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Are we getting “enslaved” by Social Media?

During pandemics and the lockdown, social media addiction has skyrocketed. Not only do we see young individuals scrolling through Instagram or WhatsApp, but we also see an older age interested in learning new technology and spending hours on Facebook and WhatsApp. Technology was a godsend, bridging gaps and bringing people closer together. Its revolution altered the course of history. However, its negative consequences are wreaking havoc on people's lives today, and the unbelievable part is that we are unaware of it.

Social media addiction has various disrupting effects, which are listed below: 

1.      Change in behavioral patterns of individuals

Increased use of social media sites has changed the personality of individuals. Their memory capacity has decreased to nil, and they tend to be sluggish and idle. When people consume information or ideas from others, their ability to develop new ideas or perform any brain activity reduces because the brain is inactive or generating new ideas; it is simply digesting information shared. During a lockdown, the maximum number of adults lived with their families. Many people have gotten more addicted to social media to engage with like-minded people. This addiction attracted the attention of ad agencies who know how to find Instagram influencers, stand-up comedians, and prominent figures to sell their products. Heavy algorithms are developed to monitor individual activities, according to data revealed in a recent documentary. Individuals' average application usage, time spent in each application, search history, cookies, and actions are evaluated, and content is made available based on their mood.

There is a virtual monitor that keeps track of our mobile actions, detects recent searches, moods, and other characteristics, and brings up relevant information.  This monitoring causes a person to spend more time on the phone because he receives the stuff according to his preferences. Unknowingly a person who takes a mere look on his phone because of a notification bell ends up spending 30mins instead of 5. While he is engrossed in the content he likes, various advertisements of products pop up. Money-making social media works in this way. They are not human valuing or human friendly; they are suckers of the human brain and have the objective to lure more and more people to get addicted and make them buy your products. If you do not believe this- just put about two to four pieces of clothing in your Myntra or amazon cart. Now, whenever you open Facebook or Instagram, the same piece of clothing will appear in ads. Even when you end a phone call (if you are a True caller user), you will find the link to buy the same products in your wish list. Thus, we live in a society dominated by social media. They have tremendous marketing talents, cutting-edge artificial human intelligence technologies, and cutting-edge algorithms that turn us into clowns dancing to their tunes.

2.      Depression and Anxiety

Social media platforms are usually a medium for people to share their happy moments with their friends, relatives, etc. Individuals, however, often find it difficult to see achievement and joyful stories when their lives are in a bad place themselves. Constant comparison with others, seeing all happy and cheerful; the extravaganza show-offs in social media pictures make them fall to depression and anxiety issues. Many people reportedly are facing self-esteem issues due to this. It is significant to realize that Instagram photos do not represent actual life. It is necessary to draw a boundary between real and imaginary life. Constant comparison is meaningless because we are all on different roads, and we will all achieve in our fields if we display dedication and hard work.


The phrase NOMOPHOBIA, or "No Mobile Phobia," refers to a psychological condition in which people are afraid of being cut off from their mobile phones. We have cases of individuals reacting like drug addicts and cannot imagine their life without mobile phones. Even a one-hour complete separation from mobile phones has become almost impossible for individuals. Take a simple test of locking your phone in a glass-locked container and set the timing to one hr. We have a classic example of a teenager breaking the glass container to open up the same due to the addiction. Some feel enormous anxiety if they do not check their phone constantly. This technology is one of humanity's greatest achievements, but the negative consequences are now exposing how it is wreaking havoc on human life.

4.      Sleeping disorders

Many studies conducted on over usage of phones at night have proven that adults using mobile phones have become night owls. They are facing sleep disorders, changes in the sleep cycle, Insomnia, etc. According to health experts, people should drink one glass of milk before an hour of sleep or eat a few cashews to get good sleep. They should also avoid using mobile phones one hour before bedtime and strive to get into bed by 11 p.m. at the latest. This will not only promote a healthy lifestyle but will also help with the treatment of many of the health problems that young people encounter.


5.      Poor Grades / Disrupted Work Performance

Teenagers' focus is being taken away by the silent murderer of social media addiction, damaging their mental and intelligence power without their knowledge. Teenagers usually find it very difficult to concentrate and usually end up checking their phones every 10mins of study. The notification bells have created an alarm in the nerves which distracts them always. Many superiors have also raised the issues of decreased/poor performances from employees (who are seen using mobile phones constantly). It is reported that during the lockdown, many employees performed poorly because of constant phone addiction. Social media is an attractive platform.

With several options to browse, no one realizes how time flies.

How to identify that you are becoming a social media addict.

1.      You spend more than two hours scrolling over unnecessary video contents

2.      The first thing when you wake up is checking your phone for an update

3.      You find your screen time over 5hrs daily

4.      You find yourself distracted from work and routine activities

5.      Changes in Sleeping habits/Insomnia

6.      Anxiety and Depression issues

7.      Low Self-Esteem

8.      Narrowed Memory Power

9.      Reduced Concentration in performing various Activities

10.  Lazy Lethargic and Sedentary Lifestyle


Solution /Remedies for adopting a Better and Sharp Mind

1.      Always start your day with Gratitude Journal(write 10 things that you are grateful  for)

2.      Perform Yoga or Physical Exercise Activities for 45minutes

3.      Take a long walk

4.      Meditate for 10 mins daily once as you wake up and once before you go to bed

5.      Read 30minutes every day (Only positive notes in the morning)

6.      Eat a healthy and plant-based protein diet( a healthy body promotes a healthy mind)

7.      Restrict phone usage up to 4hrs a day

8.      Take Digital detox (One week or few days without social media apps)

9.      Practice various concentration building exercises for brain

10.  Instead of Sticking to the phone go out on walks with friends

11.  Plan your day one night prior

12.  Make a checklist of activities or schedule calendar in your Microsoft calendar and tick mark each task performed. Reward yourself in form of small delicacies or listen to your favorite song when   maximum goals of the day are achieved

13.  Always sleep by 11pm and put your phone aside or in different room before you sleep.

14.  Make sure you don’t use mobile phones one hour before sleep.

We need to understand that each and everything is good only upto a certain point. Excessive intake of anything is harmful for us. Social media is good only till the point we have control over it. However, the moment it starts controlling us, we should take a step back and detox ourselves from all this. Mental freedom will only prevent us from getting enslaved by Social media!

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Tags: #socialmedia #mentalhealth #instagram #awareness #Whatsapp #addiction #MentalHealthmatters


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