Do you ever wonder why do we use Social Media? Obviously, the answer would be to stay connected with people and to have a better social life. But what if social media makes us lonely and vice versa.
A lot of researches have been conducted on the relationship between social networking addiction and loneliness.
This statistics above shows the number of social network users in India from the year 2015 to 2022. In 2019, it is estimated that the users will reach around 258.27 million in India, up from close to 168 million in 2016
Loneliness may be part of a normal developmental process for older adolescents in transition to young adulthood, but for many adolescents, the loneliness that results from can lead to even more serious problems such as depression, suicide ideation, and violence.
A World Happiness Database (2010) study found that people with close friendships are happier. It has also been documented that friendship is the most important relationship in an emotional life of an individual between the end of early childhood and onset of full adulthood, and it has also been recorded that friendship is more intense than relationships later in life.
While adolescents use social networking sites (SNS) to connect with people and to improve their friendships and social circle, it is to be noted if it improves the quality of friendship and makes the individual feel belonged or if it acts counter wise.
Almost in 98% of the researchers in this topic, you can find that as social networking addiction increases the loneliness of the individual also increases.
But it was also found that moderate usage of social media can enhance the social life of an individual and make him/her feel connected.
So what does that mean? To keep our usage of social media on a check.But how exactly do we know what is social networking addiction?
Social Networking addiction is an over usage of social networking site which shows an increase in a negative outcome in the users both physically and mentally.
It disrupts the normal personal life and makes the individual involve in constant impulsive behaviour to go online.
Researchers have suggested that the excessive use of new technologies and especially online social networking, in particular, is problematic to young people. According to biopsychosocial framework for the etiology of addictions, and the syndrome model of addiction, it is claimed that those people addicted to using SNS experience symptoms similar to those experienced by individuals who suffer from substance abuse and addiction.
Unlike other addictions, SNS addiction treatment cannot be total abstinence from using the internet because it is a basic element of our professional work and leisure time.
It is almost hard for us to stop using social media because a lot of information on our professional life is conveyed through it and we connect to a lot of people from long distance through social media. Hence abstinence is never a solution for this and individual need to learn or be taught how to use social media moderately.
A lot of awareness of this should be created in schools, colleges, and offices to enable individuals to learn using social media adequately. The effective usage strategy of social media must be taught.
If you feel that your usage of social media is overtaking you or is causing disruption to your personal life, please know that it is necessary to seek professional help. Do reach out for help. There’s nothing wrong in seeking help but letting our problems destroy our life is.
I would like to attach links to the authentic researches carried out in psychology on this topic.