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Simple Solutions to Treat Social Media Addiction in Hawaii

  • By John Burke

  • April 17, 2022

Social media started as a way to connect with friends and family. Sharing pictures of special events, catching up with old friends, or getting updates on current events are just a few of the perks of social media. But what started as a tool of convenience for some has become something much darker for many. While there’s no official diagnosis of ‘social media addiction’, overuse is rampant. And it can have some serious consequences for your mental and physical health. If you or someone you know may be struggling with their relationship with social media, continue reading to learn more about how to diagnose it and how to find a solution.

What Is Social Media Addiction?

Most of us have spent more time than we planned on a social media site. Browsing through videos, looking at pictures, going down a “rabbit hole”…its a common experience. But what if a person couldn’t planned on doing something else, and continually found themselves online? What if it started to affect their relationships, their jobs or schooling, or their health?

Social media addiction is similar to other types of behavioral addictions. When someone uses social media obsessively, to the degree that they find it interfering with other aspects of their life, the relationship starts to cross the threshold into addiction. Believe it or not, people frequently become so accustomed to scrolling through posts, images, and videos that they start to fail to do essential things.

Not everyone involved with social media becomes addicted to it, just like not everyone who drinks a glass of wine becomes an alcoholic. But with social media becoming more accessible (its even on our watches!) and ever present in our daily lives, it appears that the amount of people struggling with a social media addiction is on the rise.

The Adverse Effects of Social Media Addiction

The effects of social media addiction are diverse, effecting all parts of a person’s experience. Some possible negative effects of overusing social media include:

  • Low self-esteem, due to thinking that others’ lives are “better” than yours

  • Isolation and loneliness

  • Depression or anxiety

  • The onset of social anxiety disorder

  • A fear of missing out (commonly referred to as FOMO) that leads to more and more social media usage

  • A change in sleeping habits

  • Decreased physical activity

  • Poor work or school performance

  • Ignoring the relationships in your real life

  • Reduced empathy or ability to empathize

  • Body dysmorphia

  • A lack of interest in things that used to bring pleasure

  • An oversized reliance on validation from others

Diagnosing Social Media Addiction

It could be that you just enjoy going on social media a lot. Maybe its the main form of communication with your friends or colleagues, or its a source of inspiration for other things in your life. But if you feel at all concerned with your interaction with social media, if the relationship feels out of your control, its possible you may want to seek help from a mental health professional.

There are key differences between ‘overdoing it a bit’ with a fun activity online and an addiction that is seriously affecting your life. Here are some signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for:

  • Neglecting your job or school due to overuse

  • Increased use even while doing other activities

  • Relying on social media as a way to cope with problems

  • Restlessness and irritability when not using

  • Anger at reduced social media usage

  • Thinking about social media whenever you aren’t using it, so much so that it’s the first thing you turn to whenever you have the opportunity

Solutions For Social Media Overuse

Here’s the good news: there is help. If you find yourself slipping into dangerous waters with your media usage, you can take steps to decrease your social media use until you can attain a healthy level of interaction:

  • Uninstall your social media apps. This will decrease the amount of time you’re using them.

  • Turn off your phone while at work, at school, during meals, or other recreational activities.

  • Set aside a time just for social media use. You can also set a timer to help.

  • Leave your phone, computer, or tablet out of your bedroom.

  • Find a new hobby that doesn’t require you to use electronics.

  • See your friends and family in person as often as possible.

Need A Bigger Solution?

There are lots of people who may have already tried the above suggestions and found themselves unable to break the harmful cycle they were in. Sometimes, when the patterns are so deeply ingrained, we need extra help. Luckily, there are programs and facilities that exist to give individuals the additional space, support, and tools to kick the social media habit. Honu House Hawaii is exactly this type of facility. Each individual who enters is met with a loving, professional staff. A treatment plan is created, one which will include evidence-driven mental, emotional, and physical treatments for recovery. One of the best things about a facility like Honu House, is that the ability to access social media is removed while in the program. In many cases this is what an individual needs in the beginning of their journey, but isn’t able to do at home. With the ‘drug’ being removed, the resident then has the ability to focus on rebuilding themselves anew, creating new experiences, enjoying a supportive in-person community, and being given all the skills necessary to walk back into the world with freedom and joy.

Recover From Addiction With the Right Help

Following the solutions for social media addiction that we mentioned earlier is an excellent first step to overcoming it. But if you feel that you need a professional’s help, feel free to contact us at Honu House Hawaii. We’re always here to help. Connect with us.