social mediaWe recently wrote a blog about the world’s dependence on social networks to maintain communication with friends and families. It’s no surprise that many people use social networks to share big news, such as an engagement, and keep in touch with long-distance friends. However, is there such thing as social media disorders?

The truth is that much of the world’s youth is becoming dependent on the Internet. The addiction to technology and social networks may be shrugged off by many; however, researchers are already finding the negative effects caused by high usage of social networks. One study found the following:

  • Children, preteens and teenagers who overuse media and technology are more likely to have anxiety, depression and other psychological disorders.
  • Facebook users who check the social media one or more times during a 15-minute study session typically receive lower grades.
  • Narcissistic tendencies are more likely in teens who use Facebook regularly.
  • Antisocial behaviors, mania and aggressive tendencies are more predominant in teens who regularly use Facebook.

social mediaSocial media disorders have become such a serious issue for some countries that the government has stepped in to help alleviate the problem. In South Korea, for example, 140 Internet-addiction counseling centers have been built. Additionally, treatment programs have been integrated in to nearly 100 hospitals.

There are several lists online that poke fun of social media addiction. However, social media disorders can be a real problem for some. Here are a few signs of social media addiction:

  • Immediately after waking up, you check your social networks.
  • You won’t order at a restaurant until you have checked in on Foursquare
  • You’ve shared important news (pregnancy, engagement, etc) online before calling close friends and family
  • If you forget your smartphone at home, you feel anxious.
  • You use your mobile device in the restroom to check social networks.
  • You use social media terms as verbs when speaking. Example: I’m going to Facebook that.
  • You casually answer questions with a phrase like “my recent blog post explains that in full detail.”
  • You get anxious when Facebook or Twitter isn’t functioning properly.
  • You have adopted text lingo in your everyday writing style.
  • When something funny or interesting happens, you immediately open a social network to share it.
  • Social networks have distracted you from work or studying.

Social networks can be helpful tools, but it’s important not to let them turn in to a social media addiction. What social media addiction signs do you have?

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Jennifer Cline

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