Addiction is when an activity affects a person’s day to day life. In a recent study by Brigham Young University that asked 143 married couples to assess their partner’s social media habits and how it affects their relationship as a whole. More than 75% of the couples reported seeing addictive behavior in their partner’s phone habits. Partners reported feeling lonely in their relationships as their significant others addicted meant more time interacting with online friends rather than having face-to-face interactions with their partner.
Depression & Anxiety
Facebook Depression’ defined as depression that develops when youth spend excessive time on social media, predominantly Facebook, which then leads to classic symptoms of depression. According to mental health consultants nationally, social media has become an anxiety-provoking factor. Online comparison can result in insecurities, unsettling anxiety or fear of personal failure, which can also see a rise in self-consciousness or the need for improvement in your life.
When users of Facebook don’t receive instant gratification on their social media accounts it can lead to feelings of loneliness, isolation and in some cases depression. A study by the University of Cambridge has found that the negative effects on well-being caused by loneliness are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day, excessive alcoholism and obesity.
The following survey explores 22 Sunshine Coast University students, views and use of social media:
Students were asked how they would feel if they no longer had access to social media accounts.
- Not anxious at all = 4 students
- Moderately concerned = 17 students
- Extremely anxious = 1 student
64% of students identified checking their phone and social media first thing in the morning. Over half (59.09%) of the students surveyed admitted to using social media between 1-3hrs per day and 32% between 4-8hrs per day.
All in All
21st Century society dependence and excessive use of social media is becoming an addiction resulting in detrimental effects on well-being, such as anxiety, isolation, depression and overall, making us lonely. Social media has its benefits providing easy, immediate communication to users all around the world. Excessive use of social media can lead to addiction, which has detrimental effects on one’s well-being and social interactions. There has been a rise in anxiety and depression suffers, in correlation to the growing number of social media users.
Social media is making us lonely.
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- Ceranic, I. (2013). Social media addiction is a growing concern. ABC News. Retrieved 19 October 2015, from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-21/social-media-addiction-feature/4533228
- Chan, T. (2014). Facebook and its Effects on Users’ Empathic Social Skills and Life Satisfaction: A Double-Edged Sword Effect. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 17(5), 276-280. doi: 10.1098/cyber.2013.0466
- Depression Anxiety Diet. How Social Media Causes Depression Anxiety [Internet]. 2013 [cited 19 October 2015]. Available from: http://www.depressionanxietydiet.com/how-social-media-causes-depression-anxiety/
- McDaniel, B., & Coyne, S. (2014). “Technoference”: The Interference of Technology in Couple Relationships and Implications for Women’s Personal and Relational Well-Being. Psychology Of Popular Media Culture. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/ppm0000065
- McMillan, G. (2013). If Facebook was a country, it’d be larger than China in three years. Digital Trends. Retrieved 13 October 2015, from http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/facebook-could-be-larger-than-china-in-three-years-time/