incredible-marketing Arrow

Generation Y and Social Media Addiction

Drugs aren’t the only things that can cause addiction. There are a variety of behaviors such as gambling and sex that can quickly become addictions. Now it appears as though internet and social media may be gaining prominence among younger generations as a debilitating addiction.

According to a 2012 Current Psychiatry Review article entitled Internet Addiction: A Brief Summary of Research and Practice, “Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) ruins lives by causing neurological complications, psychological disturbances, and social problems. Surveys in the United States and Europe have indicated alarming prevalence rates between 1.5 and 8.2%” Other reports suggest that it may affect up to 38% of the population. As social media becomes more and more important as a means of socializing among younger generations, these rates may begin to rise.

A 2018 CBS News article entitled Social Media Addiction: Teens Leave Rehab with a Sense of ‘Power’, explains that fifty percent of teens say that they feel addicted to their mobile devices and “studies show teens who spend more time on social media are more likely to report mental health issues than those who spend less time on the sites.” Much in the same way that drugs create a feelings of reward that eventually causes psychological dependence, so too does social media.

Wilhelm Hoffman od Chicago University’s Booth Business School conducted a study of social media addiction and found that it is harder to resist than tobacco, alcohol, and coffee. In a 2012 Guardian article entitled Twitter is Harder to Resist than Cigarettes and Alcohol, Study Finds Hoffman explained, “With cigarettes and alcohol there are more costs – long-term as well as monetary – and the opportunity may not always be the right one. So, even though giving in to media desires is certainly less consequential, the frequent use may still ‘steal’ a lot of people’s time” Internet and social media addiction mirror drug and alcohol addiction because they, too, are defined by compulsive behaviors that one continues to engage in despite negative consequences.

Leslie Walker, in a 2018 Lifewire article entitled What is Social Networking Addiction? How to Tell if You’re Hooked, explains, “in that context, a social networking addict could be considered someone with a compulsion to use social media to excess — constantly checking Facebook status updates or ‘stalking’ people’s profiles on Facebook, for example, for hours on end.” Anxiety, depression, and isolation can all be exacerbated by internet and social media addiction. Behavioral addictions, like social networking, gambling, sex, and eating, are easy to fall into after we recover from drug and alcohol addiction. We should always continue to evaluate any behaviors that we may be engaging in to excess during our recovery.

Your life doesn’t have to be held back by the chains of addiction. You can make the courageous decision to seek help today and begin building a life of happiness, joyousness, and freedom. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, brings together behavior health and addiction specialist, spiritual guides, and holistic experts to help clients heal from the damages of addiction and alcoholism. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431