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Social Media Addiction

March 26, 2018

Wake up, check your phone. Eat breakfast, on your phone. Leave for school, text your mates. Sit in class, scrolling through Instagram under the desk. During intervals, snapchat your lunch and funny things happening with your mates. Go home, sit on the couch on your phone. Go to bed, watch YouTube until midnight. Go to sleep. Wake-up. REPEAT.

Sound familiar? While that may be slightly exaggerated for some people, this is the reality of social media. It takes up far too much of our time and is with us virtually wherever we go. Social networks take up a lot of our time. From compulsive checking and oversharing, to the loss of workout opportunities, we may also be putting our physical and mental health at risk.

Just how deep does the problem go? Seventy-two percent of online people use social media and the average user spends 23 hours a week on it. 23 hours! That’s almost an entire day spent entirely on your phone. These 23 hours include texting, emailing and other online communication. So why are we using social media for the same amount of time as a part-time job? Sixty-seven percent of surveyed users said that they’re afraid they’ll “miss something.” This fear runs so deep that most users will check their social networks first thing in the morning, before anything else.

But what’s the harm? In a survey by the University of Salford, in England, fifty percent of those surveyed said that social networks made their life worse. Self-esteem falls because of constant peer comparison, users lose sleep after spending time on social networks, and harmful effects are placed upon work or personal relationship problems because of online confrontations.

I believe social media does promote addictive behaviour in many people. And a great many people self-identify as addicts when it comes to their social media habits. Personally, I can understand how using social media can become compulsive. I think it’s fair to say that we all have a fundamental need to be accepted by our peers. When we post something to Facebook, comment on someone’s Instagram, or Snapchat something that interests, we want to see that contribution validated. We want our participation to matter, to be accepted by others… even total strangers. These minor validations can act as pleasure-inducing “hits” much like an addictive drink or drug, and for some people, they can find themselves taking their social media habits to dangerous, unhealthy extremes.

Social media provides not only the tools to share our thoughts and feelings with others, but is also designed to make the act of doing so a game, with “likes” returning positive feedback, encouraging increased participation. This combination of incentives can, in some people, lead to an unhealthy self-reinforcing cycle that drives them to obsessive behaviour.

Just imagine how much exercise you could get — and how many cheeseburgers that would burn — if you spend 30 percent less time on social media. Imagine how much more sleep you would get — and how good you would feel the next day — if you went to sleep as soon as you got into bed rather than sitting on your phone. Imagine how many dramas you would avoid with your friends if you discussed your problems face to face. Imagine how much BETTER your life you become, if your memories were of your amazing life, not your screen!

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Chief Editor

About Chief Editor

My name is Shem Banbury. I am the owner and Chief Editor of Kiwi Kids News. By day I am a school teacher and by night a wannabe triathlete.

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1

My school has banned phones at school time. We get them back at the end of school. It is good because lots of kids used their phone at lunchtime instead of playing tag or something .

2

this is definitely reality. This is me 24/7

3

this is def me!

4

Overacting. I love my phone

5

I don't even use a phone or even have one

6

if you got rid of the internet there would be no news no kiwi kids news no nothing. how would anything get around

7

Well, keeping a phone is pretty good cuz what if there's and emergency?

8

that sounds fun

9

I agree with this because people are using screens to much and it could effect peoples social life

10

This is a global problem that needs to stop.

11

This is a new problem that needs exploring.

12

i agree that people go on there devices all the time and that they shouldn't be.

13

I absolutely agree with all the opinions.

14

I mean I am against long screen habits. I agree with this story, but disagree of why people do this.

15

Schools should ban phones for good!!! Except if it's an emergency.

16

wow wow wow...

17

i sometimes do this

18

wow reality