Social Media Addiction

By: Calvin Kragenbrink

The popularity of social media has taken over many peoples' lives and is an actual addiction, today. Social media addiction is a branch of internet addiction which has been a more popular and a longer known addiction. The rise of Twitter and Facebook and other cites have brought upon the addiction of social media.

This specific addiction is having more research done to it but it is known that one gets a satisfaction while viewing other peoples pages or their "feed" on a social network cite. Another hypothesis is that today's generation has a higher need for social interaction and the social networks have been the perfect match to feed the need to be with others and have a social lifestyle.

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Relation to Being a College Student

Social media addiction is very important to college students because almost every college student has some sort of social media cite that they use. 16-22 year old people is the most popular to have and use social media on a day to day basis. In college it is very easy to stay connected to each other using social media. You can see picture of people from a variety of events and also stay in the mix with many events that happen during the years of college.

The risks of being a college student and being addicted to social media

Being a college student that is hooked to social media can be just as bad or worse than someone in high school or an adult out of college. While in college one can have a lot of dead time that they may not spend correctly. One way to spend ones time would be to spend time on a social media cite. This is very hazardous as a college student because it can effect ones study habits and social interaction in person. It can also lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. Sitting in the dorm room and spending hours on Facebook does not have any real advantages. Better ways to spend ones time would be to spend time outside, studying, exercising, and a variety of other things. College students have every opportunity to surf the whole day on the web and it could end up to being an unhealthy addiction.

What is Addiction?

Addiction is the condition that results when a person uses a substance such as alcohol, tobacco or other drugs or engages in an activity like gambling or more currently the use of social media, which is pleasurable with the continued use. It then becomes compulsive and interferes with everyday life. Addiction amongst an alcoholic which is the addiction to alcohol. This addiction can be fueled every time the person walks into a bar, they feel a strong urge to buy a drink once they are there. Similarly, a person with internet or social media addiction feels a stronger urge to fuel their addiction more times in a day. The use of internet is everywhere now and can be used at the palm of your hands. Social media is similar and can be used anywhere and everywhere. Someone who has an addiction to social media feels urges many times during the day whether it is just pulling out their cell phone or sitting down to use the computer (Psychology, n.d.).

Information about internet addiction:

The internet is an easy outlook to avoid or get away from real day problems and to not have to face reality. While lost in the vast world of the internet a person can get away from their problems such as loneliness, stress, anxiety, depression, and boredom. This is a problem with a person that is addicted to the internet, they can get away from everyday problems by just surfing the internet. The important thing to do when facing internet addiction is to find an alternative way to get away from reality when problems in life arise. Some other outlooks could be fishing, exercising, meditating, and other relaxation techniques (Saisan, 2013).

Risk factors of being an internet addict:

  • Suffer from anxiety – anxiety makes you go towards the internet to escape reality. Constant checking of the internet and social media cites is a type of anxiety.
  • Suffer from depression – depression can be a reason that a person go towards internet and then gets addicted which can only make the problem worse. Internet addiction adds to stress and isolation.
  • Unhappy – You can be an unhappy teenager that doesn't know where you fit in so you go towards the internet to escape that.
  • Less active – spending countless hours on the computer does nothing for your health. Other things like over eating and drinking drinks with high amounts of sugar link with internet addiction (Saisan, 2013).

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Symptoms of Internet addiction

  • Losing track of time – Time can seem to just fly by when on the internet for a long time. You can tell yourself to only be on for a short while and then all of a sudden a couple hours has gone by.
  • Tasks around the house like cleaning, doing laundry, and doing the dishes starts to pile up and nothing around the house gets done.
  • Your social life could be suffering. Relationships with other people could be suffering and you could have stronger relationships online (Saisan, 2013).

Five Steps to reduce the use of Social Media/Internet:

  • To be conscious of the compulsive behavior.
  • Make a decision to decrease the use of abuse of the technology
  • Tell a group of friends or family that you intend to decrease the amount that you use it, because witnesses help support the changing of behavior is critical
  • Pick a desired substitute that will replace the technology, something that is pleasurable or desirable for the person to do instead
  • Put a restriction for some set of time that the technology can be used. For example, only using the internet or smart phone for social purposes once a week (Dave, n.d.).

Studies done on Social Media Addiction:

Dr Preisz a Psychology professor at Oklahoma City University has studied Social Media Addiction and he says that it is a new study because social media is so new. Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) is the specific name that has been linked to the addiction. Signs of IAD are, if you hide the amount of time that you spend on the internet or social media cites like someone would hide a bottle of alcohol then you may be addicted to social media. If you uses your computer to avoid problems or escape reality then you may be addicted (Dave, n.d.).

Chicago University’s Booth Business School did a test lead by Wilhelm Hofmann which looked at the addiction among human
s. The addiction towards social media was similar to that of alcohol and tobacco products. The reason social media has a higher addiction is because it feels as if it is cheap and easy to use, which it is. It Seems very easy to engage in these activities although many of the people want to resist these urges (International, 2000).

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Researchers at the University of Chicago did a study that asked a group of 220 people ages 18-80 to log their desires through a seven day period. The conclusion was that when it comes to sex and drugs, they have nothing on social media like Facebook and Twitter. The results showed that the urge to interact online was stronger than sexual urges (Bad News, 2012).

Facts of social media and its users:

  • over 50% of the U.S. population has some social-media profiling. At present, there are more than 125 million blogs in existence, more than 500 million Facebook users and more than 90 million (Twitter) tweets generated daily.
  • Consumers that like follow or are a part of a brand that they like on a social media cite are more likely to buy that product and recommend it to other people (Pooje, 2012).
  • 751 Facebook users access Facebook at least once a month
  • Twitter has seen a 44% growth since June of 2012 with its fastest growing age group (55-64) growing 79% since that time.
  • 6 billion hours of YouTube is watched every month with one billion unique visitors each month.
  • LinkedIn isn't thought of a social media top dog but a new member is added every two second and 64% of its demographic is outside of the United States (Bullas, 2013).


Social media addiction is a very serious addiction that can take over ones life. It has been tested and concluded as possibly more addictive than alcohol or tobacco. Being addicted to social media can be very unhealthy. It can be an alternative to facing real problems in life. It can take over ones life and lead to not getting anything done. As a college student, social media is fun to use to stay in the loop as a student. Although, it can be very detrimental to your college experience. It can effect relationships grades and overall health. Getting over social media addiction can be done with the right therapy and the right supporting group of friends or family and the will power to do so.

Are you addicted to social media?



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Bullas, J. (2013). 21 Awesome Social Media Facts, Figures and Statistics of 2013. Retrieved from

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International Business, T. (2000, September). Study finds Social Media and Email More Addiction, Unusual Addictions Listed. International Business Times.

Pooje, M., Black, J.E., Jiangmei, C., Berger, P.D., & Weinberg, B.D. (2012). The Impact of Social Media Usage on Consumer Buying Behavior. Advances In Management, 5(1), 14-22

Psychocology Today. What is Addiction Retreived from

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(2012, May 21). Addiction to social media is filled with real hazards. Daily Mail. p. 45