Is it possible to stay away from social media addiction? - Cafeqa

Is it possible to stay away from social media addiction?


More and more people are using the internet. When compared to levels before the epidemic, children’s social media use has increased dramatically. Tech companies in the US are facing charges of harming children via their addicting platforms.

I see no harm in adding just one more post. Was it not good enough? So, what about the subsequent one? I guarantee you, that material will pique your curiosity more.

“A quick peek” may quickly turn into an hour or two of mindless scrolling—a sensation that every user of X (previously Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok) has experienced. The reach of social media is immense. Any time, anywhere, on any device, whether at work or in our spare time, we have access to it. Our main uses for it are chatting, posting, keeping up with current events, following rumors, and listening to what others have to say.


Unfortunately, there are negative aspects to social networking as well. An increasing number of individuals are engaging in unhealthy levels of social media content consumption. Addiction to gaming and social media affects more than 600,000 young Germans, or over 6% of the country’s youth. That is the conclusion drawn from a research that was released this spring by the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) and the German health insurance DAK. It discovered that the use of social media or streaming platforms by over two million children was deemed “problematic.” Consequently, compared to levels before the epidemic, young people now spend an average of almost two hours and forty-five minutes each day glued to social media.

Positive or negative?


So, aren’t social networking platforms just another potentially harmful device? “At the very least, their role is ambivalent,” said Tobias Dienlin, an assistant professor for interactive communication at the University of Vienna in Austria. “There is a lot of trivial content, but some of it can also be beneficial.”

“Social media can be used in many different ways,” the expert said. There are two ways to use social media: either to sit back and watch what others post, or to become involved and connect with people.

Everything would be alright, he assured me, provided that this is done moderately. He warned that users should exercise prudence when it came to the frequency of their social media use.

As of right now, the term “social media addiction” lacks a formal medical meaning. “But just because a diagnosis doesn’t exist, doesn’t mean the phenomenon doesn’t exist,” Dienlin said. The media expert elaborated that users develop an addiction to social media when they become so reliant on it that they ignore real-life social relationships, when they wish they could spend less time on it but can’t, and when they miss out on other important aspects of their lives.

Delightful algorithm

The majority of social media sites take use of people’s innate motivations by providing a system of temporary incentives. Positive feedback comes in the form of likes and emoticons, while negative stuff can be quickly swiped away.

Users never finish surfing since the option to scroll forever was introduced. A fresh piece of material is added every day,” Dienlin said. Obviously, that’s very addicting as it forces people to take their eyes off their devices. For me, reading a book is the end of the process. A tv show’s run is eventually over. Online, however, that is not the case.

What’s more, algorithms power a lot of social networking sites, allowing them to display material based on our individual tastes. The difficulty of regulating our food intake is heightened by this.

People who already have problems in other parts of their life are more likely to get addicted to media. “People who already have weak impulse control, or who struggle to organize their daily lives, have an even harder time with social media,” said Dienlin.

Repetition and avoidance

Overconsumption of social media may also provide a pleasant diversion from reality for those experiencing loneliness or depression.

“In these cases, it helps us regulate our mood and exit uncomfortable situations,” the doctor stated. Everything goes away when I grab my phone and access social media when I’m bored, stressed, humiliated, or guilty. Without delay.

Another side of the coin is that mental health issues like depression or eating disorders may become even worse with excessive social media use. When people actively seek out hazardous information, algorithms learn to display it more often based on user preferences. This may lead to unwanted consequences.

US class action lawsuit sues tech giant

Hundreds of American families have joined a case that targets four of the biggest digital companies in the world. Meta, the Chinese company behind TikTok, Alphabet, the parent company of Google and YouTube, and Snap, the operator of Snapchat, are all accused by them of ignoring and even encouraging the danger of youngsters developing an addiction to social media.

A number of school districts have also taken legal action. Companies have made it unnecessary difficult to erase social media accounts, inadequately implemented parental restrictions, and age verification systems, according to the plaintiffs.

For a long time, it was debatable whether the case would go on or not; the defendants rejected all charges, calling them baseless. However, the social media companies’ attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed was denied by a US district court judge in the middle of November.

However, the case’s significance is uncertain. A case like this gets a lot of attention, and Dienlin isn’t sure about that. It is important to bring these things up, in my opinion. However, there are opposing viewpoints, as is customary in such situations. Any service provider worth their salt will increase the likelihood of addiction as a means of attracting more customers, as is the case with any for-profit enterprise. Consumers, however, must accept responsibility. We need to teach and assist users in addition to optimizing technology.

Meanwhile, on suspicion of infractions of child safety standards, the EU has also begun investigations against TikTok and YouTube.

Measures to forestall substance abuse

The expert emphasized the need of users being cautious about their own and their children’s social media usage. “It’s good to discuss it as a family, and to practice abstinence, without immediately resorting to thinking that all social media is absolute hogwash.”

Additionally, he suggested limiting social media use and sometimes physically setting phones away. It’s equally crucial that people find new uses for their cellphones. Dienlin recommended getting some exercise, engaging in a pastime, socializing, or helping out a local organization.

If we blame social media for our depression, we would be mistaken. Constantly checking one’s phone is usually a sign of something more serious going on. He went on to explain that it may lead to even greater issues. According to him, the first step towards overcoming social media addiction might be just acknowledging this.

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