Social media addiction: the abuse of the virtual

In psychology and mental health in general, the concept of addiction is very much focused on chemical dependence on substances; in fact, in major diagnostic manuals the only case of non-drug addiction mentioned is gambling addiction, where gambling cannot be stopped.

However, outside of the clinical realm, there are other conceptions of what is meant by “addiction”, and these tend to change more rapidly than the more or less rigid categories reached by scientific consensus. This is especially noticeable in the field of new technologies, in which we are already starting to talk about a relatively new phenomenon: social media addiction. And does the widespread use of the Internet have its advantages, but also its risks.

    What is social media addiction?

    As the name suggests, social media addiction is an addictive relationship that someone develops on these virtual platforms of interacting with others, although in reality there is something more to it. People obsessed with social media don’t always think about how enjoyable they are using social media, but what is achieved through this platform.

    It means the use of these services does not generate a “peak of pleasure”But what is gained is rather the fact of avoiding disappearing from the social map. In general, no reward is sought, but this is to avoid losing events, not knowing certain news, etc. This is something reminiscent of the phenomenon of FOMO (fear of missing out) syndrome, with which this type of addiction is linked.

    On the other hand, it should be borne in mind that addiction to social networks is not simply creating addiction to the use of computers. In fact, if anything now characterizes a social networks are everywhere: tablets, smartphones, PCs and other conventional computers … even in virtual networks accessible through video game consoles.

      The emergence of this problem on the Internet

      One of the most negative aspects of social media addiction is that many people can fall for it. The reason is that these tools they don’t have a bad reputation, for example for illegal drugs, And that the fact that others use them creates more reasons to join the phenomenon. Even for professional reasons, in many industries it is advisable to open a profile on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

      Second, since social media has gone far beyond the computer, it can follow us anywhere from a tablet or smartphone, from where it can periodically invade our lives through vibrations and sounds. In psychology, this can be understood as a learning process that leads to a single outcome: thinking all the time in terms of social media, as these constantly remind us that they are there.

      In the case of adolescents, their tendency to be impulsive and their need to have a broad and expansive social influence can cause them to quickly fall into this class of tendencies. Facebook, for example, offers the added value of bringing together all kinds of social interactions in one place: posting photos and selfies, sharing links, and multimedia content like songs or humorous videos that you feel identified with. , publication of existence or not. of a sentimental relationship, etc.

        What kind of person falls into this obsession?

        If a few years ago the stereotype of a tech-obsessed person being a teenager or young adult with a small number of friends who couldn’t get away from the computer, now social media junkies have a much higher profile. women and adolescents with relatively good social skills were added en masse.

        Social media is no longer seen as a limitation on relationships, but they have become the public “showcase” through which it is almost obligatory be someone relevant in a community of friends and acquaintances, big and small, or become famous for places you will never visit.

        In this way, a profile on Facebook is much more than a way to stay in touch with acquaintances: it is the ecosystem in which all that is socially relevant will take place. Not in vain, for example, came to create a concept to refer to a court really begins only when it appears in a Facebook state: we speak of “official Facebook” relationships.

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