As if we were all not already aware of the fact social media can be addictive. It’s scary that there is a science to back that statement. In the last 5 years, much research has gone into social media and its impact on society as a whole. If you’d like to know more about social media’s impact on the various aspects of society, you can have a read through this article to get a better idea.
A study conducted in 2016 showed that the social media platform Facebook has an effect on the brain similar to what cocaine would have.
Isn’t that scary?
But, it’s not just about Facebook. Every single kind of social media has the ability to grip our attention and keep us coming back wanting more and more with each passing day. From the way these platforms are designed, the color schemes used, the algorithms, and even the notifications, everything is designed to grip your attention. From what we see around us, it seems like these social media apps are doing quite a splendid job at holding on to our attention.
Every few months we see new social media platforms blow up. Just like that, we have another social media account. A place to go that keeps us distracted, engaged, aloof from our real-life problems. But, if not used in moderation in a healthy way, social media can have a hugely negative impact.
Due to the lack of awareness regarding the harms of social media, more and more people are falling into the trap of social media addiction.
This is a global problem that’s only getting worse with each passing day.
Astonishing Statistics about Social Media Addiction
Social media has become such an integral part of our life, that we often fail to realize the impact it has on us.
Here are some facts to help help you have a better understanding of how vast the impact of social media is:
- An average Millennial or Gen Z individual spends approximately 8 hours on the internet, out of which at least 4 hours are spent on social media networks and messaging.
- 4 in 10 adults in the US deal with sleep disruption on a regular basis as a result of social media addiction.
- 50% of those caught using their phone while driving are found checking social media, which has led to an increase in accidents worldwide.
- It is estimated that more than 210 million people worldwide suffer from internet and social media addiction.
- 2 in 5 teens in the US blame their mental health issues on social media.
Social Media Apps that are Known to be the Most Addictive
Gone are the days when everyone would just be on Facebook. “Poking” each other and sharing life updates. Today, there are more social media apps than you can count on two hands. We live in a highly digital era of apps and social networking. Every other month a new social networking platform enters the scene and captures our attention. Soon, we get addicted to the app before some other new app enters the market. This is the endless cycle we are stuck in right now. Among all the apps available in the market right now, here are the top 5 that are the most addictive. Let’s also have a look at what makes them so addictive.
TikTok has quickly taken the throne for the most famous social media platform. Especially, among the younger generation. It is a platform that allows users to short creative videos. This is a technique that has worked very well for other platforms in the past like, Vine. As TikTok has gotten popular, it is not only the younger generation but anyone, and everyone has gotten slightly addicted to scrolling their TikTok homepage. Mindlessly looking at videos be it funny entertaining videos or educational ones.
In less than 18 months TikTok broke the record of several other social networking platforms, by having their adult user base multiply by 5.5%. TikTok’s algorithm is built for the user, making it so much easier to use that it becomes hard to close and get off the app after some time. Due to the captivating effect it has on users, TikTok is soon becoming the num platform for brands and advertisers.
This is possibly one that we’re all too familiar with. It was one of the first few social networking sites to blow up worldwide. Today Facebook is still one of the most used social media platforms. But, with time it has gotten more popular with the older generation than the younger generation. As a result of this, it has become the advertising playground for everything from fashion accessories to political views. It is estimated that about 74% of the adult American population get on Facebook on a daily basis. That’s approximately 240 million people.
The 2016 US presidential election is the biggest example. The impact of social on the election was astonishing. This is a scary situation to be in. The fact that social media, something we often get on to talk to our friends and family, is now forming our political ideologies for us. All of this is constantly happening while we’re not even aware of it. This is why it is so important to know everything about something before we get into it. But often, that is not possible with social media.
Social media giant Facebook purchased WhatsApp recently. This social networking platform has a following of its own. It is extremely popular, especially in the Asian and European markets. It is a platform that facilitates quick messaging and sharing of media, at a free cost. It’s also the app that was responsible for the demise of blackberry messenger, which was the most popular back in the early 2000s.
However, with all the pros of WhatsApp also comes along a bunch of cons. It’s the culprit that is responsible for the fast-spreading pandemic of fake news. This problem of fake news has caused several problems across various countries, from mob lynchings to health hazards. The lack of fact-checking and accountability on platforms like these make it easier to spread fake news without having to take any responsibility for the damage caused.
This is another platform that is extremely popular worldwide. Instagram currently has approximately 850 million active monthly users. Instagram users upload 95 million photos every day. Aren’t these astonishing numbers?
Over the years Instagram has become the influence hub. It’s where most of the advertising and marketing happens nowadays. Scientists say scrolling through Instagram has the same effect on your brain that a slot machine would have. This is what keeps you coming back for more every few minutes. An average teen checks their Instagram feed approximately 84 times in a day.
Over time, Instagram has also become a toxic and unhealthy environment that has negatively impacted the mental health of large groups of people. Social media platforms like these create a sense of false reality that keeps you from truly experiencing everything in your real life and achieving your goals.
Youtube is an endless pit of free content. How often do you get on to youtube to watch a specific video and before you know, hours have passed and you’re now sat there watching videos of the different ways potatoes are cooked worldwide? From educational videos to mukbangs, the youtube algorithm has figured out the trick to constantly have a hold on your attention.
One second you might be watching Gordon Ramsay making hamburgers and the next you might be indulging in soft-core porn.
There are many cases of Youtube addiction that have sprung up in the recent past. However, not many take this problem seriously. It’s about time we pay attention to what we do in our leisure time, rather than mindlessly spending time on social media platforms.
Do you ever find yourself spending an unhealthy amount of time on social media? What have you done to break free from this unhealthy habit?