social media addiction

The Most Common Symptoms of Social Media Addiction

Checking Social Media First Thing in the Morning

When you wake up in the morning, do you reach for your phone and check your phone? It’s one of the first signs you could have a social media dependency.

One of the most significant impacts of social media use was the pandemic. Many of us were locked down, and your phone was our only window to the outside world. Screen time rose because we were home for months, needing to know what was happening out in the world, and with our friends and family.

Experts agree it’s one of the worst habits to start your day. You should feel refreshed and ready to begin your morning routine when you wake up. However, checking your phone will interrupt normalcy. Your phone is designed to light up the high alert fight and flight part of your brain. This is not a good way to start your day.

While getting caught up on the morning’s news or information can feel essential, setting a routine is important. Dont look at your phone first thing in the morning. Help your brain and body wake up before becoming overstimulated on your phone. Get a few things done before settling into social media. Make sure it doesn’t distract the rest of your day.

Looking at Your Phone Throughout the Day

You’ll find people with an addiction to social media unable to stop checking their phones throughout the day. Beyond bathroom breaks, lunchtime, or a regularly scheduled break, you might constantly be looking at your phone. Do you find yourself compulsively reaching for your phone?

Regardless of the task in front of you, a social media addiction means you always seek out the latest updates. Doing this slows your productivity and can even disrupt the focus of your workload.

Getting Anxious While Reading Social Media

There are plenty of things that can cause you to become anxious when reading your social media feed. From the latest family drama to politics, anxiety is one of the effects of social media. It’s no secret that exposure to collective trauma is associated with acute stress (AS) and post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). Studies indicate images and stories which commonly appear in social media news feeds cause distress and can worsen mental health issues.

While reading your social media feed, you may become disturbed by the latest in politics. Something may not go your way, and you may become anxious about how a court decision or bill might affect your life. You might also become worried about what a family member posted about their political views.

You may have a family member who ‘overshares’ what they are doing in their lives or makes embarrassing comments. Your social media addiction causes you to check their feed to inspect their pictures and posts constantly. Screen time is up because you want the latest information.

You may also suffer anxiety because you’re afraid to open your social media account. You immediately anticipate terrible news or information.

High anxiety can cause physical health problems, including high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, and chest pain. Your doctor can prescribe medication to treat anxiety but managing your internet addiction and taking a social media break will improve your health.

Relieving Boredom

A social media addiction or internet addiction may be due to relieving boredom. Simply put – you might not have anything else to do but scroll through your phone.

A recent study found that social media increases boredom. Focusing your time and energy on things that make your life productive and less stressful is essential. Over the long term, it’s healthier.

There are plenty of ways to relieve your boredom rather than creating a social media addiction, including getting a hobby or even a second job. You can occupy your time with other things to take a social media break.

Experiencing a Lack of Sleep

Your addiction to social media likely affects your sleep patterns. You’ll toss and turn during the night if you constantly worry about what’s on your social media feed. Even worse, you may even wake up in the middle of the night and check your phone.  A lack of sleep contributes to several health problems, including hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. You are also at higher risk for a heart attack or stroke with a lack of sleep. It’s essential to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each evening for optimal functioning.

Terrible sleep patterns can lead to drowsiness throughout the day. Moreover, you become addicted to caffeine to stay awake. You may become more irritable or have a short fuse. Improving whats called sleep hygiene, which includes reducing screen time, can improve your quality of sleep. You can employ a number of natural techniques to help you sleep, like ‘sleep sounds’ or even meditation. Its best to get your social media addiction under control, especially if it’s denying you adequate sleep.

Impacting Your Life Negatively 

Like any addiction, social media can impact your life negatively. For example, you may find it difficult to attend social events or even face coworkers and family members. Spending so much time on social media may cause interruptions to other parts of your life, including cleaning your home, sleeping, or even fixing dinner. Moreover, it could disrupt your workout routine or interfere with relationships.

Too much social media can also cause you to lack focus on your job or even in conversations. People may soon realize you are more interested in what’s on your phone than others at the dinner table.

The Most Common Symptoms of Social Media Addiction 

The most common symptoms of social media addiction include checking social media first thing in the morning and throughout the day. Social media has associations with depression, anxiety, and feelings of isolation, particularly among heavy users. In addition, social media addiction can increase boredom and interrupt sleep. It can also impact your life and relationships negatively in many other ways.

Contact us today, and let us help you with your social media addiction. We can help you with counseling and get the right coping skills and techniques to overcome your social media dependency.

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