Social media addiction is the new epidemic. While drug enforcement agencies continue to train their guns on the illegal narcotics trade, this new form of addiction is relentlessly pervading our daily existence.  

Social media addiction is worrisome because it can rip right through our moral fabric. You've likely come across numerous Facebook or Twitter posts that maliciously target the most vulnerable in society – children and women. And while some users stop short of challenging conventional norms, others are audacious enough to encourage lawlessness and social deviance.  

For a level-headed person, the negative energy from social media platforms can be too difficult to process. The good news is that you can step away from all the chaos.  

This article will unpack the various ways to combat social media addiction.  

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What Is Social Media Addiction? 

Social media addiction is a scourge that needs a cure. But before we unveil the solutions for social media addiction, it's best to understand how this addiction presents itself.  

Social media addiction is a behavioral problem characterized by a compulsive urge to use social media platforms. This form of addiction develops over time. However, the habit can be difficult to break when fully formed.  

The growing interest in social media websites and community forums is the primary driver behind social media addiction. Statistics by Search Logistics suggest that some 210 million people are dangerously hooked to social media.  

Ways to Overcome Social Media Addiction 

  1. Know the Signs 

The first step to treating a disease is to know the signs.  

Most social media addicts spend excessive time on social networking platforms. Some may utilize their time on these websites to post helpful content. However, most are usually catching up on gossip or trolling other users.  

The following are additional symptoms of social media addiction: 

  • Obsessing over social media when currently not using it  
  • Overly anticipating the next opportunity to log into social media websites 
  • Checking into social media at the slightest opportunity available 
  • Turning to social media to relieve stress or boredom   
  • Continually using social media despite feeling anxious while doing so 

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  1. Understand the Perils

Social media addiction may seem harmless at first glance. After all, it doesn't involve ingesting or inhaling potentially toxic substances. However, the consequences of social media addiction can be just as severe as chronic drug and alcohol abuse.   

Many social media addicts suffer from stress and depression. These adverse mental effects are usually due to cyberbullying, which is rampant on nearly all social networking platforms.  

Being addicted to social media may also affect intimate relationships. Compulsive social media users tend to display erratic mood swings, low self-esteem, and poor , all of which can negatively affect romantic relationships. 

Social media addiction may also reduce sleep quality. That's partly due to its ability to trigger anxiety (a known risk factor for insomnia) and the blue lights emitted by electronic gadgets. Some animal studies have found that extended exposure to blue light-emitting devices may damage retinal cells.  

Needless to say, excessive social media use may ruin good morals. That's especially if you feed yourself content from toxic users. 

  1. Hide the Cues from Plain Sight

Do you check social media at first sight of your smartphone or

If yes, keeping these gadgets out of sight is the most effective solution.  

Keeping your phone in the drawer rather than on top of a table can minimize contact with it, reducing the likelihood of checking into social media.  

You can enlist a friend's help if necessary. Simply ask them to hold onto your phone and only hand it to you when a call comes in. 

  1. Incorporate Healthy Distractions

Getting separated from your smartphone or computer may be unideal in certain scenarios, for instance, due to the nature of your job.  

In such circumstances, you could have the gadget by your side but still resist the urge to check into social media. All you need to do is pursue an alternative task whenever the craving for social media strikes.  

Reading a chapter of your favorite novel can effectively fend off the compulsion to use social media. You don't even need a visit to the library to distract yourself. Not when you can easily access the novel's audiobook or e-book version.  

Other healthy habits to combat social media addiction include cooking, gardening, singing, dancing, and connecting with your friends offline. 

  1. Log Out, Unfriend, Uninstall, or Delete

One best practice when using social media is to always log out of your profiles after every session. This prevents you from getting bombarded with notifications whenever you're within Wi-Fi range.  

Another tip is to unfriend or unfollow toxic social media users. Blocking such characters would further prevent their posts from popping up on your feed, especially if you share mutual friends.  

If your addiction has escalated to severe mental health problems, it would be great to uninstall the or delete your account altogether.  

You can always come back to social media after complete recovery.  

The Bottom Line 

Social media can be an effective platform for expression or a dangerous tool for mental enslavement. It all depends on whether you use it sparingly or addictively. Implementing the above tips can help to combat excessive social media usage. Remember to consult a licensed therapist if the condition persists despite your best treatment efforts.