Social media is just like mom's apple pie: It's not good to eat a whole pie every day.
Over three billion people are social media users worldwide. While social media helps keep the world connected, social media addiction is becoming a global problem that keeps growing. As of 2018, one third of the global population used social media.
Internet and social media addictions continue to grow as our dependence on technology increases. Over 210 million people suffer from internet and social media addictions worldwide.
A 2018 study found that teens who spend five hours per day using their phones were almost twice as likely to exhibit depressive symptoms than counterparts who dedicated only one hour on their phones.
The relationship between excessive mobile use and depression appears to be strongly linked to gender, with 58% more females than males experiencing depressive symptoms.
A recent study containing over 23,500 participants between the ages of 16 and 88 found that being a young single female was most strongly associated with displaying addictive social media behavior. Addictive social media behavior was also strongly related to narcissistic personality traits and low self-esteem.
Social media addiction doesn't just affect behavior during the day; it even damages the ability to sleep. A study found that 71% of Americans sleep with or next to a mobile device. Some 47 million people in America do not get enough sleep and 55% more teens were sleep deprived in 2015 than in 1991.
Exposure to screens before bed is a large factor in exacerbating sleep disorders. Thirty-five percent of people using phones less than average experienced sleep difficulty, compared to 42% of those with average or above average phone usage. Forty-five percent of people check social media instead of sleeping and roughly 10% of teens check their phones more than 10 times per night.
Fifty percent of people driving are checking social media. Ninety percent of drivers admit to using smartphones behind the wheel. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that each day nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured as a result of smartphone use while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teens are the largest group reported for distracted driving.
Over 240 million Americans check Facebook daily or 74% of all Americans. The majority of Americans use Facebook and most users check the app daily. Approximately 68% of Americans have an account and 51% report checking Facebook several times daily.
Question: is it possible you might accomplish more of what you want and need to do if you would spend less time on social media? Another question: Is social media making you a better and happier person?
Is it possible you should cut back on your daily portion of social media?
Thanks to Media Kix for their information, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration.
(Glenn Mollette is an author and columnist in Washington, D.C. Contact him at GMollette@aol.com)