If you have ever wondered if it's really possible to become addicted to social networking, consider your question answered: Yes.
These astounding statistics point to widespread addiction to platforms like Facebook and Twitter:
- Facebook and Twitter alone boast more that a billion users.
- Every day, more than half a billion ‘likes’ on Facebook and 350-million Twitter tweets will be posted.
- Last year, researchers from the University of Chicago found that social networking can be more addictive than nicotine and alcohol.
Experts say there are several symptoms of social networking addiction, among them:
- Spending more than five hours per day on a social media website;
- Withdrawal symptoms if the sites are not working or your internet connection is down;
- * Using a smartphone to check while at the wheel of a car.
Even self-esteem seems wrapped up in this technology: Researchers at the University of North Carolina found that if your posts get a ‘like’ on Facebook or are re-tweeted on Twitter, a shot of dopamine is released into the brain, according to a euronews.com report. That means a lack of ‘likes’ can lead to jealousy and anxiety.
In London, Dr. Richard Graham sees around 100 patients a year at the Tavistock and Portman clinic for a condition linked to gaming and internet addictions. His patients range in age from children to adults of 35 years old, the euronews.com report stated.
“They start to miss or avoid doing the necessary things in life, even at a fundamental level of self-care,” he explained. “They delay eating or avoid eating or drinking, delay sleep, miss meetings or delay getting into work or college.’‘