Social media is not like drugs


May it be it is only a symptom of something else.

The term “social media addiction” is being increasingly used to describe people who spend a lot of time on these websites and apps. But is it?

Here are some points to ponder from “Too much social media can be harmful, but it’s not addictive like drugs” (emphasis mine):

Social media is not like drugs /img/social-media-are-symptoms.jpg
  • [Some] findings don’t necessarily show a compulsion to use social media - something key in making it an addiction. Other social factors, such as fear of missing out and narcissistic personality traits, may drive the need to use social media to an unhealthy degree.
  • [Better analysis] might allow more scope for appropriately targeted messages that could prevent problems developing in the first place
  • There are clearly elements of social media use that resonate with certain characterisations of addiction, such as psychological notions of excessive appetites or powerful motivations, and the built-in platform mechanisms of reinforcement through random affirmations or “likes”.
  • It’s also clear that this can be harmful in terms of negative impact on some users’ self-esteem and body image.
  • It’s worth remembering that behavioural addictions… often occur alongside other mental health issues such as anxiety and depression…. This may also be true of excessive social media use.

Now, compare this with the outrageous, revolutionary concept that “[ANY government] wishing to “bring extremists and conspiracy theorists back to reality… can start by making that reality worth coming back to.” (*). Then, talk about self-reinforcing negative loops…

(*) Of course, this applies to every country, not just the USA about which the quote above was written!

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