By Jacqueline Charles
Social media is immensely addictive to every person that comes in contact with it. Many people that have social sites are frequently logging in every few minutes, but they are not aware of how much time they are spending on the social sites, and that is alarming. Incredibly, people that log in very regularly don’t see that there is a problem.
Unfortunately, people do not want to admit that they are addicted to checking their social media but they do know deep inside that they can’t live without it, and social networks love this.
Social networks, particularly the most popular ones such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter have content creators that are creating their networks to become more addictive every day that there is no soul in this earth that logs in and don’t feel the need to log in again. In other words, it’s like a drug that you need and can’t live without it because people have become dependent on it.
Cornell Information Science published a research that discusses the struggle that most people have in quitting Facebook and other social networks. The research straight-out labeled the failure to quit: “social media reversion.”
The study consisted of getting people to quit Facebook for 99 days straight. People that participated on this study tried to quit but many of them were unable to quit for more than a few days.
One of the main reason people that are addictive to social media could not quit easily is because they don’t want to miss out on things that people are posting on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. People find social media as a vital thing that they have to be in 24/7.
The network effect itself is addicting, according to Instagram software engineer Greg Hochmuth, as quoted by The New York Times. The “network effect” is a sensation in which the network’s value increased due to the amount of people that use it. That’s what is happening for example with Facebook; someone has it so another person gets and eventually your entire family, friends, coworkers and other people have it. This is how it becomes even harder to remove yourself or quit social media, because people that can be in contact with a large group of people and what you enjoy at your disposal.
Janet is 29 years old and said the following “I personally used to have Facebook. I would log in every second of every minute of every hour of every day. Before I would go to bed I had to see what people had posted and then I would go to bed and when I would wake up the first thing I would literally do was to grab my iPhone. I would then log in and go all the way back on the feed of Facebook until I got to the last post I had seen the night before and from there started to see what people had posted until I would get to the most recent post. I never would think I was doing something wrong or that I was an addict. Until, one time my husband would get mad for waking up and checking Facebook. That is when I started noticing that I was addicted to Facebook even if it was not benefiting me at all. So, one day I decided to prove to him that I didn’t need to log in to Facebook. I was able to pull through a whole week but I was feeling that some part of me was missing in my everyday life. I felt that I had to log in but I had to prove my husband that I could and I did.”
She continued, “But after that week I logged in again and everything started again. A few months went by and I started to notice that I was not interacting with anyone at the dinner table because I was too focused on Facebook. That is when I started to realize that I had to do something about Facebook. I suspended my account and days passed by, months passed by and now it has been years that I haven’t logged in. At first it was difficult to push myself that I didn’t need Facebook but I was able to move on. I actually felt better and I was able to have better interactions/conversations with people.”
People need to focus their free time on more productive things and maybe they will be able to not log in to social media as often. Perhaps they can try to limit themselves to logging once a day until they no longer feel the need to check so frequently. Slowly but surely, they will be able to overcome this addiction of logging in every few minutes and enjoy their connections in real life.