Social Media Addiction: 4 Best Tips for Parents

Social Media Addiction

Social media is now a part of our everyday lives. What began as a way to stay connected with friends and family has quickly become an addiction that many people cannot seem to break.

Social media has made it easier than ever before for users to stay connected with friends, share pictures, and keep in touch with family. With so many sites that offer social media services, there are many more people now able to connect with the people they care about through these sites.

But with the pros, there are some cons on the flip side. In this case, it’s not being able to monitor the surfing leading to excessive social media use!

According to a survey by social media analytics firm Social Rank, 59% of users check their social media accounts at least once per day. Now, these social media addiction statistics are quite alarming.

Social media is supposed to make life easier, connecting people and businesses in ways that weren’t previously possible. However, this connectivity has also created a new risk factor for users of all age groups: the so-called “social media addiction”.  

If you have lost several hours at a time after using social media, you’re not alone. While social media began as a form to unite with friends and family, it shortly grew into a recreation used by all-age mobs. You may want social media and use it day-to-day, but are you addicted to it?

People who are addicted to something find ways to continue their habit even when it becomes detrimental to them and those around them. If you have realized that you have become too dependent on social media—or any other digital app or platform—it’s time to take action and manage your social networking addiction before it takes over your real life.

Delay in work : Social media

There’s no such forte as an authorized diagnosis for problematic social media use or addiction.

However excessive social media use is increasingly unremarkable today, and it may severely affect your physical and mental health. 

Learn how to recognize complex social media use, where you stand on this social media addiction scale, and what you can do about it. 

The Dangerous Addiction:

Whether you use social media to tie in with friends and loved ones, tend to videos, or kill time, the rage of this pastime has increased significantly over the last decade. It is primarily happening in children and teenagers and young to middle-aged adults. 

So, how does a benign hobby turn into an addiction? Like other behavioral addictions, getting addicted to social media can damage your brain. You may use social media compulsively and unduly. You can become so conditioned to scrolling through posts, images, and videos that it hampers other regions of your life. 

Some experts calculate up to 10 percent of people in the United States have social media addiction. However, due to how day-to-day social media use is in general, the number of those who have social media addiction may be more elevated. 

Not everyone who uses social media will develop an addiction. Since this activity is becoming more affordable to more people, they may develop an addiction to social media at some moment in their lives. 

The Rise of Social Media and the Dangers to Our Mental Health 

The social media shift has been nourished by the human urge to convey betterment in digital technology. It is a story about showing and encouraging personal connections. 

The 2019 Pew Research Center statement on social media use revealed that 72% of American adults utilize social media. In 2005, the year after Facebook ran live, that number was 5%. 

What pursues is an analysis of the origins of social media. Its relatively fast growth as a sociological and saleable force and the difference it has got to the marketing globe. 

A Brief Narrative of Social Media 

Social media has grown from direct electronic information interaction to a virtual meeting place. A retail platform and a vital 21st-century trade tool in less than a generation. 

  • How did it start?  
  • How has social media influenced the energies of billions of individuals?  
  • How have businesses modified to the digital customer lifestyle?  
  • How do marketing experts employ social media?  

It’s all a component of the tale of social media’s constant evolution. 

Pre-internet Origins 

Social media started on May 24, 1844, with a sequence of electronic dots and dashes on a telegraph machine. 

The foremost electronic message from Baltimore to Washington, D.C., confirmed Samuel Morse comprehended the historical consequence of his scientific triumph. 

A current report in The Washington Post explains the history and relevancy of Morse code, done with early interpretations of today’s OMG and LOL. 

While the origins of digital transmission run in-depth, most recent versions of today’s social media’s everyday origins suggest the emergence in 1969 of ARPANET. 

This earlier digital network, developed by the United States Department of Defense, let scientists at four related universities transfer software, hardware, and other data. 

In 1987, the forerunner to today’s internet came into being when the National Science Foundation was established. It was a more powerful, nationwide digital network known as the NSFNET. A decade later, in 1997, the first trustworthy social media platform was established. 

The Takeoff of Social Sites 

In the 1980s and ’90s, the internet’s development allowed the introduction of online communication assistance such as CompuServe, America Online, and Prodigy.  

They gave users digital contact through email, bulletin board messaging, and real-time online chatting. 

The earliest social media networks were born, starting with the short-lived Six Degrees profile uploading assistance in 1997. 


This service was pursued in 2001 by Friendster. These essential platforms drew millions of users and allowed email address signup and basic online networking. 

Weblogs, or blogs, another premature form of digital social touch, began to gain rage with the 1999 blastoff of the Live Journal publishing site.  

The takeoff of the Blogger publishing platform by the tech firm Pyra Labs happened simultaneously. Google bought the platform in 2003. 

In 2002, LinkedIn was established as a networking site for career-minded experts. By 2020, it had increased to more than 675 million users worldwide.  

It stays the social media site for job pleaders and human resources executives exploring for qualified prospects. 

Two other vital raids into social media crumpled after a burst of the initial hit. In 2003, Myspace was founded. By 2006, it was the most seen website on the planet. It was prompted by users’ capacity to transfer new music instantly on their profile messengers. 

By 2008, it was topped by Facebook. In 2011, Myspace was bought by singer Justin Timberlake for $35 million. But it has visually oriented and evolved into a social media flashback. 

Google’s try to elbow its track into the social media geography, Google+, founded in 2012. A shaky existence finished in 2018 after a data protection violation arose. It compromised the private details of nearly 500,000 Google+ users. 

The End-User Understanding

At first, social media lived to help end-users touch digitally with friends, colleagues, family members, and like-minded people they might never have encountered.  

Desktop permit to bulletin board benefits such as CompuServe and Prodigy made it more relaxing to develop free online communities without ever exiting the house. 

The creation of the smartphone released social media from desktop and laptop computers. Apple’s first iPhone, founded by Steve Jobs in 2007, shifted the direction of an online community facility to mobile. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat app, Instagram, TikTok, and other social media assistance thrived in the mobile app setting. 

Technological advances, specifically powerful in-phone cameras, shifted mobile apps’ focus to video and pictures. In complement to written messages, end-users could directly post in real-time. 

Instagram, in particular, became the app of preference for social media users curious about travel, recreation, fashion, and other visually oriented particular issues. 


Social Media: Back Users and Companies

What started as a desktop or laptop knowledge shifted to mobile phones and tablets as cellular service grew. The abilities of cellular phones were promoted, twisting them into smartphones.  

High-speed wireless internet became more readily obtainable in homes, companies, and public areas. 

With the birth of social media apps operating on smartphones, end-users could carry their gatherings wherever they went. 

Businesses took benefit of this new customer mobility by serving their clients. A new, additional straightforward method of interacting came into being. The users uncover new ways of purchasing goods and services. 

 The function social media addiction plays in mental health 

Human beings are social animals. You need the friendship of others to succeed in life. The strength of our relationships significantly affects our mental health and satisfaction.  

Being socially linked to others can relieve stress, anxiety, and despair. It elevates self-worth, supplies comfort, and fun, stops loneliness, and counts years to your life.  

On the wrong side, lacking social ties can harshly affect your mind and emotional fitness. 

In today’s world, many of us count on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see and bond.  

While each has its advantages, it’s vital to determine that social media can never be a substitute for real-world mortal connections.  

It needs an in-person connection with others to trigger the hormones. These hormones relieve tension and make you feel more comfortable, fitter, and positive.  

 Ironically, social media is a technology created to bring people nearer. But being addicted to social media can cause you to feel more desolate and remote. This social media addiction can increase your mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. 

loneliness mental health

Multiple analyses have found a connection between unhealthy habits on social media and an advanced risk for depression. Social media addiction also generates anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and suicidal opinions. 

Being addicted to Social media may enable a danger to mental health such as: 

1. Deficient about your life or appearance  

You understand that images you’re viewing on social media are manipulated. Still, they make you feel unsure about your appearance or what’s happening in your life. Similarly, you know other people convey just the limelight of their lives. But no one ever talks about the low points that they experience. But feelings of envy and dissatisfaction creep in when you scroll through a friend’s airbrushed photos. Also, you get hurt reading about their exciting new promotion at work. 

2. Fear of missing out (FOMO) 

While FOMO has been far more extended than social media, Facebook and Instagram appear to worsen feelings. These sites show others having more fun or living sounder lives than you are.  

The view that you’re missing out on specific things can influence your self-esteem. It activates anxiety and power, which are even more crucial in social media usage. FOMO can drive you to pick up your mobile every few minutes. You check for updates or compulsively respond to every alert. Sometimes this happens while taking risks, skipping out on sleep at night. You prioritize social media relations over genuine world connections. 

3. Solitariness  

An analysis at the University of Pennsylvania discovered that being addicted to social media increases feelings of loneliness. Conversely, the analysis found that decreasing social media usage can make you feel less lonely and remote and improve your general well-being. 

4. Depression and stress 

Human beings need face-to-face communication to be mentally healthy. Nothing can reduce stress and boost your mood faster than an eye-to-eye connection with someone who cares. The better you prioritize social media relations over in-person connections, the more you attempt growing anxiety and despair. 

5. Cyberbullying 

Nearly 10 percent of teens are being bullied on social media, and many other users are put through mean remarks. Social media venues such as Twitter can be hotspots for circulating hurtful words. Untruths and abuse spotlighted there can leave eternal emotional spots. 

6. Self-absorption  

Unhealthy habits on social media, like sharing endless selfies, can increase self-centeredness. You seem to distance yourself from real-life connections by sharing your innermost ideas on social media. 

How to Take Responsibility for Our Own Digital Choices in a Networked World?

What is Digital Responsibility?  

Digital responsibility refers to using technology correctly and constructively for oneself and others. It concerns navigating a wide assortment of ethical situations related to privacy, net impartiality, clarity, and the digital ridge, among other challenges and problems.  

Just as accountability offline is two-fold, entailing both personal and social responsibility, so too is digital responsibility. 

Digital responsibility demands you to enclose responsible and appropriate behavior standards online.  

Navigating the online planet as a digital citizen enables us to display the same concern, sympathy, and confidence for our fellow citizens as being a citizen in the real world. 

What is responsible digital citizenship? 

Being a responsible digital citizen points to having the online social talents to partake in online community life ethically and respectfully. 

Responsible digital citizenship also implies: 

  • behaving lawfully and understanding, it’s criminality to hack, steal, illegally download or cause harm to other people’s work, identity, or property online 
  • safeguarding your privacy and that of others 
  • identifying your rights and responsibilities when utilizing digital media 
  • Consider how your online activities impact yourself, other people you know, and the broader online community. 

Fundamental Digital Rights: 

  • Right to access and use computers and other electronic gadgets 
  • Right to access and utilize digital content 
  • Right to make and transfer digital media 
  • Right to privacy in digital societies 
  • Right to voice your ideas and opinions voluntarily 
  • Right to report anyone or anything that appears inappropriate 

How can you take responsibility for your digital activity? 

These key messages can enable you to be secure and responsible online while still having delight: 

  • Be respectful – and desire regard. 
  • Protect your prestige. 
  • Guard your privacy. 
  • Supervise your tone. 
  • Be questioning. 
  • Use proper language and conduct when interacting with others (i.e., no cyberbullying) 
  • Appreciate the thoughts and ideas of others 
  • Follow all intellectual property regulations 
  • Do not abuse or share others’ work without consent 
  • Obey the rules and codes of conduct for every Internet area  
  • Obligation to report cyberbullying, dangers, and inappropriate use of digital aids 

Three principles for responsible use of social media 

Social media is ever-changing. In reality, the community standards behind blogs, Facebook, podcasts, text messaging, micro-blogging, and more are essential. The excellent tools will evolve, change, and fade, but those ideals will remain. 

Experts in social media know that your profile is your brand, and you must manage it. People can learn many details about you through social media based on your behavior patterns. 

Here are three principles for responsible use of social media. 

  1. Possess your picture, private information, and how these are utilized. Pay immediate attention to the Terms of Use on apps and websites. Most people glance through them to accept instantly, but it’s intelligent to take a closer look and read all the sections thoroughly.  
  2. Acquire permissions when broadcasting videos or images of others on your networks. Never take photos of patients during operations without permission. 
  3. Cleanse your accounts. Posting to social media leaves an impression. Delete anything unessential, uncomfortable, or rude. That includes inactive accounts. If you don’t want the whole world to notice you in a compromising situation, delete it. Reflect highly on what you post before posting it. 

These three principles for responsible use of social media is mandatory for users of all age to grow as a digital citizen and accept digital responsibility. 

Are Social Media Platforms Causing Harm? 

Addicting kids whose brains and uniqueness are still growing produces astronomical returns. For that logic, social media platforms are created to manipulate kids’ and teens’ awareness and pull their data for promotion. 

Keeping kids entertained and addicted is pushing how these organizations develop their platforms. Without the rule to change things, they will persist in doing so.  

How does profit-driven, addictive design influence kids and teens?  

Design elements such as emoji responses and comments, autoplay and endless scroll, push messages, and beautifying filters support kids’ clicking.  

The outcomes of these design choices are actual to students. The views and like features have become some of the most destructive features added to social media platforms. Kids also understand the addictive sense of autoplay and infinite scroll. 

Recommendation algorithms are uniquely exploitative, created to hold attention at all costs. 

For example, Facebook deliberately prioritized nasty, divisive content over unbiased and approving content to boost engagement.  

Instagram’s algorithms also suggest self-harm to unsuspecting users, repeating the harm techniques shown. These algorithms have also allowed the rise of social media influencers, increasing platform income. 

The social media platforms understand that their design choices prompt addiction and harm kids, but they respond only to profit.  

Social media companies will not improve themselves — they need motivations beyond their business models. We cannot, in good conscience, allow the persistent online exploitation of children. 

Ways for Parents to Protect Their Kids from Social Media Addictions 

Today, society plays a critical role in our children’s lives, and socialization is an essential aspect of it. Social media has been adopted as a new tendency in this technologically advanced world. 

parents worried about kids

However, like any other technology, excess in social media can also have adverse effects. Talking with the kids about using social media wisely is critical to stop them from getting too addicted to this enticing new platform. 

A few meaningful strategies that parents can use to identify and alleviate social media addiction in children: 

1. Keep an inspection:  

Being alert in today’s connected virtual world is extremely important. If the parents detect that the child tries to finish their meal as fast as possible. They are trying to dodge other activities to jump onto social media. Parents must understand those as signs of social media addiction. 

2. Don’t let them reveal everything on social media:  

Communicating too much information, private attributes, and photos on social media platforms can have many more adverse effects. Posting the wrong things can put their standing at stake. 

3. Make them express more with real people and participate in real life:  

One of the most significant impacts of social media addiction is that the child can no longer concentrate, and social media platforms always preoccupy them. In extreme cases, the incidents of cyberbullying combined with the lack of honest communication can also guide the outcome of depression. 

4. Immerse them in outdoor activities and open conversations:  

Parents should confirm that children have enough exciting activities outside the social media hall. It can include various activities such as reading books, meeting friends, outdoor games, etc. Spending a lot of time with children and comprehending their requirements and emotions is the best key to getting them rid of social media addiction. 

If you pay close attention to your child’s conduct and try to understand their feelings, you can effortlessly let your kids eliminate their desire for social media.  

Conclusion :

Social media has become an integral part of many people’s lives. With so many platforms available, it can be difficult to know which social media sites to use and which ones to avoid. While some social media sites may be perfectly harmless, others may be harmful if used excessively. People who want to use social media responsibly can take the time to consider how their actions will affect their mental health while also staying mindful of the potential risks associated with excessive use of social media.

1. What is Social Media Addiction? 

Social media addiction is an unhealthy dependency on interactive outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Like most dependences, social media addiction displays overuse and ordeal in abstaining.

2. Why do People Get addicted to Social Media? 

According to a new analysis, self-disclosure on social networking sites torches up the identical part of the brain that ignites when taking an addictive substance. The premium area in the brain and its chemical messenger pathways influence decisions and sensations. 

3. How to Break Free From Social Media Addiction? 

Keep your phone out of view and put it in a secure place at night so you are not drawn to look at the moment when you should be sleeping.

4. What are the Consequences of Social Media Addiction?  

Overexposing to social networking sites can result in many health and confidential relationship problems, also seen in other addictions. The results of social media addiction include: 
Anxiety or depression. 
Increased aloneness. 
Reduced physical activity. 
Inferior self-esteem. 
Inferior work or school performance. 


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Bhanu Shree

Bhanu Shree is a seasoned psychologist with over five years of specialized experience in child and adolescent psychology, particularly in addressing learning difficulties and ADHD. A respected mentor in mental health, she offers transformative guidance to adolescents facing various psychological challenges. Beyond her clinical expertise, Shree is an acclaimed author, contributing insightful perspectives on addiction and youth mental health issues. Her work is widely recognized for treatment in the mental health field.

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