Social media is a widespread network that many of us use to connect with friends and family. Others use it to network or find jobs. People use social networking for a variety of reasons. Some people find that it calms their anxiety or makes them feel less depressed. Some individuals use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat casually, while others have a dependence on them. You may have an unhealthy connection to social media because of other mental health issues such as attachment disorders. If you’re interested in learning more about attachment issues, you can check out this section on BetterHelp. You may discover that social media is fulfilling some unresolved concerns in your interpersonal relationships. But, first thing’s first: are you addicted to social media? Read more below and find out the truth.

Why do you use social media?

It’s time to ask yourself: why do you use social media? Are you online to find new friends? Maybe you find it’s an easy way to connect with friends and loved ones worldwide. Some people have loved ones on the other side of the country or internationally. You can send a quick message to your loved ones via social media and let them know you’re thinking of them and you care. That’s a relatively benign use of these platforms. Other people may use social media to express their ideas about the world. Maybe you like to tweet your thoughts about political matters, express how you’re feeling that day, or share funny memes. Everyone has their own reasons for being online. Some people become fixated on what happens on their platforms. No matter what they share, they’re consistently checking to see what feedback they’re receiving on their posts.

How often do you check your social media?

One clue as to whether or not you have an unhealthy attachment to social media is how often you check it. If you’re constantly clicking the apps on your phone to see who responded to your posts, that could be a sign of an addiction to social media. Maybe you shared something vulnerable online and you want to see what others think. It’s natural to care about how your posts are impacting others, but when you’re obsessing about them, that’s a different story. People who are anxious or have obsessive-compulsive disorder may check their social media more than others due to their mental health issues. They could find themselves worrying about how their words are impacting others. It’s natural to want to get feedback, but when you’re overly concerned about the opinions of others that could be problematic. If you’re fixated on what’s happening online, it could quickly develop into an addiction, and all of a sudden, you’re unable to think about much else.

What would you do if you didn’t have access to your social media accounts?

Ask yourself this question: what would you do if you couldn’t check your Facebook, Twitter, or other platforms? Would you be upset? How would you cope? Some people would feel upset, anxious, or depressed if they couldn’t go online. Maybe they have online friends they want to talk with, and not having access to their accounts is upsetting. It’s okay to have a social network of people online. You could develop meaningful friendships with people on the internet. The trouble occurs when your entire emotional support system is online, and you don’t have anyone to connect to in “real life.” Another issue that people struggle with (when it comes to social media dependence) is the need for emotional validation. Some people post things online to see how many likes, shares, or retweets they receive. It makes these individuals feel emotionally validated when they get this feedback. It’s natural to get some validation when people share your content, but it shouldn’t be the sole source of your self-esteem. It would be best if you felt good about yourself independently of social media.

What does social media mean to you?

It’s crucial to understand what social media means to you. Some people don’t have social networking sites, and they’re uninterested in creating them. They find in-person relationships more fulfilling. Other people are obsessed with their social media usage. Then, there are people who casually check their accounts. Social media can be addictive for some and not for others. Where do you fall on this spectrum? It’s important to understand how much social media means to you and if you can gain emotional validation elsewhere. If you’re struggling to find ways to feel good about yourself outside of social media, that could be part of a larger conversation. You might explore these issues in therapy.

Talk bout social media and therapy

If you have low self-esteem and you’re seeking to fill a void through social media, you could benefit from talking about these issues in therapy. When you see a therapist, they can help you get to the source of your social media attachment and see if you can get validation elsewhere. If you suspect that you have a social networking addiction, it’s crucial to seek help. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, as other people have these issues too. You can see a therapist online or in your local town. Make sure you explore why you’re using social media so you can better your mental health.

Photo Credit: Photo by Pratik Gupta

Author Credit: Marie Miguel Biography

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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