Social media addiction is a new phenomenon, and it’s common for parents not to know much about it. If it seems like your teen is addicted to their phone or their social media use is negatively impacting other areas of life, you’re right to be concerned.
Social media addiction is more than spending too much time on the phone. It can have long-term consequences on mental and emotional health, academics, and personal relationships.
The answer is a resounding yes for parents who want to know, “Is social media addictive?”. Here are some key reasons teens become addicted to social media.
Foothills at Red Oaks Recovery offers treatment programs for teenage boys dealing with social media addiction. For more information on how to help your teen develop a healthy relationship with social media use, call 866.300.5275 and ask about the programs at Foothills for Red Oak Recovery.
Is Social Media Addictive?
Social media can be addictive, and teens are at the highest risk of becoming addicted to social media apps like TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram. Studies show that some of the main reasons teens develop an unhealthy dependence on social media include:
- Lack of affection
- Personal dissatisfaction
- Low self-esteem
Here’s a closer look at how a teen can fall into the trap of using social media to fulfill needs that should ideally be met elsewhere.
Why Teens Get Addicted to Social Media
Any parents wondering, “Why is social media so addictive?” need to consider what a large role it plays in the lives of teenagers today.
The power of social media isn’t something older generations experience. Teens today learn about the world around them through social media far more than through movies, television, or real-world experiences.
Brain chemistry and social media use are deeply intertwined. If your teen is constantly posting to social media or checking their numbers of followers or likes, they may have developed a reliance on social media to provide feel-good chemicals like dopamine.
In addition to using social media to feel good, teens also fall prey to using social media to avoid feeling bad. Obsessively scrolling social media can be a coping mechanism that distracts from feelings like depression or anxiety.
When social media gives teens a perceived break from mental or emotional health issues, they can become addicted to using their phones to avoid their thoughts and feelings.
One powerful aspect of social media is that teens see the posts of their friends and classmates appear alongside those of celebrities, athletes, and online influencers.
Teens often feel pressure to post content that looks just as good – and can give a crushing blow to self-esteem when they are dissatisfied with their pictures or the online response their posts receive.
Fear of Missing Out
Teens also find social media addictive due to fear of missing out, popularly referred to as “FOMO.”
Teens can be eager to keep up with their peers’ activities, new trends, and current events. It can be easy for parents to dismiss FOMO as superficial, but it can be a huge source of anxiety for many teens. Unfortunately, a teen’s social status, sense of belonging, and peer acceptance often rely on staying “in the loop.”
Fear of missing out can be a huge factor impacting a teen’s social media use – and like the other reasons, it can affect many other aspects of life.
Foothills at Red Oak Recovery Treats Teen Social Media Addiction
When a teen finds social media addictive, it’s a sign of a serious problem. Allowing it to go untreated is a mistake. A teen addicted to social media experiences an impact on academics, mental and emotional health, relationships, and more.
If you’re a parent asking, “Why is social media so addictive to my teen?” a professional treatment program can identify the specific factors at play and provide a path for healing.
For more information, call 866.300.5275 and ask about the teen social media addiction treatment programs at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery.