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The symptoms of social media addiction

By U.ARIUNJARGAL

“Last night one of the biggest internet and cable company’s network failed all over city and after a while my mother, father and sister greeted each other and had a conversation until the network came back on. That was cool because when I say something, my sister always says, ‘Don’t talk so much, I am watching television’,” says ten year-old student Khulan.
And she adds, “One thing that is hard to understand, is when my mother visited her best friend, she opened the door holding a phone and checking Facebook and tweeting, laughing when looking at the phone and not at my mother. My mother waited 40 minutes for her friend to bring her tea, and did not ever put down her phone the whole evening. She said she doesn’t like being ignored, but currently she is checking her Facebook page, even while holding my little brother who is four months old, and my father and sister do this too. I hate this always-online world. Every single night, my family goes to their rooms and are busy checking or chatting online. All my friends go to internet gaming centers. Sometimes I write messages to my sister when I’m in the room next to her. She shouts at me and says she is behind me.”
According to recent statistics, Mongolians have registered 600,000 Facebook addresses, but only 200,000 people are considered regular users. Over 50 percent of users are between the ages of 18 to 24, and 26 percent are 25 to 34 years old. Most users are on the social media site to communicate, add friends, meet new people, join groups with shared opinions or hobbies, find information, learn about products, and to share information.
When I asked ten people who visit their pages everyday if they thought they were addicted to Facebook, they said “no way.”
We live in a huge, vast land and always see mountains in the distance, and our future lives not our daily ones. Our brains and thoughts are broad like our land and have a very calm and relaxed character. Mongolians believe you should say things are good, and think positively even your real situation is bad. You see what you believe in your mind.
When some people are faced with addiction to alcohol or computer gaming, they have trouble accepting their addiction because they still think they are okay. Even when someone is faced with being a chronic drinker and lying drunk in the street, they can become very angry when someone calls them a “drunk”.
Let’s look at the seven telltale signs of Facebook (FB) addiction. Over-sharing: when people log on to FB and see requests to “please share this”. Nobody is suggesting that sharing about ourselves is wrong, because each of us have our own social needs to fulfill. There is also the idea of over-sharing, of saying too much and then regretting what we’ve said. When people are addicted to something, they will do anything just to get a satisfying dose of engagement in the activity.
Checking your page constantly: this means checking for any updates to news feeds or responses to posts every time someone doesn’t know what to do. Generally, your free time activity is to be on your FB page. So what do you do? You leave your FB page open in the background, switching between work or assignments to the page every few minutes. Even when people are outside enjoying a drink with a friend, they log on to their FB pages on their phones every now and then during brief moments of non-interaction.
Spending too much time creating an image: Some Mongolian teenagers received criticism when they tried to copy some American FB images, with someone holding a knife at their cheek and throat, and used this as their FB profile picture. Some of us may be spending too much time managing our friend’s impressions of us. It gets out of hand when you’re always trying to think of something cool, humorous, or entertaining to post, just to show how awesome a guy or gal you are. After which, you get restless while you wait for others to comment or “like” what you’ve posted You keep checking and re-checking your FB page to see if there are any new notifications.
Reporting on Facebook: It appears to be an attempt to remind others that they exist. Either that or these people are just trying to make their offline life co-exist with their FB one. If you are one of these people, psychologists think it’s good to ask yourself the reason behind such “reporting”. It seems to be a sign of obsession, a need to post something, no matter how ordinary or unimaginative, in order to relieve your anxiety of not doing so.
Spending hours browsing through FB every day: Spending about a daily hour or so looking through people’s newsfeeds and checking out profiles of friends is still okay, but if it starts going beyond that, it’s an indication of a problem. Sure, there’s loads of content on FB like photos, games and other interesting apps, but if people start using more of their valuable waking hours surfing aimlessly on FB, it’s time for them to re-examine their lifestyle.
The issue gets worse when people actually sacrifice sleep to use FB. It’s as if the amount of waking hours we have aren’t enough to satisfy their FB cravings. Lack of sleep will undoubtedly affect performance in school or work the next day, which is when FB becomes an addiction.
A mad rush to add more friends: Interestingly, research done by psychologists from Edinburgh Napier University found that FB users with more friends on their network tend to be more stressed out when using FB. The more friends they have, the more they feel pressured to maintain appropriate etiquette for different types of friends while remaining entertaining. In other words, the competition in adding friends may result in a vicious cycle of increasing FB-related tensions, resulting in worse addiction outcomes.
Compromising offline social life: When we get used to communicating on FB via messaging, sharing photos and posts, commenting and “liking” posts by others it may come to a point when we get more comfortable socializing online than offline. We become over reliant on FB to fulfill social needs and may start sacrificing the time spent on real-life meet-ups for coffee with friends.
That’s not healthy. Let’s face it, face-to-face communication is a far richer experience than communicating online where one cannot actually see non-verbal communication as in body language, gesture, and vocal tones. It’s not surprising that text messages often get misinterpreted, resulting in misunderstandings. In the long run, social life suffers because communication is limited to FB and not with a real-life friend.
To overcome FB addiction we don’t have some pill or a hospital to help us out of addiction. When you and your friends are sitting at a restaurant for lunch, try turning off the wi-fi and try chatting in person. Let’s think about spending more time with our families and putting our phones down.

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=8073

Posted by on Feb 21 2014. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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