Social media has become an inseparable part of our lives. It played a significant role in influencing events like the Arab uprising, the US presidential elections, Occupy Wall Street, responses to Hurricane Katrina, and much more. News spreads like fire through social media sites and there seems to be no better place to express your approval or contempt of a particular topic than through Twitter or Facebook.
The special report published by RTE, Ireland’s National Television and Radio Broadcaster talks about a new study by University of Chicago which reveals that social media is the new addiction â€“ worse than even cigarettes or alcohol. The researchers say that re-tweets and likes give the user a burst of the addictive neurotransmitter dopamine and the primary symptom of being addicted includes spending five hours and more on Facebook and Twitter.
People of all age groups spend hours looking each othersâ€™ posts, status updates, tweets, photos and videos. A London-based consultant psychiatrist who treats around 100 social media addictions a year says his patients, age 10 to 35, even put off doing things like eating, drinking, and sleeping, miss meetings and delay getting to work or college. Teenage girls are said to be especially vulnerable, driven by peer pressure and the need to be seen online.
However, clinics have opened to treat this curious malaise. The clinics that treat social media addiction focus on a complete self-restraint program and a timetable of organized activities to detect the factors that can drive patients back to their addiction.