How often do you check your Twitter feeds or Facebook account?
Do you check it once a day? A few times a week? Once or twice a month?
Or are you one of those people ADDICTED TO SOCIAL MEDIA to the point where your phone is in constant danger of running out of battery because you’re continually online and checking in with everyone you’ve ever known?
If you’re in the latter group, that INTERNET ADDICTION TO SOCIAL MEDIA COULD BE MAKING YOU SICK. According to a study published by Dr Uri Nitzan of Tel Aviv University, extreme reliance in social media is no different from extreme reliance on real-life interactions.
Withdrawal from interactions – whether digital or in person – can lead to anxiety, loneliness, confusion, or other mental breakdowns. Mentally, people grow accustomed to being able to reach out and interact immediately with others through social media, giving them a sense of belonging. But take instant gratification away, and people who are used to living their lives out on Facebook and Twitter begin to show symptoms of mental breakdown and fatigue.
In one instance in the study, one of the subjects became so attached to their social media friends that they started hallucinating that their online contacts were physically in the room with them, touching them. That’s how real the computer connection became to the subjects being studied.
This would never happen to you, you say. You’re not addicted at all to the Internet, to social media.
You can quit at any time.
Right. Sure you can. So what should you do to avoid these problems?
Try weening yourself off of social media and living your life unplugged for a few hours a day to start. Everybody you interact with will still be there when you get back online, so there’s no need to “live the moment” with them.
Unplug, tune out. It’s been the recovery mantra for all sorts of addiction recovery – getting yourself out of a social media rut is no different.