Do I Have a Social Media Addiction?
By Cassie Shortsleeve
Social media addiction isn’t an official addiction the way a substance use disorder is, but you can still feel addicted to it. That’s partly because using social media leads your brain to create a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine is the chemical our brains release when we’re doing something we enjoy, so our brains want more when they get a hit of it. That’s why it can be hard to stop scrolling or sign off an app, or why you may feel the urge to check your phone and then immediately check it again.
Experts often use the term “problematic interactive media use” when referring to these addiction-like feelings. Research suggests that becoming too reliant on apps can negatively impact school performance and emotional well-being and contribute to relationship problems, so it’s a good idea to check in on your usage.
Below are some indications that your social media use may be taking a toll on you, plus ways to change your behavior and feel better.