Is addiction to Social Media Real?

In the social media world, many people are experience personality changes because of some sort of online phenomenon. Whether the topic is online bullying or people developing online personality complexes, there is no denying that social media has changed us. One thing we can’t deny we all do; we watch our own instagram stories. Why do people do this, when we know what we’ve done today? It is narcissism, or is it insecurities forcing us to check and make sure we actually did look instagram ready? Why are these videos and picture so important anyway, when the images expire after only 24 hours?

As it turns out, using instagram is actually part of a social media addiction trigger. According to Nir Eyal, author of How to Build Habit Forming Products, all addictions come with four main steps. These steps are trigger, action, reward, and investment. The trigger for instagram would be the notifications, a little pop up letting you know that you need to check an app. The action would be actually checking through your notifications, scrolling through friends photos to add comments or hearts, or even reading through the messages in the direct inbox. The reward, is increased friends or followers because of hash tags you’ve used. The investment is knowing that your instagram page is now completely modeled off of your likes and interests.

How does this addiction relate to users checking their own stories after they’ve been posted? It’s similar to a final check of the product. We’ve completed our product, which is the story in this case, and now we’ve come back to make sure that it is up to par with the image we are trying to sell or the facade our instagram is portraying. After all, we can’t very well send out a product without first checking it for quality purposes.

Parenting and the Rise of Social Media

Lets face it, parenting can be hectic, difficult and downright confusing at times. There are so many obstacles that parents and kids face in our world today. Between the rise of busy schedules, the impact of social media, and peer pressure, it is easy to feel like you and your kids are on overload. A growing factor that we are facing today is technology. Don’t get me wrong technology is great and quite frankly amazing at times. However, when overused or used in the wrong way, technology can be a scary thing! I think it’s safe to say that most households own either a computer, tablet, television, cell phone or maybe even all of the above.

 

Children have easy access to the internet and social media. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram all play a role in most kids lives. So it’s not shocking that with social media our kids are connected easily to their peers,celebrity stories,and possibly even strangers. While this might not be shocking would you believe that kids and young teens could be targeted by marketing executives? In a recent article on buzzfeed.com, the author shares with us that Facebook allegedly used algorithms to find out when kids are feeling sad or insecure and then they would target those kids with certain ads. Although a spokesperson for Facebook says the algorithms were used for an entirely different study, you have to stop and think about the potential influences that these social media outlets may have on our kids.

 

If you think about it your kids could be influenced to buy certain clothes, eat at specific restaurants, go to certain colleges and maybe even be steered toward a particular belief system. While parenting can be stressful and challenging, It is also the most important role of your life. That’s why it is so important to monitor who your kids are hanging out with, and in particular what they are doing on social media. Whether it be television, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram social media is on the rise. Remember, with parenting comes the great responsibility of protecting our kids. Let’s monitor what they are doing and sharing on the internet!