There is no question that social media can be highly beneficial to users. Social media allows brands to market to customers, facilitates the spread of information, and helps people connect with others across the globe.
Since its inception, social media has proved useful; however, its allure has also led to overuse. Too much of a good thing can be detrimental, and many people are falling into the clutches of social media addiction.
It is estimated that roughly 210 million peoplesuffer from social media addictions worldwide. Social media addiction affects both teens and adults equally. It can also cause a decrease in productivity and happiness. In fact, people who spend hours checking social media every day are more likely to experience depression and anxiety.
Most alarming, social media addiction can be incredibly dangerous. 50% of drivers who use their smartphones while driving are checking social media. The inability to separate from social media leads to thousands of deaths every year. If you think you might have a social media addiction, you need to seek help sooner rather than later.
Signs you might be addicted to social media include:
Feeling depression or sadness because you are comparing your life to others on social media
Experiencing irritability or anxiousness when you are away from your phone or social media
Only experiencing joy when people are interacting with your social media profiles
Using multiple devices to log into social media accounts
Inability to work, go to school, or eat without checking social media
Checking your social media as soon as you wake up in the morning
Sleeping with your phone
Inability to ignore notifications from social media
If you recognize many of these signs in your life, you should consider seeing a counselor. A therapist can help you overcome this addiction and learn how to have a healthy relationship with social media.
Here are a few ways that mental health counseling can help you with your social media addiction:
1. Identifying Addiction and Underlying Issues
Attending counseling can help you identify the root of your addiction. Like many other addictions, social media abuse can stem from a variety of issues.
Some common causes of social media addiction include:
Finding self-esteem and worth in likes, follows, and positive comments
Chasing the dopamine that comes from receiving notifications
When you work with a licensed therapist, you can find out what fuels your social media addiction. Your therapist might encourage you to go without social media for a period of time to see its effects. Counselors may also ask you to write down your feelings when you use social media. Once your therapist helps you find the cause, the two of you can begin working on a solution.
In addition to treating the addiction, a therapist can help you treat the issues that led to your problem. This will ensure that you do not simply replace your social media addiction with some an equally destructive habit. Sometimes the underlying issues in an addiction cause problems in several areas of your life. A therapist can help you manage and deal with these issues in a healthy way.
2. Establishing Healthy Boundaries
As you develop a strategy for managing your social media addiction, your counselor can help you set some boundaries. Healthy boundaries will help you avoid situations where you are using social media in a negative way. These boundaries can also help you take steps toward recovery.
In therapy, you can develop a social media management plan with your counselor. This could mean leaving your phone outside of your room at night or only checking Facebook once a day. You might decide you will never check your notifications during dinner or while you are at work, or you might limit yourself to fifteen minutes of social media per day.
However you and your therapist decide to manage your social media use, this practical approach will be helpful. As long as you work toward reaching your goals, you will start to see progress.
Overcoming social media addiction will be challenging, but going to therapy will give you the support and accountability you need to succeed. If you struggle to maintain your boundaries, your therapist can provide support, encouragement, and strategies to get you back on track.
Seeing a therapist will force you to make a commitment toward recovery. As you self-reflect and think about your progress from week to week, your therapist can guide you, offer advice, or redirect you when necessary.
Many people make the mistake of trying to fight addictions on their own. This lack of accountability and support often leads to failure. One major benefit of mental health counseling is that you do not have to solve problems on your own. If you think your social media use is becoming a problem, you should seek out the help of a therapist today.