One trick social network use is a notification number, showing you the number of people at a glance who has mentioned or followed you.
Notification numbers appear on the app icon to draw you in, then on the top or bottom menu to draw you in further. They play the same psychological trick on you that click-bait headlines do — they tell you that there’s information you really want to know, but they don’t tell you enough to satisfy.
Seeing a red “3” on the Facebook notifications bar is like a click-bait headline: “You won’t believe what three people have said about you.” You’ve got to click or tap. It’s compulsive. And over time, it becomes addictive.
The biggest tool in the social media addition toolbox is algorithmic filtering. Sites like Facebook, Google+ an Twitter tweak their algorithms, then monitor the response of users to see if those tweaks kept them on the site longer or increased their engagement. We’re all lab rats in a giant, global experiment.
Here’s a story of a woman who committed suicide after being accused of Facebook addiction
In Feb 2014, a 24-year-old Indian woman who was under stress due to her parents’ constant objection for overusing Facebook. Finally, she responded by hanging herself from a ceiling fan.
Sushma Goswami. a 24 years old woman discovered Facebook, and the site quickly turned into her deadly addiction. She had thousands of friends on her Facebook and she posted her daily activities on a regular basis. Her mother didn’t like her social media obsession and she schooled her several times about it.
It impacted her negatively, so much so that she committed suicide.
This is not the first time – A young woman took her life over an argument with her parents over her obsession with Facebook. She wrote “I cannot stay in a home with such restrictions as I can’t live without Facebook,” in her suicide note.
Social Media being the new-age networking concept has changed many things. We’re so engrossed in Social Media that we have stopped paying attention to the harm social media causes.
TURN IT OFF.
3 – Actionable steps.
Prioritize – Figure out as to what’s really important and what isn’t. Is logging-in on-to Social Media really that important? Can’t it be traded with something else that is beneficial for your health wealth and happiness? Can you spend this time more productively? You know the answers to these questions. Find your path.
Distract – Distract from the distraction. Social Media is a distraction for many, but can you find an alternative? Can you distract yourself from the distraction? Instead of merely liking pictures of people traveling around the globe, pack your bags and leave for a trip. Pick up a hobby or read a book. Live life without WiFi. Unplug yourself.
Use, don’t abuse – Use Social Media for the purpose it solves. Connect with like-minded people and share your thoughts (useful ones) with the world. Do not involve yourself in nonsensical banter or explicit posts on Social Media. As a Digital Marketer, I only use Social Media to market my products to a suitable audience.
Anything done in excess is bad. Social Media addiction is rampant today, if you’re an addict and reading this blog, I’ve one message for you – there’s still time. You gotta get rid of the addiction before it gets too late.