Tuesday, March 7, 2017
ONE TIME a friend of mine approached me. She said, “Naga-worry na gid ako sa isa ta ka friend a.”
I replied, “Ngaa haw?” and she said, “Wala na gid siya gauntat-untat internet kag check sang iya social media accounts. OK man lang tani kun a few hours lang. Imagine bilog nga adlaw ga amu lang na siya.”
Sounds dangerous, I told myself silently. I began researching to understand the situation of my friend. My research enlightened me on Social Media Addiction.
In an article, Leslie Walker defined “social media addiction” as a phrase sometimes used to refer to someone spending too much time using Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media – so much so that it interferes with other aspects of daily life.”
To understand the concept further, Walker defined addiction: “Addiction usually refers to compulsive behavior that leads to negative effects.”
She stated that “in most addictions, people feel compelled to do certain activities so often that they become a harmful habit, which interferes with other important activities such as work or school.”
In the context of our friend, Walker explained that “a social networking addict could be considered someone with compulsion to use social media to excess like constantly checking Facebook status updates or stalking people’s profiles on Facebook, for example, for hours on end.”
Although social media addiction is not yet considered a disease, still it is now a subject of various researches and scholarly work. In fact, at Chicago University as reported by Walker, researchers concluded that social media addiction can be a stronger than addiction to cigarettes and booze.
They conducted an experiment; they recorded the cravings of several hundred people for several weeks. The results showed that media cravings ranked ahead of cravings for cigarettes and alcohol.
I became concerned of the situation of my friend. How am I going to help her overcome her addiction? I know it is not going to be easy. It is like drug addiction, once you start, you cannot stop.
Withdrawal to social media is not an easy feat. It needs a committed heart and mind to end this. I came across helpful tips from Julia Edelstein on how to slowly overcome social media addiction.
First, implement rules. If you are the one concerned, you have to tell yourself, no using of social media during meal time or while in the bathroom.
Second, buy an alarm clock. Normally, we set our alarm in our phones; for a change use a real alarm clock. This will hinder us from staring in our cell phone screens early in the morning.
Third, sign off for a weekend. In reality, it is not enough to cure addiction in two days. However, this baby step will eventually help in achieving the greater goal of getting over this addiction.
When you stop checking your Facebook and other social media platforms, new ideas come in like gardening, writing, biking, and even playing with your kids. Life will be so much better if you detach yourself online.
Fourth, get a new hobby. If you are focused in your new hobby, chances are you will forget to update yourself online or scroll different websites. This is one way of diverting your attention to other useful activities.
And fifth, acknowledge that you are addicted and you need help. I know this is supposed to be first on the list, however, I want to save the best for last. If you know that you need help, you will do everything to be okey. You will participate in interventions and you will try to withdraw from social media for your own sanity.
I decided to tell the ideas I have learned to my friend. I know this is not going to be easy but it is worth a try.
Social media addiction is a serious problem that could lead to severe problems. Social media is there to entertain and inform us. We must use this to help us and not ruin us. Easier said than done but this is the first step to overcome this addiction.
To end, I would like to share a quote: “Sometimes we need to disconnect to reconnect with what matters.”/PN