In today’s society cell phones play a huge role in our lives and with that comes the use of social media. Instagram, twitter and Facebook have all become a part of our daily routine, but what many people don’t know is that the constant need to update can mean more than just a simple like or re-tweet, it can be an addiction.
Today’s society, social media has become a way of life. It’s not uncommon to see people nose deep in their phone, checking notifications and updating statuses. This behavior brought up a question of “Could social media be an addiction?”
Adam Foreman a neurologist at Lafayette General says too much exposure to social media can lead to a number of harmful effects on the body, including mechanical and behavioral issues, and can even cause insomnia. “No more than maybe and hour a day. I know a lot of people, especially teenagers will use it for five hours a day and that in my opinion is way too much.”
Student at UL Lafayette Randy Gallow says that updating and sharing has become a major part of his life. “Yes, that’s like a priority to check to right before you go to sleep and right when you wake up like if you are on snapchat, Instagram or Twitter and things like that you lose track of time and stuff and lose track of your day.”
Gallow says it is also a major distraction when studying for school. : I have to put my phone in my closet because I know if I hear it go off I’m going to constantly check on it. Then they are going to reply and you will reply and it will keep going so I actually have to hid it from myself,”
“Those kinds of alarms create these Pavlovian type conditioned responses. You’ve programmed yourself to react to the bell or the buzz or whatever type of notification you are getting. So you really have to train yourself to not pay attention to it or eliminate the stimulus altogether.” Dr. Foreman adds.
Dr. Foreman says that this feeling of “Needing” to check your notifications is something that we have taught ourselves. “Those kinds of alarms create these Pavlovian type conditioned responses. You’ve programmed yourself to react to the bell or the buzz or whatever type of notification you are getting. So you really have to train yourself to not pay attention to it or eliminate the stimulus altogether.”
Dr. Foreman says too many “Self-promoting” Post can have a deeper meaning. “A secondary effect of that is Narcissism. Both from compulsively checking your status updates and feeds and like and dislikes and those kinds of things.”
Marlania Thompson a student, believes that too much of anything can be a bad thing, She tells KLFY’s Carly Laing “Use it is moderation and don’t forget about normal human interaction like face to face interaction. That’s the most important thing you need.”
Although social media addiction has not been proven to be very serious, Dr. Foreman does say that limiting your usage during the day can be beneficial to your health.