Even if you aren’t active on every app available, it seems that nearly everyone has a profile through some social media application. It has become such an ingrained aspect of our society that, much like the 12 signs promoting Happy Hour you walk by on your way home from work, it’s hard to avoid.

But that’s okay! As long as you use it in moderation (like don’t walk into the bar everyday) then it shouldn’t be that much of a problem. But maybe you aren’t sure what can be considered moderate. Well if you are having trouble with such, psychologist Mark Griffiths and Daria Kuss via The Washington Post, have created six questions that you can ask yourself which might help you out a bit.

  • Do you spend a lot of time, when you’re not online, thinking about social media or planning to use social media?
  • Do you feel urges to use social media more and more over time?
  • Do you use social media to forget about personal problems?
  • Do you often try to reduce your use of social media, without success?
  • Do you become restless or troubled if you are unable to use social media?
  • Do you use social media so much that it has had a negative impact on your job, relationship, or studies?

Non-online friendship still do exist.

Don’t worry, even if you answered “yes” to a few of them, things aren’t completely dire: you are just a habitual social media user who would probably benefit from a little break, aka, a “digital detox.” Which is just as it sounds: taking a little break from the digital world (until something prompts you to download Instagram again before you have to start the cycle all over again. Hey, it’s okay, we’ve all been there.)

I wrote about some steps to take a few months back here.

But, if you answered yes to most, if not all, of the questions above, then you might have an actual addiction. Of course, the psychologists remind us, a self diagnosis should be confirmed by a professional. But it should be enough for you to see that it might be time to start figuring out how to wean yourself off the technology.

Either way, there is no denying that social media is taking its negative effects on our lives. Whether it is something simple like your friend not listening to you because they are going through Instagram, or something more consequential such being on your phone while you drive, then even habitual users should be weary and keep themselves in check.

Check out the full article here.  Mark Griffiths and Daria Kuss also talk about what can be done about this relatively new phenomenon moving forward along along with some other information.

Cover Photo by Becca Tapert

Photo 1 by Kenan Buhic

Phone 2 by rawpixel.com