Since the beginning of 2022, a new diagnosis has appeared in the International Classification of Diseases – computer game addiction. This disease is defined as a disorder characterized by a permanent or periodic impairment of the ability to control the frequency or duration of time spent playing video games online or offline.
Many experts have also begun to talk about another possible addiction also associated with computers and smartphones – constant and uncontrolled time spent in social networks. While officially there is no such diagnosis, experts are convinced that there is a problem and it requires a comprehensive study.
About the Problem
Social networks and messengers were conceived as a convenient channel of communication. Over time, they have been transformed into a resource where you can show photos, videos, and talk about your life. Not everyone has been able to take advantage of the new opportunities correctly.
Addiction to social media is a form of behavioral addiction. It can be described as excessive or uncontrolled use of social media, which persists despite serious negative consequences for personal, social or professional functions.
The virtual world offers users much warmer and more vibrant relationships than in reality. The subconscious attracts users to this space, and one wants to leave it less. Sometimes a person “moves there” for good. Modern technology makes it possible to move one’s life completely to the Internet. Even a casino, which used to be land-based, today offers services with bonuses online at https://tonybet.com/promotions. Immersion in social life makes it possible to break away from real life, which for many people today looks full of stress, provoking a depressed and oppressed state, a feeling of dissatisfaction with one’s own situation.
Signs of Addiction
It is possible to distinguish the main signs of virtual addiction. First, it is an irresistible desire to visit social networks. There must always be the Internet, panic when there is no Internet, panic in situations when the smartphone battery is dead.
Then comes the loss of control over time – commitments from reality recede into the background. Another symptom is the desire to constantly attract attention by updating information in social networks. A person with a social media addiction is unable to get out and has a constant need to get back into it. He or she feels an urgent need to write or send a message. Such people look for any excuse to re-open apps, check social feeds, browse – for no good reason every 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
Besides, people obsessed with addiction find it difficult to focus on business and get back to their responsibilities after being in the social media space. They may forget about an upcoming meeting, have difficulty falling asleep and sleeping poorly, and generally don’t feel well.
There is a change in their personality and character. It happens that the person neglects hygiene, eats poorly, loses his or her appetite, and drives himself or herself to exhaustion. A particularly dangerous sign can be self-harming or committing dangerous social acts, since there are nowadays “closed type” social networks that promote radical views and contain very specific interests.
How to Deal With Addiction
As with any other addiction, the very first and most psychologically difficult step is to admit the problem. Only then will the person become motivated to get rid of it effectively. Creating a clear and adequate plan for the day and following this plan will help. In order not to lose contact with friends and colleagues, online correspondence can be replaced by meetings in real life or phone calls. This way, the person will get a significant portion of energy. Ideally, if he finds the strength to remove the social networks in which he spends most of his time. But in general, it is enough to simply minimize the time of their use.
In the fight against the constant stay in social networks, it is necessary to establish a clear time frame for the use of the Internet, gradually narrowing them.
It’s worth it to use the communication in social networks only when necessary, to disable the browser function of downloading pictures – if the pages of social networks won’t have bright interesting illustrations, they will lose their attractiveness rather quickly. It’s important to work out a daily routine, make a daily plan of things to do, thereby reducing the free time for visiting social networks. Find an interesting hobby on which you can shift all your attention, give up the habit of using the phone while eating, spend more time in society, and communicate in reality.