The Social Media Addiction: What Have We Learned So Far? – A Review
Keywords:social media addiction, behavioral risk factors, anthropological views, psychiatric symptoms, therapeutic intervention
In the last 20 years, computer technology has developed rapidly, and internet-based social networks (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, WeChat, or Twitter) have proliferated even faster, becoming a very important part of people's lives. But in recent years, a dependence to these sites has emerged, called by many authors social media addiction.
In the present study, we aim to analyze if there really is an addiction to social media networks, what are its demographic aspects, which are the health problems that occur in these addicted people, and how to intervene therapeutically in these cases.
Currently, social media addiction is not recognized as a disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, but is considered more of a behavioral addiction or a subtype of Internet addiction.
If we look at this matter from an anthropological and philosophical point of view, such type of addiction can originate in what is related to the specificity of man in the contemporary world.
Symptoms of excessive use of SM networks may include decreased ability to concentrate and decreased academic performance, insomnia, altered self-perception, decreased self-esteem, anxiety, depressed mood, and psycho-emotional lability.
SM addiction prevention strategies should be implemented based on behavioral risk factors and demographic characteristics. The goal of treatment for this type of addiction, unlike other addictions, is not total abstinence, but rather controlled use of social networks, and relapse prevention should use strategies based on cognitive-behavioral therapies.
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