It’s not just the younger millennials and their Tide-pod eating challenges, it’s a growing trend and baby boomers are drawn to it too. According to a recent study from Statista, in the last quarter of 2017, 1.37 billion active users visited Facebook on a daily basis. As of 2017, daily social media usage of global Internet users amounted to 135 minutes per day, up from 126 daily minutes in the previous year. Global social networking audiences surpassed 2 billion users in 2016.
Social media affects our addiction as we constantly consume constructed images of other people’s lives; party pictures, the “perfect” family, millions of selfies, materials things and alcohol, which can cause users to be triggered or pressured to conform or “keep up.” Social media newsfeeds are full of the lives of people we barely know, yet they seem so interesting. They can, however, also be misleading. When we see these images, we think, “I am not good enough,” “This person has a great love life that I will never have,” “That house is bigger than mine.” All of these silly, negative thoughts cause us to second guess our own lives as we start comparing ourselves to others. It’s eating at our core; we have become so influenced by social media. The repercussions are devastating, as people start to lose self-esteem and then act out on it. This can lead to drinking or using drugs, mental health symptoms (depression, for example) and many other issues.
We need to take everything in stride and use in moderation. Social media is great for connecting with people, voicing our opinions, keeping in touch with friends, networking and many more great uses. But we need to take a step back and think, “Is social media running my life?” or do you run your social media without letting it control you? It's important to understand how social media can affect your addiction and it may be time to get the treatment you deserve.