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Do We Need To Start Thinking More About Social Media Addiction?

Social media addiction is a growing concern in today’s digital age, with many people spending hours each day scrolling through their newsfeeds and messaging apps. But what is being done to try and solve this problem, and help people to break free from their social media addiction?

The rise of education and awareness

One of the main approaches being taken to tackle social media addiction is through education and awareness. Many organisations, including schools, universities, and charities, are working to educate people about the risks of excessive social media use and encourage them to take a more balanced approach to their online activity.

This includes teaching people how to recognise the signs of addiction, Known as process addiction, this includes things such as a preoccupation with social media use, an inability to control their use, and withdrawal symptoms when they are unable to access their accounts. By raising awareness of these issues, and providing people with the tools and knowledge they need to manage their social media use, it is hoped that more people will be able to avoid addiction or seek help before it becomes a problem.

Technology is playing its part

Tech itself is starting to play more of a part in preventative measures. Many social media platforms are now introducing features to help users manage their time online and limit their exposure to addictive content.

For example, Facebook and Instagram now have a “time management” feature that allows users to set daily limits on their usage, and receive notifications when they have reached their allotted time. Other platforms, such as YouTube and TikTok, have introduced similar features, such as a “pause” button that allows users to take a break from their feeds and limit their exposure to addictive content.

In addition, some social media platforms are now experimenting with more radical solutions, such as removing “like” buttons and other metrics that can contribute to addiction and feelings of low self-worth. By taking these steps, it is hoped that social media platforms can become more responsible and help users to develop healthier relationships with their devices and online communities.

Professional help is becoming more accessible

Finally, there is also a growing movement of therapists and addiction specialists who are offering support and treatment to those struggling with social media addiction. This can take many forms, including cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness techniques, and other interventions designed to help people understand and overcome their addictive behaviours.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to social media addiction, and it will require a multi-faceted approach to tackle this complex issue. However, by raising awareness of the risks of excessive social media use, introducing technological solutions to help users manage their time online, and providing support and treatment to those struggling with addiction, there is hope that we can create a healthier and more balanced relationship with social media and technology.