7 Signs Your Teen Is Addicted to Social Media
Teen Social Media Addiction is a behavioral disorder in which teens become so preoccupied with and obsessed with social media that it distracts them from everyday life and results in negative consequences. Most teens engage in some form of social media, whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube or video games.
When a teen is struggling with social media addiction, the level of use is so extreme that it negatively affects their daily responsibilities and their interpersonal and familial relationships. Here are 7 signs your teen is addicted to social media:
1. They Check Their Phone First Thing in the Morning
If the very thing your teen reaches for in the morning is their phone, they may be struggling with social media addiction. Especially if the reason they reach for their phone is to check various social media platforms. Teens that experiencing social media addiction become consumed with checking how many likes a photo received, if a comment they posted on Twitter was re-tweeted, or to check what other friends have posted. If your teen seems unable to get out of bed before checking their social media platforms, this may be a sign of addiction.
2. Frequent and Recurrent Page Visits Throughout the Day
While it isn’t abnormal for a teen to have several accounts on various social media platforms, it is abnormal if they check the platforms obsessively. You can learn a lot about someone’s social media habits by determining how frequently and recurrently they visit each page. Someone who checks their social media many times throughout the day may be struggling with social media addiction. If your teen seems preoccupied by their phone and seem to be checking it obsessively, this may be a sign of addiction.
3. Unable to Enjoy Activities Without “Sharing It”
If your teen seems unable to enjoy meals and times spent with friends and family without “sharing it” on various social media platforms, they may be struggling with social media addiction. Teens that seem to post their whereabouts and daily activities obsessively may have an unhealthy relationship with social media. Normal users are able to enjoy everyday life activities without sharing every moment over the Internet. Teens with social media addiction often “check-in” to various locations over Facebook and other social media platforms, this is again abnormal behavior. While there is nothing wrong with sharing your life with others on social media, it becomes a problem when it is constant. Parents should have access to viewing their teen’s social media accounts to see how frequently their child is engaging with the internet word.
4. Friends Use it as Primary Way to Reach Your Teen
One of the ways parents are able to identify that their teen is addicted to social media is when their child’s friends use social media as a primary way to reach them. If your child’s friends know that the best way to get in contact with them is through their social media accounts, this a sign of possible social media addiction. Normal use of social media should be minimal use throughout the day. If a teen is using social media minimally, then it wouldn’t be the primary way to be reached.
5. First Choice in How Your Teen Spends Their Free Time
Teens generally have highly structured schedules, especially during the school year. Most teachers don’t allow cell phones to be used during class, and most teens participate in extracurricular activities and complete homework assignments in the afternoons and evening. Downtime should be spent with friends, family and engaging in healthy and positive activities. If your child chooses to spend all their free time on their social media accounts, this may be a sign of teen social media addiction. When trying to determine whether or not someone is struggling with addiction, the frequency and duration of time spent on social media accounts should be considered.
6. Losing Interest in Regular Activities and Neglecting Responsibilities
As previously stated, most teens have highly structured daily lives. Most teens are active in school, sports and other extracurricular activities. If your teen has lost interest in regular activities and is neglecting daily responsibilities, but still makes time for social media interactions, they may be addicted to social media addiction. One of the main determining factors regarding whether or not someone is suffering from an addiction is if daily responsibilities are being neglected. Addictions are often all consuming. If a teen is addicted to social media, they may display a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, exhibit poor academic performance, and neglect daily responsibilities. It is important for parents to be able to identify any significant changes in their child’s behavior and determine how their child is spending their time. If most of their time is spent on various social media platforms, they may be suffering from social media addiction.
7. Strained Interpersonal and Familial Relationships
Similar to all other addictions, teen social media addiction is significantly correlated with strained interpersonal and familial relationships. The original purpose of social media was to connect people. Social media has become one of the most popular ways for people to keep in touch. While this seems like a positive thing, there is a dark side associated with personal relationships and social media use. Social media addictions have been found to a have a profoundly negative impact on real-life personal relationships. Teens with social media addiction become so obsessed with their online presence that they neglect real-life relationships. It is imperative that parents establish rules, time-limits and boundaries for time spent online is the main way to keep personal relationships intact.
Is Your Teen Struggling with Social Media Addiction?
This article explored 7 signs your teen is addicted to social media. Similar to all other addictions, there are effective treatment methods available to treat social media addiction. Many parents are unaware that there are treatment options available for teens experiencing addiction outside of substance abuse. Outpatient treatment centers are able to effectively address all types of addiction. If your teen is struggling with social media addiction and is experiencing negative consequences associated with their Internet use, seek help from an addiction specialist. Clear Recovery Center is an outpatient treatment facility, located in Redondo Beach, that is able to effectively treat teens and adults struggling with a variety of presenting issue. Give us a call at (877) 799-1985, we are here to help!