When does Social Media use become and addiction?
2020: The year of lockdown, working from home, zoom quizzes and TikTok. The year we socialised online like never before.
There’s a lot to be learned from COVID-19. Our relationship with the planet, fear and panic… the importance of boundaries. But if there is one thing that has certainly been highlighted; it’s how adaptable we are. Not to mention how much we need physical contact.
More and more aspects of our lives are taking place online. The impact of this transformation and digital advances are continuously being understood, interpreted and developed.
Technology’s Role in Counselling
Counselling & Psychotherapy in its traditional nature is evolving at its core. From the couch to the camera, counselling is more accessible than ever – in so many ways.
There’s no doubt that internet, technology and social media platforms benefit us and have huge potential in our evolution as a species. Social media is a platform for establishing new connection and maintaining ongoing relationships; we can transcend geographical and physical limitations, express our creativity and network in ways which were once impossible.
But where do we draw the line? And who chooses where the line is drawn? Whose responsibility is it? …and does counselling for addiction work?
Social media addiction has been of conversation recently and as a self-care exercise. It is important to explore your own relationship with your social media use so you can take responsibility in defining your own line.
As with all compulsive behaviours and addictions it can be difficult to distinguish at first, whether usage is causing more damage than good. Like with any addiction, it may be causing short term pleasure with longer term harm. Though with a short sight (lack of awareness) it might be difficult to see.
Dr Gabor Mate defines addiction…
‘Addiction is manifested in any behaviour that a person craves, finds temporary relief or pleasure in but suffers negative consequences as a result of, and yet has difficulty giving up.’
To begin ask yourself honestly:
What happens when I set limits and boundaries on my internet and social media use?
What is my relationship with social media – what aspects help me feel good, what aspects produce negative affects?
Does social media fuel my insecurities and anxieties? How can I alter this?
Do I feel a compulsion or craving to use internet and social media? Has my social media usage become excessive?
Is my relationship with social media distracting me from other important areas in my life?
Whilst it is fair to say that social media is an invaluable tool helping us connect, it cannot replace human interaction. There’s a reason that we all miss the hugs, are fed up of the social restrictions and never want to do a zoom quiz again….
‘Likes’ cannot replace love… but what happens when they do?
If you are interested in exploring your own relationship with social media our addictions therapists are available for work both online and face-to-face at our Fulham, Putney Bridge studios. For further information on Leone Centre Counselling for Addiction Service, we are here to answer your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
At Leone Centre, your care is our highest concern. We are trusted providers of quality counselling & psychotherapy for over 12 years.
All Leone Centre therapists are members of BACP / UKCP professional bodies