There’s lots of pros about social media – it can certainly be a good source of information and support for those in recovery – however, the fast-paced, instant gratification nature of Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest can also become habit-forming. If you or someone you love has another addiction, such as drugs, alcohol, sex, or gambling, the risk of developing an addiction to social media is even higher.
Though not yet recognized by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Internet addiction (IAD) is a psychological disorder in which individuals are compelled to spend an excessive amount of time on their computer, pad, or smartphone, despite damage to their health, job, finances, and relationships. Studies show that people with IAD are more likely to have the following mental illnesses:
- Social isolation
- Impulse control problems
- Substance use disorders, such as alcoholism or drug abuse
Questioning Your Social Media Behavior
James Roberts, PhD, The Ben H. Williams Professor of Marketing in Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business and author of Too Much of a Good Thing: Are you Addicted to your Smartphone? says a bona fide addiction has six core components: salience, euphoria, tolerance, conflict, withdrawal symptoms, and relapse. With this in mind, he devised the following six questions for people to determine whether their social media behavior could be bordering on addiction.
- Salience: Is your social media use deeply integrated into your daily life?
- Euphoria: Do you depend on social media use for excitement throughout the day?
- Tolerance: Do you find yourself needing to spend more or more time on social media to get a “buzz”?
- Withdrawal symptoms: Do you become nervous or agitated when not on social media?
- Conflict: Does your social media use cause problems at work or at home?
- Relapse: Have you tried to cutback on your use of social media but failed?
“If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to three or more of these questions, you might need to reconsider your use of social media,” Roberts said in an interview with Baylor University. “But don’t worry too much, though. There’s still hope.”
Help for Professionals With a Dual Diagnosis
Geared toward adult professionals, our Pennsylvania addiction facility utilizes the latest clinical practices and state-of-the-art techniques to treat alcohol and substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. At Providence, we offer a boutique-style recovery experience with customized strategies for sustained sobriety. To learn more, call (866) 622-6211.