Social media addiction is a common problem, and not just among millennials.
A study released last year by The University of Sydney showed that 25% of Australians are using Facebook and Twitter at least once a day.
But the number is rising among younger Australians.
The study found that social media is a popular way for younger Australians to share content and connect with other people, but they’re also creating new platforms for sharing the same content.
“Social media can be a powerful way to share information with people you’re connected with, but it can also be an important tool for those who are trying to be socially distanced from others,” says study co-author Mark LeBaron, from the university’s Centre for Research in Media, Culture and Communication.
“It’s the one platform where you can say, ‘OK, I’m going to be the only one who knows about this topic, but I’m also going to share this piece of content with my family and friends and people who aren’t even in my network’.”
Social media addiction may not seem like a big deal for a young person, but for those in their late 20s and 30s, it can have a profound effect on their social life.
“I think it’s one of those things that you’re going to have to be careful about because the symptoms are pretty obvious,” says Dr LeBarkon.
“But the more you use social media, the more likely you are to develop it.”
Here’s how to recognise social media symptoms and take steps to stop them:1.
Use your eyes, ears, and nose.
The more you’re on social media and the more time you spend there, the worse your social anxiety and depression may become.2.
Be aware of your own emotions and social distancing.
You’re likely to use a lot of social media in the short term and then use it to hide what’s going on in your life.3.
Keep a healthy balance between social and personal.
Your social anxiety may be related to social distances or social isolation.
Try to avoid being social when you feel like you’re isolated.
If you’re experiencing social media issues, you may want to talk to your doctor about social media or the social media apps you use.
You may also want to see a psychologist.4.
Learn how to use social distanced messaging, or DMs, which is a feature that allows you to communicate with a friend through a different social media app, such as Facebook.