Social media is a wonderful way to keep in contact with friends and family;but it can also be detrimental to those who simply can’t pull themselves away from it. Scientific research into social media addiction has shown that Facebook is the most addictive. There are several reasons for this, including the fact that it allows the user to talk about themselves.
Scientists have discovered that self-disclosure triggers activity in the same areas of the brain that produce the highs from drugs like cocaine. In an experiment carried out at Harvard University in 2012, participants were prepared to lose money in order to give their opinions and share information about themselves.
What is Addiction to Social Media?
Like addiction to anything, addiction to social media is defined by the effect it has on your brain and body, and the impact it has on other areas of your life.
A few of the signs of an addiction to social media, and Facebook in particular are:
- Spending longer than 1 hour per day on it
- Relying on reactions from other users in order to feel good
- Feeling negatively affected by the actions and responses of other users
- Using it as a distraction from problems, work, tasks and school
- Trying to use it less, or perhaps even stopping altogether, and failing
- Feelings of frustration, anxiety and other stress emotions when you’re unable to access the site
- Unable to resist checking for notifications regularly, even when you’re in work or social situations
- Feeling disappointed when you don’t get the reaction you were hoping for from other users
- Thinking in advance about what you’re going to post when you’re not using the site
- Finding that your use of social media interrupts or delays other responsibilities and commitments
- Prioritizing social media over real-life activities
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying social media in moderation; however, if you find it’s affecting how you feel, or impacting on areas of your life in a negative way, it’s time to make a change. Fortunately, there is a way to break this addiction fairly easily and without needing to go “cold turkey”.
The First Step
First, make a list of the reasons you want to cut down your use of social media. Write down all the effects it has that you want to get rid of. Then, make a list of what you envision your life will be like once you have broken the addiction — for example, you may have more time for your family, you may go out with friends more often, you may feel less stressed, start a project you’ve been planning, or be able to enjoy life more in general without the constant pull of social media.
The Second Step
Now that you have your list of reasons for breaking the addiction, it’s time to … well, break that addiction. Think about your favorite activities on social media — sharing your photos, status updates, videos, commenting on other people’s posts, browsing the newsfeed — whatever it is that makes you happiest. Feel that feeling. Notice where in your body you feel it, and how strong it is. Now think about the people you love — your friends and family. Think about the last time you met up with some of them in person; and send that same feeling to them — to that memory. Send that same feel-good feeling to those you love, and to the memories you have with them and see them sending the same feeling back to you. Think of meeting up with your closest friend, and fill that image and your friend with that same good feeling. Take a deep breath, blow it out, and say “Peace”.
Take a deep breath and close your eyes. Now think about the feeling of not being able to get onto social media — imagine your internet is down, and it’s going to take several weeks before you’ll get online again. Notice the feeling that idea brings up in you. Notice what it feels like, where in your body you feel it, and how strong it is.
Now, use the FasterEFT technique to tap out that feeling. Keep repeating it until the idea of not being able to get online for several weeks causes no negative reaction in you at all.
Next, go to a time when you’ve had a strong reaction to something on social media — it might have been something upset you, or it may have been something that caused you excitement.
Whatever it was, notice the details and the feelings in that memory, and again, use the FasterEFT technique to tap until the memory flips. Keep going until the memory has flipped completely. For more information on how to flip a memory and why it’s important, read: Why do We Flip Memories in FasterEFT.
Keep going through your emotional experiences with social media, cleaning them out and flipping each memory. If memories come to you from the past, even if they have nothing to do with social media, make sure you address those using FasterEFT as well.
Just like weeding a garden, you will need to maintain what you’ve achieved. Whenever you feel a compulsion to return to your old habits using social media, use the FasterEFT technique right then, in the moment to clear the urge.
Just notice what you’re feeling, and then use the process until the feeling has gone. If you’re in public and can’t tap physically, use Mental Tapping instead. Once you’ve tapped out the compulsion, go to your happy memory — go to a memory of your loved ones, and fill yourself with that feeling.
To see examples of the power of FasterEFT in addressing addictions, watch the videos in this playlist:
For a step-by-step guide in using FasterEFT read: The FasterEFT Technique — Step-by-Step.
To see FasterEFT in action, watch the videos in the FasterEFT in Action Playlist.