In fact, the behavior that is being pathologized could be viewed as a sign of the times. It makes sense that people use social media. After all, we haven’t had the luxury of constant connection to friends, family, and celebrities until fairly recently, so why wouldn’t we embrace it?
Of course, this mindset comes with its caveats. While social media use, in moderation, opens doors to an exciting new era of connectivity, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.
The dopamine-based rush we get when we interact with our Facebook and Instagram feeds can be toxic if we come to rely on it. It’s easy to brush off the moments we spend in limbo clicking through Snapchat stories on our smartphones as just a way to pass the time, until you realize that we aren’t passing time as much as we are wasting it, closing off that time to more productive uses.
Of course, I’m not writing off social media entirely. I happily use platforms like Facebook and Twitter to promote my own brand and to keep up with the content of people I admire. However, if you’ve never considered a digital detox, aren’t quite sure about the extent to which social media can be addictive, or are wary of social media and want to understand it better, here are twelve social media addiction facts you should consider:
- Internet addiction affects over 210 million people worldwide
- Social media addiction may be influenced by life satisfaction
- People spend an average of 2 hours and 23 minutes on social media a day
- Teens who spend 5 hours a day on their phones are twice as likely to be depressed
- 50% of people who get caught using their phone while driving are checking social media (h2)
- Six platforms account for most social media use
- Some researchers are pushing for social media addiction to be classified as a disease
- 81% of teens say social media helps them feel more connected to their friends
- 45% of young adults feel overwhelmed by the drama on social media
- 43% of teens say social media pressures them into posting content that will appeal to others
- Some teenagers spend up to nine hours a day on social media
- Social media is designed to be addictive