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Social networks addiction


There are a multitude of addictions both chemical and non-chemical. Among them, we currently find one that is in continuous growth, and has recently been investigated and considered as one more addiction, especially in young people. It’s about social media addiction . The symptoms that this Internet abuse triggers are even comparable to the criteria used to diagnose addictions that we consider devastating.

A multitude of new behaviors have developed in the world of the Internet . It has conditioned us in our way of relating, communicating and working. New technologies are now available to everyone, and as it has been proven they have characteristics that can be very addictive, especially for young people.

Social networks have characteristics such as accessibility, intimacy, availability, high stimulation, reciprocity, etc. Components all of them that when associated with the anonymity offered by the Internet serve to hook especially the youngest people , who are in the process of developing their personality and identity.

This non-chemical addiction manifests itself through repetitive behaviors that serve to relieve tension. These behaviors end up being counterproductive, since an urgency is generated to complete a behavior , and an associated discomfort if it is not possible to carry it out. This is the basis of addiction, a compulsive desire and a withdrawal syndrome that generates great discomfort when the desired behavior is not carried out, as can happen in a drug addict. We will see in more detail below what addiction to social networks means, how it manifests itself, and what type of measures are being carried out to solve this problem.

What is addiction to social networks?

Many people have the belief that new technologies and social networks are something that cannot cause any kind of harm, that they only serve as entertainment and fun, and do not have the capacity to generate a withdrawal syndrome, typical of addictions.

The reality that has been imposed in recent years is that addictions to social networks are becoming increasingly common, precisely because their power has been underestimated. But, unfortunately, more and more people find it very anxious to get away from their mobile for a moment . That they forget somewhere or run out of battery, are situations that trigger great discomfort.

There is no doubt that new technologies and social networks have generated surprising benefits in our society, even changing our way of life in many aspects. But as the experts indicate: if we condition our lives to this type of device, this can have serious repercussions for health .

When we talk about addiction to social networks we are dealing with a latent problem that exists in our current society. We are becoming more and more dependent on the virtual world. Social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., have become the new drugs. And it is that the addiction to this new reality generates a pleasure and an ecstasy similar to the one that a drug like cocaine can generate in our brain . The feeling is similar, the interaction with others gives us gratifying sensations of recognition and happiness.

Although addictions have always been associated, especially to drugs. In fact, any type of activity that is pleasant and we become dependent on it is liable to become addictive behavior . With new technologies, and more specifically with social networks this is happening, they come to unleash emotions that go from intense desire to obsession. Dependence is increasing and the discomfort associated with its loss leads to withdrawal syndrome.

Signs to know if we are dependent on social networks

A large number of people are increasingly susceptible to this type of addiction. It is something that is available to everyone and we also spend a lot of time at the end of the day on this type of issue. If you want to know if your passion has turned into an obsession and addiction, pay attention to these symptoms that are those that people addicted to social networks have :

Sleep deprivation

Getting to sleep even less than 5 hours due to the need to be connected to the network, dedicating very high connection times throughout the day.

Loss of track of time

Trying to disconnect and limit the connection time, and not succeed because you lose track of time.

Frequent reviews

Spending a large part of the day reviewing the profiles of social networks, waiting for positive feedback on interactions and publications.

Share everything that happens in your life

This is something very common in addiction, wanting to capture any moment of the day to share it on social networks. Take photos of the daily meals and each of the moments that are lived.

Prefer contact via the Internet

Get to replace meeting people around you, by talking to them through the network. Feel more comfortable having chats over the Internet.

Neglect of daily activities

Neglecting important activities, such as studying, contact with family, meeting friends and even taking care of one’s own health.

You can’t leave home without your mobile

Leaving the home without a mobile phone or being without it for a while is a great discomfort and anxiety, leading to stress and even tachycardia.

Constantly connected

To the point of continuously thinking about the network, the Internet or the Smartphone, even when not connected. Feeling great irritation when the network is slow or the connection is faulty.

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Lying about connection time

Complaints are received from the environment about time spent in front of the screen attending to networks or connected to the Internet. You lie about the real time you are online so as not to receive more accusations.

It can be considered that there is an addiction to social networks, as we can see by the fact of being permanently attentive to either the mobile or the screen of any device connected to the network . Thinking of connecting as soon as you get home, just get up, and be the last thing you do before going to bed. These behaviors interfere with daily tasks such as: personal care, studying, spending time with friends or family, etc. More than the time that the addicted person spends connected, the problem is the degree of interference with the activities of their daily life.

In short, addiction to social networks is already established when there is excessive use and loss of control of the use made of social networks . Thus, the characteristic withdrawal syndrome appears in any type of addiction. Coming to generate symptoms of anxiety, depression and irritability, due to the temporary impossibility of accessing social networks. The need to be connected to the Internet and to be on social networks is increasing every time. The hooked person focuses all his attention on this aspect, so he neglects all the others, the craving that is produced reminds people who are hooked on drugs.

Factors that predispose to addiction to social networks

Not all people under the same circumstances are capable of acquiring this type of addiction. There are associated risk factors and psychological and emotional characteristics that make certain people especially vulnerable to addiction to social networks.

Why are young people a risk group for this type of addiction?

It has been shown that the majority of these types of addictions occur in the younger population. This is due to the fact that they are in a period in which they show a special rebellion towards parents, and have a tendency to search for new experiences and emotions. Being the ones who most connect to the Internet and especially to social networks. They are also the most familiar with new technologies and the easiest to use smartphones and web applications.

These are some of the psychological factors that young people especially vulnerable to generating addictions to new technologies have:

In relation to personality

  • Search for new sensations.
  • Impulsiveness.
  • Inappropriate style in the face of adversity.
  • Low self – esteem .
  • Low tolerance to unpleasant stimuli.

Emotional vulnerability

  • Rather poor social relationships.
  • Affective deficiencies.
  • Lack of family cohesion.
  • Dysphoric mood, with a depressive tendency.

Preventive measures for addiction to social networks

The most advisable thing, as with any other addiction, is to go to a specialized professional. Since it will be the one who makes the evaluation and diagnosis to assess a treatment that is specifically adapted to the needs of the person to be treated.

Specialists, by way of prevention, provide a series of recommendations to avoid having this type of addiction:

Recognition of the problem

This is a fundamental step, recognizing that you have a problem, because if it is not recognized, enough resources will not be put in place to solve it. When there is a recognition then there is a predisposition to overcome it , and in this way you can seek help and put measures to obtain good results.

Commit to a downtime

People with an established addiction find it impossible to disconnect from social networks for a while. Therefore, before this moment arrives, you have to commit at least once a week to leave a day without connecting, without attending to social networks, and in this way break the habit that can lead to addiction.

Reinforce the capacity for self-control

The desire and anxiety to see social networks generates a pleasure that produces in the brain an increasing need for this stimulus. It is important to become aware of this feeling that is increasing, to make an effort to pay attention to another occupation, and if it is of a physical nature, such as doing a sport, much better. This moment is especially interesting, as you cut off the momentum and take control of the situation.

Removal of notifications

Notifications from social networks are used as alerts to cause repetitive use. If they are limited or reduced, it is also possible to cut this link, which is a propellant of addiction.

Control the time

As previously specified, one of the symptoms in this type of addiction is losing track of time. It is advisable to keep track of the time spent per day on these series of issues. Measuring the time that is used takes a greater awareness of what it is assuming in our lives, and what activities we are neglecting.

Analyze what social networks bring to our lives

Reflecting on what kinds of things we are spending our time on also helps us become aware. For this, it is important that we ask ourselves if we are learning something that is interesting to us, if our business or work networks are improving, if being on social networks is of any use to us, and what it brings us with respect to other people. And of course there is no use fooling yourself. The conclusions we reach can be really surprising and interesting … At least, questioning all this will help us to be more present in reality.


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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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