Any addiction is unhealthy, so if you?re a self-proclaimed social media addict or tech addict, then you?ll want to examine your relationship with it immediately. But maybe you don?t know whether you?re an addict. If that?s the case, then peruse these signs of social media addiction to determine where you fall on the spectrum.
11 Signs of Social Media Addiction
1. You check your phone constantly.
You know this has to be the first one because the rate of usage is always the first sign. If you?re constantly on your phone, scrolling your social media accounts then that?s a big red flag.
2. You can?t wait in an elevator, line, or at a traffic light without checking your phone.
Silence kills you. Even if you have music blaring in your car and you’re waiting for the light to turn green, you can?t keep your hands off your phone. In fact, it?s so habitual that you don?t even realize you?re doing it. Then one day you run into the car in front of you because some guy in the right lane decided to run the red light. And your peripheral vision tricked you.
3. Your phone is in your hand (and possibly on and facing you) while you?re in an intimate conversation.
If you can?t leave your phone in your pocket or purse during dinner or while you?re in a conversation with a lover, then you?ve got a problem. More than one. First, you?ve got your addiction. Then you?ve got the problem caused by the addiction: an upset lover, friend, or family member.
4. You document your every move.
Go ahead and review your timelines. If your life is so thoroughly documented that you know what you ate for dinner four years ago on Friday the 13th of January at 7:08 pm, then you?ve got an unhealthy relationship with social media. The same goes for when you know every nail polish color you?ve had on your toes and fingers for the last five years.
5. You spend more hours on social media than you do with real people.
You can track how much time you spend on social media with neat apps. Some apps will even show you how many times you open social media or simply open your phone throughout the day. Try tracking yourself for a few weeks. More hours on social media doesn?t nurture a healthy social life. It actually hinders it.
6. You experience FOMO when you go without social media for any amount of time.
If you miss anyone?s posts, even your own, and you experience a deep fear of missing out, then you need to back away from social media for a while. You will miss out on things in life. And you?re making yourself crazy thinking that you won?t. You?ll experience exactly what you need to when you need to.
7. Your sense of self-worth depends on the number of likes, shares, or friends you have.
It?s sad but true. Some individuals rely heavily on the amount of fake congeniality they experience online to bolster their sense of self-worth. This is an extremely unhealthy relationship with social media that has a far-reaching impact. If you depend on likes, shares, or friend requests to feel good about yourself, then you need to reexamine your relationship with social media today. You are worth far more than a mere click of a mouse.
8. You accept friend requests from strangers.
You don?t need to be friends with anyone you don?t know. The only time this would make a difference is if you are a business. And you?re business needs customers. Then you?ll definitely have people you don?t know friending you on Facebook. That?s the only time it?s okay. New friends are to be made in person, then friended on Facebook. Or, if you?re dating and you meet online, that?s a different story. But most of the time, the strangers friending you on Facebook aren?t real anyway.
9. You check your phone first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.
If your morning ritual consists of your phone, then you need to take a step back. Bombarding yourself before you get out of bed and before you go to sleep at night with what other people are doing diminishes your connection with yourself. The more impaired your connection to self, the more you depend on others to give you your sense of self.?That’s?an unhealthy, codependent relationship, even if it is through social media alone.
10 . You walk down the street looking at your phone.
You are putting yourself and others at risk. You could inadvertently walk into traffic, crash into someone carrying groceries, or trip and break a wrist. It?s not worth it.
11. You had to increase your data plan to accommodate your usage.
You may need more data for other reasons, but if you have an unhealthy relationship with social media, then you know that you?re increasing your data for one reason and one reason alone: increased scroll time.
You know you?re addicted to social media before you even read these 11 signs. While social media addiction isn?t as big a problem as some might think, it still exists. And it?s more likely to occur in those with addictive personalities.
The same types of people who are likely to get addicted to drugs can experience a social media addiction. Seek help sooner rather than later. Real life social interactions are far more important than the superficial interactions of social media. Plus, real life social interactions have proven to play a role in longevity and overall health.
Image via Thinkstock
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.
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11 Signs that Your Social Media Habits are Unhealthy