There are certain reward centers in the brain that go crazy for things like chocolate or winning money, which explains why people binge on chocolate or continue to gamble even when they’re in debt. These reward centers also have to do with why social media addiction is an issue.
While we still know very little about social media addiction and how it works, we’re beginning to understand it. One study even found that there may be a link between genetics and social media use, which could lead to a better understanding of how social media addiction works and how to tell if someone has a higher risk or not.
Social media addiction defined
Social media addiction isn’t officially classified as an addiction, but it’s a compulsive need to use social media–even if it’s in a dangerous situation, like driving. If your child were to have a social media addiction and you took away their form of accessing it, it’s likely that they would show symptoms like anxiety or mood swings.
Also, for someone with social media addiction, it’s likely they take the risk of checking social media while driving, which is on par with drunk driving. Social media addiction has the power to make someone risk their life, showing that it’s a dangerous attachment that can only be described as an addiction or harmful obsession.
Why it should be considered a ‘real’ addiction
A study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that nearly a quarter of all teens are online almost constantly. Now, that may not seem like an issue, but look at it this way. If you build that much of a reliance on something, it’s not always going to be healthy. Once it begins to interfere with interacting with others and the environment around you, there’s probably an issue.
In another study, it was found that if a teen saw a photo on Instagram–a social media platform–had a lot of likes or was liked by a friend, they would like it. Now if teens saw the exact photo, but with less likes or no likes from friends, they would be dramatically less likely to like it. This shows how friends have the power to influence a teen’s decisions and preferences.
The question is this: if your child is craving “likes” and is driven to “like” things with more “likes”, will they turn to methods to get “likes” even if they’re inappropriate? This is why we need to pay attention to the reality of social media addiction and the power it can hold over someone.
If you believe your child is struggling it’s critical to seek out help immediately.
Solstice is here for your daughter
Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls and assigned female at birth often grapple with depression, bullying, low self-esteem, social media addiction, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.
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 people 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 treat social media addiction at Solstice, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.