Snapchat is just about on every teenager’s smartphone. It’s one of the most used apps in the world, competing with other major companies like Instagram and Facebook. A downside has begun to become apparent, though, as this app continues to increase in popularity: Snapchat addiction.
This may be the moment that you chuckle, but I guarantee this is real. Technology addictions are getting more serious attention lately–and Snapchat addiction needs to be included in that enhanced awareness.
Why a Snapchat addiction should be taken seriously
To understand why Snapchat addiction should be taken seriously, you have to understand why technology addictions are very real. Addictions aren’t just reserved for substances–really you can become addicted to most things that light up the reward system in the brain.
Take gambling addictions for example; people become addicted to the feeling, the rush, of winning money. With technology, it’s similar. For video game addictions, it’s usually being used as a sort of escape from reality. For a Snapchat addiction, it’s more about views and “snap streaks.”
If you’re like me, you have no clue what a snap streak is. Snapchat is usually reserved for individuals under the age of 30, which means parents often have no clue as to how it works.
Snap streaks are the way to measure “success” on Snapchat. On Instagram it’s about likes, on Snapchat it’s about the streak. A snap streak is when you’ve been sending snaps directly to a person for a prolonged amount of time. To get the streak, you have to do it each day, though–so if you miss a day, you lose the streak.
This all sounds pretty trivial to parents, but for some teens it’s everything.
For some teens, it’s a measure of how much you care about someone or how much they care for you. If you’re good friends, they’re more motivated to keep the streak going; if you’re not, they’ll let it die without mourning.
It can get so obsessive that the streaks continue for over a year–and if you lose one, it can be devastating, it can even ruin a friendship. So, it’s easy to see how this obsession to grow into something problematic.
It can begin as something harmless, but if behavior increasingly becomes erratic and obsessive based around Snapchat, there may be a real issue. When a teen begins to place their self worth on the number of likes, followers, or snaps they receive, it’s a recipe for disaster.
Snapchat ranked among worst social media for mental health
In a study conducted by Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and the Young Health Movement (YHM), researchers found that Instagram and Snapchat are the worst for mental health in teens.
The data came from 1,500 youth, ages 14-24, in order to understand social media’s impact on the age group that uses it the most.
The researchers believe this is because the two platforms are largely based on image rather than anything else. It all focuses on followers and shallow status factors. Having your self esteem based on something so volatile and superficial can lead to serious mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, extreme feelings of loneliness, and more.
Solstice is a teen depression treatment center
Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls often grapple with depression, Snapchat addiction, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us. Dealing with these issues can get confusing and overwhelming fast–but we’re here to help guide you.
Through a unique combination of therapeutic programs based upon both traditional and holistic mental health treatment, we treat our clients with age and gender specific techniques. We strive to empower teenage women with the ability to believe in themselves and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.
For more information about how we help with Snapchat addiction at Solstice, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.