Social media use that harms someone’s life may be suspected as social media addiction. This type of addiction is a relatively new field of study, so research is limited but ongoing. Still, experts have begun identifying signs and symptoms that point to this becoming classified as an addiction. Teens are especially vulnerable to social media addiction and its impacts. If you believe that your teen might be addicted to social media, you can turn to our team at Venture Academy.
Parents of teens often ask us, “How addictive is social media?” Unfortunately for some teens, the answer is that social media is very addictive. The good news is our team understands the connection between teens and social media, and we provide holistic treatment for social media addiction. Call Venture Academy at 866.762.2211 or fill out our online form for more information about our teen addiction therapy program.
What Are the Negative Effects of Social Media on Teens?
The epidemic of social media addiction can largely be attributed to the dopamine rewards provided through social media engagement. The effect on the brain’s neural pathways can be compared to the effect experienced through gambling and drug addiction. Teens who compulsively use social media may experience many consequences to their daily life, including adverse effects on work, school, social life, and emotional well-being.
Expected consequences and effects can include:
- Sedentary lifestyle, resulting in weight gain, illness, and low energy levels
- Sleep disturbances
- Body image issues
- Reduced connection to people in real life
- Social anxiety
- Reduced work or academic performance
- Drug and alcohol abuse
How Addictive Is Social Media?
So, how addictive is social media? People who overuse social media are likely to be less involved in their life outside of social media. They may lack fulfilling relationships outside the connections gained through their online persona. Social media overuse is a more common occurrence with teenagers and young adults, who are more vulnerable to external influence, and frequent networking sites. However, social media addiction can affect people of any age.
Although the majority of peoples’ social media habits don’t present a severe issue, a small percentage of users become addicted to social networking. Their addiction causes them to engage in excessive or compulsive use that negatively affects their life.
Addictive social media use will look much like any other substance use disorder presentations which may include:
- Mood modification
- Intense preoccupation with the source of addiction
- Tolerance, which is using social media more and more over time
- Withdrawal symptoms when social media use is restricted or stopped
- Conflict or interpersonal problems can begin due to out of control social media usage
- Relapse, where addicted individuals will revert to their excessive social media usage after a brief period of abstinence despite wanting to quit
Social media addictions are often treated through a combination of therapies, including:
- Evidence-based behavioural therapy
- General mental health counselling
- Family therapy for teens and young adults
- Digital detox, which is disconnecting from all fans of social media to the degree it is possible
For young people with substance use issues, a substance addiction program is usually recommended as part of treatment.
Help Your Teen Break Free from Social Media Addiction at Venture Academy
The pleasure achieved through social media use can make it very difficult to limit engagement, even when one wants to. Some social media engagement can be healthy and even necessary. However, over-engaging in social media networks is harmful when other areas of life suffer.
If you’d like to get social media addiction treatment for your teen, rely on our Venture Academy team. Your teen will learn the tools they need to limit or eliminate their social media use. Contact us today by calling 866.762.2211 or completing our online form.