Social Media Addiction During Lockdown
It comes as no surprise that this lockdown is hard for everyone to become accustomed to. No longer can we meet up with our friends for a drink in the local pub, no longer can we go to work and socialise with our colleagues and no longer can we visit family, especially those who are at a greater risk.
Because of this, socialising has come to a halt, unless it is done online or with those that we live with. Did you know that over 4.5 billion people were using social media at the beginning of this year, pre-lockdown? That whopping number has most definitely risen now that we’re all in lockdown.
We have to stay in contact with our friends, soak in that daily entertainment of memes and keep up with the latest news updates through Facebook. But, are we aware of how this is affecting our mental health? Social media addiction during lockdown is a serious issue and one that could affect your livelihood and relationships.
Continue reading this article for my thoughts on being addicted to social media during a time that we’re very reliant on it so that you can determine whether or not you need to take breaks from it. Also, for my advice on what to do during these breaks from the online world.
What Is Social Media Addiction?
If you type this question in on Google, it says that social media addiction is a compulsive and excessive amount of social media use that can potentially take over your life and have a negative effect on your ‘real-life’ relationships. This is correct, but this addiction can open someone up to many other adverse effects too.
Social media addiction is triggered by excitement. When your phone delivers a notification, the part of your brain that produces excitement is stimulated, thus making it such an easy trap to fall into. Because of this, we associate being online with positiveness and a way to express oneself and keep our relationships intact.
However, this is incorrect. There are other ways that you can interact with your loved ones; via a phone call or a video call, for instance, and as far as expressing yourself goes, there are more effective ways to doing so. See below for my advice on tackling social media addiction, as well as what you can do instead of being attached to your phone.
How To Beat Social Media Addiction
With the lockdown measures in place, I realise that it can be harder to find things to do. However, what is often looked over is the potential of this downtime. By using this free time to self-develop, you can find a sense of achievement that can also free you up from your internet addiction.
For instance, learning a new hobby such as painting or crafts or learning a new skill such as an instrument or a language can all stimulate your brain while also bringing you enjoyment. Internet addiction, however, does not stimulate your brain cells. It has been scientifically proven that internet addiction disrupts the nerve wiring in our brains, especially teenagers, which can be compared to a level of brain damage seen in heavy substance abusers.
This being said, social media addiction is having a more damaging effect on our mental health than you may have initially thought. Another great way to beat your addiction to social media is to give yourself set hours of the day where you can use these platforms.
By limiting your usage, you will soon feel a sense of calm and clarification because you won’t be susceptible to what you’re viewing online, nor will your mind be dictated by it. Ultimately, I would suggest that turning off your notifications is the best thing that you can do for your addiction.
By turning them off, you won’t feel the need to check on the social media platforms, nor will you continue to feel the excitement that a notification gives you. You will find it easier to take a break from checking your pages, and not get distracted from doing your daily tasks.
By implementing the above, you will be less likely to feed your addiction that can be having a severe effect on how you perceive yourself and others, as well as the relationships that you currently hold.
Counselling for Social Media Addiction
As a fully qualified and experienced counsellor, I am also very aware of how helpful counselling can be for addiction. By seeking help through a counsellor, you can work together to distinguish why social media makes you feel a certain way, whether that’s accepted or entertained. And then, you can explore the reasons as to why you lack these feelings elsewhere.
It is said that addiction is a weakness, but that is wrong. Addiction shows the strength of your brain. By being addicted entirely to one thing, you are putting all of your energy into it, but as much as this is powerful, as previously mentioned, it isn’t healthy. While talking to a counsellor, they can listen, talk and advise you on the best ways to overcome your addiction so that you are left with a positive mindset.
Your aim is to reduce your social media usage, and by seeking help from a professional, they can essentially be there to keep you on track during the times that you’re struggling during the lockdown and for the foreseeable, while also establishing the deeper issues that you may be facing. A counsellor is a trusted professional who is there for you only.
I am currently offering online counselling sessions to my current and new clients. If you require assistance with your social media addiction during the lockdown, please don’t hesitate to contact me on 07914 952723 or through my website and we can discuss how you’d like to receive your counselling sessions. I am also always available for any advice or if you’re just in need of someone to talk to during this lonely time. Stay safe and stay at home.