Do you ever find yourself in need of spending more time online to be satisfied and do you feel yourself a victim of obsessive thoughts about what happens online?

If so, well, you could be addicted to social networks.

Is it all bad?

Certainly, there are a lot of drawbacks to social media, but one, in particular, is causing distress: social media addiction. The reliability of our tech has gone from useful to indispensable: we wake up to check our phones or see how many followers we’ve got. We are all a bit guilty of this behavior, but then should we just quit it? According to The Guardian, it’s not that simple. We shouldn’t get rid of it, we instead should learn how to cope with it in a healthy way.

Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a pretty big indicator of a possible obsession towards social media. We are all conscious that social media usually is a happy virtual place. People post their life’s highlights and so it seems that nobody has ever a bad time.

Particularly on Instagram now, the number of friends or celebrity posts that show glamourous life can lead to FOMO.

The counterculture

But there is a counterculture too and this is very refreshing. People have realized just how unsustainable and detrimental it can be to only show the good things, so we are seeing more and more “real” posts. A great one is, of course, Humans of New York, where real people on the street get featured with their own- often difficult but relatable life story.

Because, much like the social animals that we are, in the end, the need to relate to someone is bigger than wanting to show off. Or we start seeing models that don’t conform to the norm but are filled with flaws that in turn become the biggest mark of their beauty.

Social media isn’t evil per se, it can be a great force of good too, it’s free, liberating and democratic: everyone can be anyone. Of course to start a career as an influencer is a whole different thing, but if you think you’ve got what it takes to be one, and you want to bring about the new change, you can. And if you are worried about followers, you can always indulge this holiday and this Christmas you can get 50 free Instagram likes to start your own trend.

In the meantime, check the top 6 ways to cut your addiction:

The 6 ways

1. Acceptance:

Establish how important social media has become to you and make a plan

2. Give yourself a timeframe.

Set a time to stay connected to social networks by recovering time for true relationships, favoring those sources of gratification.

3. Go cold turkey:

Get used to being without technology at certain times of the week. If a day seems too much, try to set yourself an hour a day in which you will not check anything.

4. Get busy!

There is nothing better than pursuing a new sport, hobby, or activity. Regardless of what it is, pleasurable sensations will keep you focussed on new things.

6. Practice mindfulness

As proven by many scientists, mindfulness has amazing benefits on our mental health so it’s worth a shot.

Good luck and a happy new year and new you!

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