Digital addiction…It is no surprise that people are spending more time on their phones and various social media platforms today than ever before. Did you know that as of January 2020, about half of the international population were active social media users — an increase of more than 9% since 2019.
While addiction to technology and digital platforms is a relatively new phenomenon, it’s certainly one of the fastest-growing addictions around the world. Do you get anxious or agitated if you do not have your mobile device or smartphone in your hand? Does your teenager play games on their tablet or computer for several hours on end?
Note that cell phones and tablets have become such versatile and powerful tools that, for most people, they feel almost indispensable. Similarly, social media use has surged over the last decade and a half. Whereas just five percent of adults in the US reported using a social media platform, such as Facebook, in 2005, this number is now about 70 percent.
Social Media and Phone Addiction
Convenient devices, such as smartphones, which make connecting with your community and friends on social networking websites so convenient, also make social media very difficult to resist. And if you spend way too much time on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to the point that you document each aspect of your life on these platforms, you may be a social media addict.
Similarly, phone addiction is a dependence syndrome where users are impacted by smartphone overuse which affects their everyday lives in a negative and harmful way. It is no secret that alerts and notifications with their 24/7 ringing, dinging, and buzzing makes it challenging and tricky to concentrate on other critical aspects of daily life.
Common Symptoms and Signs of Digital Addiction
- Preoccupation with digital and social platforms and the internet
- Continued excessive use of social media and the internet despite awareness of the problems and issues it’s causing
- Dissociation from reality
- Use of internet, phone, and social media in order to relieve or escape a negative mood (i.e., guilt, helplessness, shame, and anxiety)
- Loss or lack of interest in hobbies or entertainment as a result of social media and internet addiction
Counseling and Therapy can Help
Do you think your mental health, your job, or your relationships are suffering due to your addiction to social media platforms and excessive use of a smartphone? If so, your first and important step to improving your overall well-being and mental health is to admit that you need help. Mental health therapy and counseling are more accessible and accepted today than ever before.
If you think that you are struggling with excessive internet use and phone addiction or could benefit from setting some boundaries between you and your tech devices, you should contact a counseling service today.
Competent counselors and mental health professionals understand the role phones and social media play in our everyday lives. They also know the mental health problems excessive internet use and social networking may cause.