By Rhiannon Nicholls
A social network refers to a form of website or application used to communicate and interact with family or friends, and even other people from all over the world. In today’s day and age, the very thought of trying to get in contact with our family and friends without using social networking is a very strange and confusing topic. Despite the fact that social networking is still a fairly new thing, we can barely remember when it didn't exist. Social networking is now a billion dollar industry and growing rapidly.
Social networking is an essential part of life for people around the world. Aside from the obvious use of communicating with people, social networks can be used for other useful things, such as educational and entertainment purposes. Social media comes in many different forms, but all of them relate back to each other.
Even if you don’t actually use the "popular" social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, you may still be connected without even knowing. Social networking also refers to texting, emailing and things such as that.
Social Network Addiction
Social network addiction is becoming a growing concern around the world and many people are unaware that they are apart of this. Whether it's going down your Facebook newsfeed, scrolling through your Tumblr dashboard or posting a picture on Instagram, there's no shortage of ways to waste time on social networks.
I went around and asked some of my classmates (nineteen year ten students) if they have any of the following social networks, and this was the results.
Signs & Symptoms
Some of the signs and symptoms of social networking addiction are as followed.
- Losing track of time online. Constantly finding yourself on the Internet for longer than you intended. A few minutes turn in to a few hours. You get irritated or cranky if your online time is interrupted.
- Having trouble completing tasks at work or home. You keep slacking at home and fail to do necessary things because you're constantly online. You find yourself having to catch up on your school work at home because you don't complete your work at school.
- Isolation from family and friends. Your social life starts to crumble. You start neglecting your family and friends and you feel like nobody in your real life understands you like your online friends do.
- Feeling guilty or defensive about your Internet use. You might be sick of getting yelled at by your family and friends for constantly being on the internet. Because of this you might hide your Internet use and history.
How To Deal With It?
There are many different steps that you can take to kick an Internet/social media addiction, or at least maintain it. The actual treatment for this addiction really depends on the seriousness of your addiction and who you are as a person. There isn't really on certain method that is guaranteed to work for anyone and everyone. But hopefully out of these next few tips, some of them will be helpful.
- The first step to dealing with an addiction is admitting that you have one, you can't move on from anything unless you realise and understand what is actually going on.
- To help you see problem areas, keep a log of how much you use the Internet for non-work or non-essential activities. Are there times of day that you use the Internet more? Are there things in your day that make you stay online for hours at a time when you only planned to stay for a few minutes?
- Set goals for when you can use the Internet. For example, you might try setting a timer, scheduling use for certain times of day, or making a commitment to turn off the computer, tablet, or smartphone at the same time each night. Or you could reward yourself with a certain amount of online time once you’ve completed a homework assignment or finished the laundry, for instance.
- Replace your Internet usage with healthy activities. If you are bored and lonely, resisting the urge to get back online can be very difficult. Have a plan for other ways to fill the time, such as going to lunch with a coworker, taking a class, or inviting a friend over.