Social media use has become increasingly popular, especially among adolescents and teens. 85% of teens ages 13 to 17 use YouTube, 72% use Instagram and another 69% use Snapchat. Not only do 95% of teenagers have a smartphone, but 45% of teens state that they are constantly online. While using the internet or social media improves your connectivity, the dangers of social media can lead to damaging consequences.
Like other compulsive behaviors, the dangers of social media can include a psychological addiction. Another pitfall of social media is that it can increase your chances of experiencing bullying, which more than half of all teens have experienced while on social media.
What are the Dangers of Social Media?
Social media is one of the most popular forms of entertainment and socializing in the United States. While social media makes it easier than ever to connect and communicate with friends, family members, and people from around the world, it can also create a perfect environment for cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is one of the most serious dangers of social media. This is due to peers and classmates using social media to continue bullying others outside of school hours.
Social media can also cause a process addiction, which causes you to compulsively use social media. When you develop an addiction to social media, it can be difficult to stop or reduce your social media use. Social media addiction can interfere with your daily life and negatively impact your social life. If you are constantly on social media, it can cause you to isolate yourself from others and avoid personal interactions. This can have a profound impact on your communication, interpersonal, and social skills.
Among the other dangers of social media is obsessing about what other people are posting. Often, this causes mood changes, such as depression and anxiety.
Some of the most common signs of a social media addiction include:
- Spending the majority of your time thinking about or using social media
- Feeling anxious or restless when you aren’t using social media
- Neglecting responsibilities, such as school work, in order to use social media
- Feeling anxiety when you can’t access social media
How to Limit Your Social Media Use
When you realize that your social media habits are indicative of a process addiction, it’s important to find ways to limit your use. If you are just starting to spend too much time on social media, you can try setting time limits on your internet use or deleting those apps from your phone. You can also delete some of your social media profiles.
If you have difficulty cutting down on your social media use, you may have a psychological addiction. When you exhibit signs of social media addiction, early treatment is essential. Developing an addiction to one substance or one behavior increases your chances of developing a substance abuse disorder in the future, as both behavioral and physical addictions cause similar changes to your brain chemistry.
Another reason why it’s so difficult to recover from social media addiction without help is that technology has made it extremely easy to access social media. That means learning how to cope with triggers is an important part of your recovery.
Treatment Options at Destinations for Teens
While social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook make it easy to connect with others, they can also lead to behavioral addiction, which is one of the most serious dangers of social media use. When you have a process or behavioral addiction, finding help is the best way to start your recovery and regain control over your life. If you or a loved one is struggling with a social media addiction, contact Destinations for Teens today at 877.466.0620 to learn more about your treatment options.