Why we’re addicted to social media

By Kate Halim

A Many people have joined social media even though they don’t know it yet. Some people cannot go a day without scrolling through different social media. Many of those people also skip sleep to find trending social media dramas.

Nora Acho is 22 years old. She said she likes to scroll through Instagram every day to keep up with the latest celebrity gossip. He told Saturday is the Sun that he does not miss any game on Instagram because he follows many gossip blogs in this country and abroad.

“My notifications for these Instagram pages and gossip blogs are always on. This way, whenever they post anything, I’m notified and I don’t miss any content. Sometimes, when I can’t catch a drama during the day because of my studies, I do it at midnight and go to bed after that. “Sometimes I sleep at 3 am because I read posts and comments under posts,” said Acho.

Acho revealed that the first thing he does when he wakes up in the morning is to check his Instagram app to see if there is anything trending before he prays in the morning and goes to study. He said: “Even at school I turn off the sound of other students and start reading texts on Instagram and Facebook. I use Twitter once in a while. I think I rush to check Twitter when a big drama happens there or a story starts trending on Twitter. “

The second child of his parents, Acho, said that sometimes his mother threatens to take away his phone because he is always using it and never gives it up even when he leaves the bathroom. He added that his mother keeps asking him why he can’t put his phone down for an hour and do other things instead of checking it all day.

“I can’t say that I’m immersed in the phone or social media, but I can describe myself as someone who wants to know everything that’s going on with people who bring their stories about life on social media, as well as celebrities who are famous on social media. . “I admit that sometimes I forget to eat and I don’t sleep well because of games on social media, but I don’t think it’s that deep,” said Acho.

Benjamin Asuqu said Saturday is the Sun that he is afraid of missing the best news on social media. He said he stays online for about 12 hours every day because he doesn’t want to miss out on what everyone is talking about on social media.

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“I spend a lot of money buying data every month and I have no problem because I can tell you what is happening on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok with my eyes closed. Sometimes, my colleagues think I’m listening to them when they talk but they don’t know that I’m not interested in anything they have to say because the real drama is online. Anyone who can’t buy data in this country right now is missing out on all the fun of the internet.”

Asuquo, who works in an advertising agency on the island, admitted that he sleeps more every day than the trending celebrity game on the internet. He mentioned that although he knows that not sleeping is not good for him in life, he added that he could not help himself because not going on social media while there is a game in progress means that he is missing out on the interesting details of the game.

Victoria Simeon said she cannot say how many hours she spends online every day. According to the testimonial reader, the only thing that hinders his use of social media is the lack of data. “I can say that I am addicted to social media because I always read posts, leave comments and write. To some extent, I can’t stay away from my phone all day without fumbling. I like to stay informed about trending issues and issues.”

Richard Ogunsuyi said he has been using social media for more than ten years to keep in touch with friends and family but recently, he discovered that he is addicted to Facebook. He said: “The first thing I do after opening my eyes in the morning is to start browsing Facebook. I don’t pray regularly anymore and I start to feel guilty after that. No matter how hard I try to stop browsing my Facebook feed, I still go back to doing it throughout the day. “

Ogunsuyi added that he stays away from his phone for 30 minutes in an effort to stop his endless scrolling on Facebook, it will seem like an eternity. “I like to read articles on Facebook but I don’t stop there. I also read the comments and replies to many comments on different posts. I spend hours reading other people’s opinions on different posts. I know it’s weird but I don’t know how to stop it. “Most of the time, I force myself to go to bed at 12 am or 1 am to stop giving in to my desires,” he says.

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Goeze Blossom is an event planner but she describes herself as a social media fanatic because she spends 10 to 15 hours a day browsing various social media platforms. “I love watching funny episodes and videos online and you know how doing that destroys one’s data. I watch these videos at any time of the day. I can use my last coin to buy data to make sure I always watch funny videos. I am always online at any time of the day. I’m addicted and I know it,” he said.

Mental health experts clarify social media addiction

Dr Diana Chikwe, a therapist based in Abuja describes social media addiction as an unhealthy dependence on social media. He added that like most addictions, social media addiction is characterized by excessive use and difficulty in avoiding it.

Chikwe said: “Whether you are using social media to connect with friends and loved ones, watch videos, or if you are away, the popularity of this pastime has increased dramatically. Like other forms of behavioral addiction, using social media can affect your brain in dangerous ways. You can use social media compulsively and excessively. You can get so used to scrolling through posts, photos and videos that it interferes with other aspects of your life.”

Chikwe revealed that the reason why social media is so addictive is that although it looks like a mindless and relaxing pleasure, it has a great impact on the human brain. He noticed that whenever a person accesses apps that they like, dopamine signals in their brain increase because these neurotransmitters are associated with happiness.

“When you get more dopamine after using social media, your brain identifies this activity as a reward to be repeated. Such a reaction can be felt more whenever you write your own and receive positive feedback. The good feelings you get when you use social media are temporary. The way your brain reacts. in this positive reinforcement is considered addictive because you crave positive feedback,” he said.

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Chikwe said that sometimes social media can be a welcome distraction if a person lives alone due to work or illness. He added that the more involved you are, the more your brain will tell you that this is an activity that can help alleviate loneliness that may not be the case.

He pointed out the negative effects of excessive use of social media. They include anxiety or depression, the onset of social anxiety disorder, low self-esteem that may be fueled by false perceptions that other people’s lives are better than yours, fear of loss, disrupted sleep patterns, poor grades or poor job performance, neglect of real-life relationships and decreased physical activity that may affect a person’s overall health. .

A psychologist based in Ekiti State, Dr Adedotun Ajiboye has described addiction as the inability to stop using a substance or engaging in a behavior even though it causes mental and emotional harm.

“Addiction is a treatable, chronic disease involving complex interactions between brain regions, genetics, environment and individual life experiences. Addicted people behave in a way that is uncontrollable and often continues despite the harmful consequences”, he added.

Ajiboye explained that there are drug addicts and non-drug addicts. He said the latter includes gambling, cell phone addiction, food addiction, internet addiction, and gaming and sex addiction.

He explained the different categories of internet use namely: internet use, internet abuse and internet addiction. He said people can prevent addiction to social media by setting time limits for using social media every day, avoiding using social media when depressed, and finding other activities to do instead of endlessly scrolling through social media.

Although dealing with social media addiction may not be easy, Ajiboye mentioned that it can be done by not comparing yourself to others and being aware of things that might make you want to use social media.

Ajiboye mentioned ways people can prevent themselves from becoming addicted to social media and they include turning off social media notifications, reducing social media screen time, finding a hobby outside of social media, deleting social media apps that one does not use and giving up social media if necessary.

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