The topic of internet and social media addiction is everywhere these days and it seems that our day to day lives integrate the online world more and more. So how do you know if your online usage has crossed over into the realm of unhealthy addiction?
- You spend all day on social media
Do you find the days seem to go by so fast and you feel as if you’ve accomplished nothing you were meaning to do? You could be spending more time on your phone/computer than you realize. Check your screen time metrics on your cellphone to see just how much time you spend staring at a screen. The average adult spends somewhere between 3 and 4 hours on their phone a day, which may not seem like much, but think of all the things you could do if you spent that time on a hobby or reading. I was shocked when I saw that my screen time averaged about 10 hours a day! Though this was broken up into small periods of 5 minutes here and there, it’s no wonder I felt like I wasn’t getting much done.
2. You feel uncomfortable at the thought of leaving your phone in another room
Do you find when you have your phone in another room you catch yourself constantly going to check instagram or reddit only to find that your phone isn’t there? Can you fathom the idea of going out without your phone? If you feel a genuine sense of distress without your phone, changes are you’ve become dependent on it. Many people rely on their phone to stave off feeling uncomfortable in social situations and to pass the time when waiting in line, but how would you feel if you had to just stand there entertaining yourself? could you do it?
3. You feel bored even when you are on social media
Have you ever reached the bottom of your feed only to close the app and re open the exact same one immediately after? It’s not your fault. Social media has been engineered to be addictive and keep us coming back for more. When you reach the end of your timeline and keep checking back with no updates to be found what are you getting out of it? You probably aren’t even aware you’re doing it. Mindless scrolling and content consumption won’t get you anywhere.
4. You’ve tried to go without social media for a whole day, but quickly gave up after an hour or two
I’ve tried many times to quit social media or at least curb my addiction, only to land back on instagram less than half way through the day. It’s almost like the more you try not to think about social media the more enticing it becomes. Think about it though, do you really want to look back on your life when you’re 80 and all you can say is that you saw a lot of instagram posts?
Think of all the things you could accomplish with an extra three hours in your day? that’s how long the average person spends on social media, not even including apps and websites we can find ourselves on that may not fall under the “social” category. I’m not here to tell you to give up on social media completely, I actually think social media is wonderful, but think of what you could do with your day if you were more intentional with the way you used it. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through feeds, we can harness the online world to use for our own inspiration and learning.
So how have you been using social media lately? have you decided to cut back? or have you decided to change the way you use it? Share your thoughts in the comments!