Overuse of social media can lead to addiction

Seemingly everyone using social media these days. To some, it’s an easy way to connect to friends and family, but now students are overusing the apps. They can spend seven hours on their phone in one day, and this is clearly crossing the line into social media addiction.

Freshman Alydia Tyler is a self-diagnosed social media addict. “Maybe I have a slight addiction,” she said. “I think it’s just the way our generation grew up with social media.”

Now-a-days, people grow up with social media, getting it around the sixth grade and using it until it just becomes a part of their lives.

Amanda Friis, another freshman, said, “I got social media in sixth grade, so around 12 or 13. My friends told me to get it, so I thought I would try it out.”

And now that students like Friis and Tyler are getting apps like Instagram and Snapchat so early, addiction is becoming a bigger risk.

Addiction to anything usually starts at a young age, with experimentation. Some people just get a mediocre response to addictive mediums, but others get a huge response. Over time most people will build up a tolerance to the medium and crave more and more.

This is true for social media. It might not be a drug, but it is pretty close. Just like drugs, social media can affect the brain.

Teens are highly affected by the “likes” that they get on social media. This acts like a reward to their brains and is kind of like the reaction they have to winning something.

But freshman Annie Brown has no idea what it is like to feel the “prize” of getting a like, or getting a new follower.

She doesn’t have any social media to her name, and she is OK with it. “I felt left out all the time when social media was ‘new,’ but now my friends just show me, and I don’t care,” Brown said.

Some students also start to get social media to be cool and fit in.

“I just wanted to know what all my friends thought was so cool, and I enjoyed being able to be connected with my friends all the time,” Tyler said.

Friis agreed. She said, “I saw a lot of my friends on it, and it seemed like a fast and easy way to connect with them.”

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