Social media addiction is not a myth and a lot of people are now seeking help with therapists.

When you hear the word ‘addiction’ your mind instantly jumps to hard drugs like cocaine or meth.

This is normal for most of us but do you think about Instagram, SnapChat and Twitter when you think about addiction? Not likely.

Social media addiction could lead to depression
Social media addiction could lead to depression (BBC )

Social media addiction might not be recognised in the medical world but there are millions of people who are stuck on their phones and need help. These people have tried to wean themselves from their phones but they have had no luck until now.

Therapists abroad (where else?) now offer sessions for people who have are addicted to social media apps on their phones. Also, coaches organise detox weekend to help people battle this addiction. Early results prove these methods are working.

Social media addiction
Social media addiction (PSU)

Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center spoke to the BBC about what they do to get people off their phones. “We give people driving lessons and swimming lessons, but everyone just gets a smartphone and off they go,” she says. The Media Psychology Research Center is a research-based non-profit organisation based in Newport Beach in California.

More people are now coming out to deal with their addiction. A therapist Nathan Driskell based in Texas in America says that half of his patients now seek treatment for their social media addiction.

Nathan Driskell also believes that social media addiction is as serious as drug addiction. “It’s worse than alcohol or drug abuse because it’s much more engaging and there’s no stigma behind it.”

The treatment to get yourself off social media is might be expensive for you. An hour long session goes for about $150 and a weekend long session is $500.

For those who can’t afford the dollar rate here are five steps to get rid of your social media addiction;

1) Turn off your notifications

When your notifications are on it sort of compels you to check your social media apps all the time. Turning them off will help you reduce the amount of time you spend on them.

2) Time yourself

Determine how many minutes you should spend on a social media app per day and stick to it. 30-50 minutes might not be bad but 2-4 hours is too much.

3)  Get a hobby

If you pick up a new hobby it will distract you from compulsive scrolling of your phone. Learning how to swim or dance salsa will distract you from checking your phone.

4) Go cold turkey

This means you should go off social media for a considerable amount of time 48 hours to a couple of weeks. Doing so will force your mind to function without opening social media apps every minute.

5) Go out more

One sure way to reduce your dependence of social media apps is to go out more and socialise. Nothing beats meeting people in real life and forming relationships.

ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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