Social media addiction can be simply defined as the excessive use of social media to the detriment of the user.
In today’s internet age, social media addiction affects all of us directly or indirectly. It is not an exaggeration to say we are presently in an epidemic of social media addiction and the youths, particularly the teenagers are the most vulnerable.
According to a report by Newport Academy – Teen Rehab Center, 92% of teenagers go online everyday, 76% of teens engage in social media, 71% are on Facebook, 52% on Instagram, 41% on Snapchat, 33% on Twitter and 14% on Tumblr.
Why are teenagers more addictive to social media in today’s internet age?
In today’s technology age, most teenagers have access to smartphone and they have registered in many social networking websites and platforms. They are always eager to go online, check the status update of their online friends and respond to their posts on any social media platform. In an attempt to achieve this purpose, they spend several hours to read, comment, like or share the posts.
Most teenagers do this almost every time they have their smartphones around them. Many of them wake up in the middle of the night when they hear the sound of any new message or post that comes in and they will make sure they read, comment or share it irrespective of the content. Others are also addicted to playing online game while chatting on social media platforms.
Social media addiction has ruined the lives of many teenagers around the world. It has robbed a lot of teenagers of their future and led many others to an early grave through suicide. A typical example of this is online gaming addiction of teenagers while on social media networking websites and platforms.
It was sometimes reported in Egypt that 11-year-old girl committed suicide through an online game which she was addicted to, according to local media report. In another media report, a 13-year-old boy committed suicide by hanging himself after his father scolded him for playing online game on his cellphone in Keonjhar district, India. The menace of social media addiction is ruining the lives of teenagers around the world almost every day.
As far as prevention of social media addiction is concerned, a teenager doesn’t have to be an expert in order to avoid social media addiction, adopting these 20 tips is a good way to start:
1. As a teenager, educate yourself about internet safety.
2. Secure admission into higher institution before you own a smartphone.
3. Don’t be desperate to get a smartphone.
4. Don’t believe the online world is the same as the real world.
5. As a student, avoid going to class with your mobile phone.
6. If you have social media account, let it be known to your parents.
7. Set time limit on how you use social media on your mobile phone.
8. Don’t leave your data on at all times to avoid distraction.
9. Delete all Apps that you don’t need on your device.
10. Don’t have more than two social media accounts or platforms.
11. Don’t be desperate to read, comment or share any post on social media.
12. Don’t allow a smartphone or social media to be your only source of joy.
13. Don’t respond to all social media posts but only those that are meaningful.
14. Don’t accept all friendship request on social media.
15. Don’t join more than two social media platforms.
16. Limit the number of your social media friends.
17. Avoid chatting or playing game on your mobile phone when you are supposed to be sleeping at night.
18. Avoid chatting or playing game on your mobile phone while walking or driving.
19. Avoid visiting corrupt websites e.g. porn sites.
20. Avoid using social media language e.g. DM- Direct message, BRB- Be Right Back, FYI- For Your Information etc.
Rotimi Onadipe CEO Onadipe Technologies,National Coordinator – Internet Abuse Awareness & Prevention Project, Oyo State, Nigeria.