Social media addiction: Are you a victim?

From Instagram to Instacurity – if you’re losing sleep over likes, you might be the latest victim of social media addiction.

Addictions take many forms. The sweet high from seeing the likes and comments rush in after posting that witty status update on social media can be addictive. But what happens when the likes sputter to a stop, especially after you’ve painstakingly put together an outfit for an #OOTD?

If you constantly find yourself spiralling into a rabbit hole of self-doubt and other neuroses whenever that happens you might be a victim of social media addiction. Nomophobia is the fear of being without your mobile, and it’s just one of many 21st century afflictions that this era of social media has inflicted upon us.

Facebook: Life’s highlight reel

Social media has cultivated a culture of oversharing. Case in point: Looking through your boss or colleagues’ newly-uploaded photos during your commute to work. For many, Facebook has become a platform to highlight the more share-worthy events in life. But we forget that if we are hiding the mundane or less positive aspects of life from the scrutiny of 600 ‘’friends’’, then so are they. Facebook profiles are simply the highlight reel, not the full movie.

Career comparison on LinkedIn

Once upon a time, people were actually private about subjects like their love lives or resumes. But these days, social media has become pervasive even in corporate life, with LinkedIn used to sniff out the career paths of ex-colleagues or frenemies. Some people like to find out where their contacts with the same skills are working, while others are filled with self-doubt when someone in their circle joins the C-suite way ahead of his or her peers.

Filter out Instacurity

If you instantly recognise what Amaro, X-Pro II or Nashville are, you might be dedicating a little too much time choosing filters and perfecting your daily Instagram post. If you think it’s acceptable to make your dinner companions wait while you Instagram each and every dish on the table, then you could be dealing with Instacurity issues.

Platforms that breed social comparisons make it even more glaring to see what we have yet to achieve. For some, it’s an easy trigger for feelings of inadequacy and doubt. If you relate to any of the above behaviours, here’s a quick 3 step program for your social media addiction:

  1. Put your phone on silent mode and leave it aside during meal times
  2. Disable instant mobile notifications for your social networks
  3. Be ok with lesser likes or comments than you had hoped for. You are not going to remember them a year later.

As with any addiction, going cold turkey is painful. But weaning yourself off your reliance on social media for validation is important in helping you enhance your personal growth and rediscover value in a life that’s not tied to the amount of likes or comments.

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