5 signs that we are mentally addicted to social networks

In a technology-obsessed society where 500 million tweets are sent every day and 1.28 billion people use Facebook regularly, how do we know we’ve gone too far?


Dr. Alex Suyoung-Kim Pang, an addiction specialist, describes the most common signs that it’s time to take a break from social media.

Do you make dessert just to post it on Instagram

Do you take special time to style your salad so it’s Pinterest-worthy? Have you ever made a dessert just to show off on Facebook? If you have fallen into such situations, it is high time to take a break from social networks.

“When you subjugate your life to Twitter or Instagram, it’s time to take a step back,” says Pang. “Thinking about how the things you do are going to look on social media means you have a problem – at the very least it’s undermining your ability to be yourself,” he adds.

You can’t get your manicure done without tweeting about it

We all have friends on social media who can’t help but share every detail of their lives. Unfortunately, you could be one too. “Creating tweets about what you’re doing, how, where and with whom you’re doing it shows that you feel the need to report your thoughts on social media and that technology is taking control of your life,” says Pang .

“There are only 24 hours in a day, and if we use them to constantly inform social networks about what we are doing, we deprive ourselves of time to actually enjoy life and our activities,” explains the scientist.

You know too much personal stuff about your acquaintances

“The big warning sign to withdraw from social media is when you start compulsively following the social statuses of your acquaintances and friends media,” says Dr. Pang.

So if it turns out that you know that random guy you met at a party once bought a house, if you’ve already added his wife as a Facebook friend, then things have gotten out of hand.

It’s high time you reassess the time you spend online. “The irony of social media is that we learn an enormous amount of detail about the lives of our friends and acquaintances, and we weaken our ability to make sense of our own lives,” adds Pang.

You feel insignificant compared to your successful friends

Scrolling through your social media often leads to frustration and depression. When we compare ourselves to our successful friends and acquaintances, when we read about their successes, we can begin to feel envious.

Seeing pictures of our friends from glitzy parties, fancy resorts, exotic vacations, stirs up feelings of jealousy and inadequacy, whether we realize it or not.

In fact, spending too much time on social media can increase anxiety levels, even ruining friendships and relationships.

In women, this leads to a negative assessment of appearance. “When following your friends’ lives gets in the way of living your own life happily, take a break,” advises Pang.

Worried if you don’t have internet access

Do you check Facebook while waiting at traffic lights or while talking to your friends at the table? Do you refresh your Twitter as soon as you wake up or before you sleep? “Just think how many genuine, enjoyable conversations or real life events have you missed because you were too engrossed in your phone?

The more time you spend on social media, the less attractive you find your own world,” says Pang.

To cut down on internet time, he advises setting specific hours to spend on social media each day.

“People have a schedule of eating, sleeping and working, so if you spend an hour on social media at the same time every day, that will be fine and quite enough for your awareness,” says Pang.

When posting statuses, limit yourself to discussing life stories instead of posting off-the-cuff thoughts or inappropriate photos of your food or dog, no matter how cute it is.

Try temporarily limiting your access to social networks. “Make it a goal not to go on them for a week, and if you’re having a hard time, just delete Twitter, Instagram and Facebook from your phone for a week,” suggests Pang.

So you may find that you feel completely fulfilled without social media in your life.

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