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Social Media Addiction: An Illness for Our Time?

Updated on October 1, 2019

Tools of The Trade.

Since the advent of social media, where ever you go now, even in our homes, you will see someone staring at a screen. With the advent of android phones and other devices, it seems we have become, social media zombies.

We always seem to be checking what others are doing, posting or saying, on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Humans as a species, it seems, like a bit of gossip and excitement, and the social media platforms named, certainly fit that bill.

It seems now, we treat our phones or other devices, like appendages of our body. Its become second nature, to pick up these devices, and just scroll through, whilst ignoring what is really happening around us. Human relationships, marriages, friendships, family relationships, etc are suffering because of social media. This is a very worrying turn of events, as we plough through, this 21st Century.

Of course, there are benefits to social media and the internet. You can order a meal in seconds, you can find where you are, if you are lost, you can stay in touch with friends and family, you bank online, you can pay bills, you can plan and book your holiday, you can play games, you can shop, etc. Social media gives you a place where you can air your political, religious or any other view you might want to air. Yes, social media can be beneficial, in my work, as a writer, I wouldn't know what to do without it and for when I'm researching something.

Social media addiction, is, sadly, now becoming a recognised illness, like all addictions, it becomes a dangerous habit. Smoking, drinking, taking drugs, gambling are recognised addictions, which in the long run, though there might be a short term buzz, in the end, the effects, are not good. I have described the downsides of social media addiction, on those dealing with a social media addict in their lives. The effects on the social media addict, cannot be good either, they are drawn into a world, that is at best unreal, and at worst, they become a slave, of social media. The addiction becomes a craving to know what's going on or you get pulled in, because, you are bored. What may start off as something harmless, becomes in the end, a harmful addiction, unless you can limit your time, that is.

Let's face it, a lot of the people we know on Facebook, for example, are not really our friends. How often, will you actually meet them in the flesh and a cautionary word here, would you really want to?

No doubt, in severe cases social media addiction, can lead to mental illness or maybe the start of something, with an underlying cause.

No doubt, as I type this, there are psychologiusts, counsellors, etc, already dealing with people addicted to social media. Elon Musk, a tech innovator of our day, has said the technology could be summoning a literal demon and indeed, the dark side of social media, could be one manifestation of that.

So finally, enjoy social media, the internet, etc, but be aware also, of the time you spend on it and what it can lead to.


Social Media Addiction.

Social media addiction is defined as excessive use of social media, like Facebook, Twitter, etc. It has been noted, that women and girls, spend more time on social media platforms, than boys or men.

The diagnosis of social media addiction is when a person, engages in long periods of time on social media. This is often to the detriment of usual activities or other interests. Often, the long term affects, often have a negative ending and catastrophic consequences.

Excessive use of social media has been recognised, as a condition, by WHO or the World Health Organisation. Excessive use of social media has many causes and is linked to mental health issues like anxiety and depression.


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