The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Unfortunately it is not yet deemed necessary to run a help group for the addiction of social media probably because all the people who would be running the meetings are far too busy updating their status and posting selfies.
#1 You excel at procrastination
Facebook offers a world full of endless scrolling, news feed refreshing and profile stalking. Research has shown that Facebook can be just as addictive as certain drugs, with studies showing the brain patterns found in those who compulsively use social media are similar to those in people addicted to class A drugs.
#2 You have a fear of missing out
The dreaded FOMO, it was bad enough in high school when you weren’t invited to the end of year party but now it’s followed you through to adulthood and you live everyday in immense fear of being the last to know everything. Facebook allows you instant twenty four hour access to help keep you up to date, playing on your insecurities whilst making it impossible for you to keep away.
#3 You constantly seek approval
You feel the need to post a selfie every 20 minutes and wait with baited breath for the likes to start rolling in just so you know people still think you look great. You desperately need everyone to know you just ate lunch at a fancy new restaurant in town and you have just got to tag your friend so people know you’re not a loner. You probably spent more time updating your status and taking pictures of your chicken katsu curry lunch than you did actually eating it.
#4 You can’t let go
We have all been there, all you intended to do was take a peek onto your ex`s profile just to be nosey, next thing you know an hour has passed and your now stalking pictures of his new girlfriends brother’s wife whilst crying into your breakfast. With constant reminders and easy access to every single moment you have ever lived Facebook makes it all too easy to hold on to the past, making it near impossible to move on.
#5 You compare yourself to others
Facebook allows us to compare every little part of ourselves with everybody else, from the way we look and the number of likes we have on our profile picture to the amount of friends we have or the amount of holidays we can afford. Comparison online is never healthy as often the things we see on Facebook are far from reality. When have you ever seen a status boasting about how someone failed to hand in a work deadline or the time they staggered home at 2 in the morning with their make-up all over their face? The answer is probably never.
So once you have admitted you have a problem it is then time for the hard part, breaking the addiction:
#1 Work out the triggers
The majority of us fall victim to the social media site during the early hours of the morning, throughout our lunch break or whilst bored at work. Instead of seeking excitement online why not distract yourself with something mentally stimulating and worthwhile. Every time you get an urge why not reach for a book instead, you will be amazed at how much you read.
#2 Don’t go cold turkey
Depriving yourself of any down time will likely just cause you to go insane, you want to reduce the time you spend on the site not cut it out completely. By allowing yourself a set time period you can focus on other tasks in hand allowing a short scroll on Facebook as a reward for all your hard work.
#3 Don’t live your life online
If you get a notification that it’s your friends birthday coming up then why not pick up the phone and arrange a day out instead of just writing a short post on their wall in the hope that that will be enough. Communicate in person and enjoy some human interaction for once rather than hiding behind a screen, it will do wonders.
I would say feel free to check out our Facebook Page but on second thoughts….
Written by Sophie Black.