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Monday, April 12, 2021

Social Media Addiction| Signs, Effects, Causes, Solution & Prevention


Many years ago before the advent of social media, people were addicted to work, schooling, dreams, ambitions, and meeting goals. But these days, things have changed. Social media addiction is on a rampage.


According to a few statistics I have provided below, you will be shocked at what social media has done to teenagers, adults, married couples, singles, workers, and even clergies. Many people, including those we least expect, are addicts even when there are more important things to pay attention to.

social media addiction

No doubt, the advancement of technology came with a lot of positive sides, but the flip side is, it came with a plethora of side effects as well.

In this article,  I have covered the following areas;

  • What is social media addiction
  • Addiction to social media statistics
  • Signs of addiction to social media
  • Causes of social media addiction
  • Negative effects of social media addiction
  • How to break addiction to social media
  • How to prevent social media addiction
  • Teenage addiction to social media



This is an act of over-indulgence in social media and their activities in an uncontrolled manner whether for negative and/or positive reasons. The most abused social platforms are Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Instagram.

Allowing teenagers and even adults become addicted to these platforms is one of the deadliest parenting mistakes many parents are guilty of. 


Here are a few statistics to buttress my point.



 Below are a few statistics about social media addiction carried out in the United States of America.

  1. More than 70 percent of people sleep next to their mobile devices: Social media is not just a day thing. It has also become a night witch. Statistics show that more than 70 percent of Americans sleep next to their mobile phones.
  2. About 210 million people suffer addiction to social media: Over the years, there has been an exponential growth in internet and social media abuse as technology increases.  An estimated number of 210 million people suffer this fate.
  3. Young, single females are social media addicts compared to any other  group/activity: In a survey of more than 23,500 people between the ages of 16 and 88, study shows that single females were most associated with addictive social media behavior.
  4. 10% of teenagers check their phones more than ten times every night 
  5. Teenagers who spend 5 hours daily on their phones are twice more likely to show depressive symptoms
  6. Over 240 million Americans check Facebook daily (74% of all Americans)
  7. 50% of people driving while using Smartphone are checking social media




Just as there are signs and symptoms that indicate a person is sick, there are signs that also indicate that someone is addicted to social media. 

social media addiction

social media addiction signs are not hard to find. Sometimes,  parents talk trivially about them and joke around when a child shows these signs, only to get serious when things get beyond control.

Check out some of the very popular signs and watch out for them in your teens, husband, wife, or friends. You just might be helping someone who didn't realize.

  1. Spending more hours on social media than any other thing
  2. Being desperate for data subscription
  3. Being too eager to receive a social media update, responses or notifications
  4. Impatience while doing other things just to quickly attend to social media
  5. Chatting while Cooking, eating, or in a meeting
  6. Feeling too depressed when you misplace your Smartphone
  7. Showing desperation in buying a phone
  8. When people, friends and close relatives hide their phones from you.
  9. When almost all you talk about are activities on social media
  10. When you find yourself texting or writing letters using abbreviations such as LOL( Laugh out loud) BRB( Be right back etc.)

Note: Social media addiction signs are not difficult to pinpoint. If you notice any of such in your children, know it is time to help them overcome.



Some of the major reasons people are addicted to social media are;

  1. Finding solace: When people are depressed, disappointed, or heartbroken, social media becomes an option to heal.
  2. Motivated by “LIKES” and “SHARES”: People feel great when they get many “likes” and “shares”. In a bid to impress friends, fans or followers even more, they work hard which requires paying more attention to social media.
  3. Idleness:  People who are idle use social media as an avenue to get busy by so doing get addicted.
  4. Scamming: Scamming is one thing that really gets people addicted to social media if they must succeed at their evil agenda. 
  5. Internet business: Doing a legitimate business that requires maximum exposure to social media marketing can also get one addicted.
  6. Long-distance relationship: Because chatting is cheaper, lovers who are separated by distance can bridge that gap through social media. At every second, they want to go online in anticipation of a lovely message by a sweetheart.
  7. Wanting to feel among: Some people don’t really like social media. However, just to feel among, they opt for it, and before long, they are addicted.
  8. Wanting updates with current affairs: Some people are news addicts. They want to know everything that happens in the world. Where else can they get such information easily if not social media? Reason they are addicts.
  9. Influence: Some people are on social media not because they want to, but because they want to keep in touch with a friend who recommended one for them. The power of influence is really one of the major causes of social media addiction


 Social media has both mental and physical effects on people. They can alter one's view or outlook in life and as well make some people appear insane without knowing.


Below are some of the drawbacks of social media. When you notice anyone related to you, take prompt steps to do something about it.


  1. Lacking Concentration:  You can’t seem to do anything meaningful without thinking about social media. You have been given a 2 hours job, but you do it shabbily in less than an hour just to attend to social media. This is one of the most dangerous effects of social media on students. ( 4 smartest ways to help kids focus on more meaningful things)
  2. Cyberbullying: Before the advent of social media, you can’t bully someone you don’t know from a distance. You have to come face to face. Now people use hate speeches, harsh and profane words on others through social media. Scammers can hack people’s accounts and use their identity to defraud those in their sphere of contact.
  3. Laziness at Work Due to unhealthy sleeping habits: You would be lying if you said you just wanted to spend a few minutes checking up notifications on social media before going to bed. Before you know it, you have spent hours. Research shows that overindulgence in social media reduces quality of sleep. 
  4.  When people don’t get enough sleep, they feel lazy and slow down productivity at the workplace all because of social media addiction. 
  5. Depression/Anger: It is easy to get offended and feel disappointed in yourself when you see what your peers flaunt on social media as their achievements. This can make you desperate and lead to character transformation. Many people have become armed robbers, scammers, and prostitutes just because of a lavish lifestyle they see on social media and also want to feel among.
  6. Unrealistic expectations: Social media is the center of fake lifestyles. People make you believe a projected lifestyle while behind the curtain; they suffer all manner of things. Such deception is neither good for them or for those who follow them. 


social media addiction


The solution to breaking free from this addiction is enormous.

 Many people ask the question of how to stop such addiction but never commit to implementing the steps given.

 If you must break free from social media addiction, then you must give it a commitment approach.  you must engage in things that allow you little or no time for social media. 

Some of these things are:

  1. Keep phones away, if possible switch off while at sleep
  2. Turn off social media notifications
  3. Engage more in activities that don’t require your phone
  4. Keep yourself informed of the negative side effects of social media every day.
  5. Join or build an offline-based social circle like church, music band, etc.
  6. Keep away from idleness
  7. Discover your interests, passion, dreams, ambitions, and chase after them.
  8. Keep away from anyone that might influence you negatively
  9. Apply restrictions when using your phones
  10. Renew your perspective on social media
  11. Delete social media applications from your device



You have heard the saying, “Prevention is better than cure”. To prevent being addicted to social media, you have to first assess the way you engage with social media and the amount of time you dispense on it every day. When you discover any excesses or abnormality, then it's time to place a restriction immediately.

The following tips can help you restrict;

  1. Don’t place too much weight on social media
  2. Be informed about its side effects
  3. Pay more attention to non-social media-based activities
  4. Set a limit for time spent on social media
  5. Set a limit on what you use social media for
  6. Get to do any offline activities you are passionate about
  7. Always assess your social media engagement daily and take appropriate decisions based on the outcome
  8. Build more offline communities than online.
  9. Declare weekly fasting and prayer which as a rule will disallow you from accessing social media for the time being.
  10. Take your relationship and other important contacts off social media.



Teenagers are more susceptible to the risk of social media addiction than adults. They want to explore life, learn new things and make new friends. None of which is bad. However, many teenagers in the process have become victims of addiction to this menace called social media.

To help them heal, try out the following;

  1. Educate them: Social media has a good side if well managed, as well as a bad side. Let them know the good and bad side of it.
  2. Engage them in everyday routine: If you don't engage them, they'll engage themselves. If you refuse to engage them in some of the domestic routines, they'll engage themselves negatively. 
  3. Be their role model: Living by example is one of the most powerful laws in modern-day parenting. You can't be an addict and expect them not to be.
  4. Monitor how long they spend on social media: Even the little time you allow them alone, seek to be in the know of their aloneness.
  5. Challenge them:  Teenagers have a lot of potentials, but if you give too much room for social media, they won't live to realize their full potential. Challenge them to read a book or learn something new like piano, guitar, etc.
  6. Create a lot of fun moments: Boring parents make a boring home which in turn lives children boring. It is at the vedge of overcoming boredom that they resort to social media. Providing indoor and outdoor games can help create a lot of fun.
  7. Don’t keep them idle for long: Give them work or send them on errands or better still, enroll them in an extramural class or let them learn a skill
  8. Be a support: Find out their passion and help them nurture and develop in that area.


Social media addiction is really dangerous. It can suck off one's entire destiny like a leech if not properly managed. 

But the good news is that, applying all I have written down in this post, will produce quick results than you expect.



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