Are you Addicted to Social Media?

The need to constantly check and post updates is leading to a new form of social disorder. Learn to priorities, say psychologists.
social media addiction
Social Media Addiction
If you cannot live without social media for even a minute, you could be suffering from FOMO Fear of Missing Out. Health experts say the constant urge to be in touch with friends and happenings via smartphones has led to many young people suffering from this new breed of disorder. "Absence of social media can lead to FOMO. One tends to develop uneasiness if one has to stay away from any form of social media for too long," clinical psychologist Ripen Sippy says.

FOMO is a form of socail anxiety. "It is more of a form of social anxiety than a phobia. FOMO is a phenomenon where one feels pressurized to share everything on social media to show how much fun one is having," says Psychologist.

According to psychologist, FOMO creates a strange fear of remaining isolated from the crowd. "In FOMO, one develops the fear of missing out updates and important events; hence constantly remains preoccupied with checking mobile phones. The first thing one does is to check one's mobile phone to see if one has missed something significant," Sippy adds.

The FOMO anxiety arises from being neglected and isolated on the social media platform. Sippy says, "It arises from the phobia of being disapproved, unpopular and living ordinary lives. Insecurities arise in a person related to his own self-esteem if he/she is not liked by others on the social media. A person who becomes insecure about his/her image tries harder to be liked more and more on a social platform."

Psychologists also pointed out that socialization was a factor for developing FOMO -- though social media helps one remain in touch with other people. "Often socialization brings in comparisons which lead to despair. One starts comparing oneself with others, both psychologically and socially, on where one stands in society and where one stands in society and where the others do," says one of the psychologists. People start seeking love and attention from the virtual world when they don't get these in real life. And the moment one stops getting the attention, FOMO phobia takes over.

Not just FOMO but excessive use of social media also affects social behavior of an individual. Work performances of adults, young adults and school children have also been affected owing to excessive use of social media. One may grow into an introvert and avoid socializing with others and may also develop 'social anhedonia', that is the inability to feel pleasure in normally pleasurable activities.

There's a tendency to remain in the virtual world. "One finds it difficult to face real life situations which often leads to imbalance in a relationship," says Sippy. One does not know how to react in real life situations in a quick span of time.

Psychologists also added that increased preoccupation with social media is affecting personal relationships with family, friends and relatives. "One starts ignoring family members and is busy texting or socializing via apps on mobile," they point out. The impact also differs with age. According to psychologists, teenagers tend to be easily affected and face more problems.

But don't panic as FOMO phobia can controlled. "Prioritizing personal and social life is very important. The best ways to overcome social media phobias is learning to use it for limited time," Sippy suggests. Spending three-four hours a day on social media is considered healthy but not more than that. One should start changing the way social media is perceived. It should be limited as a part of leisure activity. One should remain more involved in physical activities, read more physical books and avoid e-books.

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