Social Media and Drawing the Line

How am I feeling? Social Media

         In June 2015 I decided to delete all my social media. Here’s the shocker: I don’t miss it. I don’t even want to log back in to my Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts. To be honest, I don’t even know the passwords to log back in. I’d have to create new accounts if I even wanted to get back on social media.

Last fall I had to log in after one of my accounts was hacked by the one of those fake ads. Someone had to text me to tell me. I logged in to fix it, and I changed the password. I don’t even know what the password is. It was late one night, and I was annoyed that it had even happened.

When I went back in to change the password, I scrolled through a bit. I thought it was weird in a way. It seems I was pretty dedicated to my SM (social media).

My Experience with Deleting my Social Media

         Some people tell me that they would fear they would miss out if they did not have social media of some sort. I can understand this statement. Businesses, churches, and sports updates all use social media, and it is a convenient way to stay current.

Also, I admit sometimes I have no idea what my friends are talking about because it all goes back to what someone posted on social media. Leaving social media has caused me to make some gains though. What I am actually missing out on is probably just gossip, opinions, or drama anyway. If I want news about what’s going on in the world I actually go to reputable news websites. I have to text people and we plan things to do in person. That way we can catch up. I actually have to use Google and call businesses if I have a question.

Deleting your Social Media is a way to get attention.

It could be. However, like many things in life, it depends on the person. I have heard that some people choose to delete their page just to see how many people will actually miss them. Then they create a fake account and follow the same people. That’s not why I deleted mine. I’m in daily or weekly contact with people who matter most to me. Get this: I actually see them in person. #hipster

A friend told me she deleted her social media because it made her feel too self-important. I agree with that statement because I can relate to that. Also, I compared myself to others in an unhealthy manner and have noticed that I am less judgmental without social media. I am not perfect, but less judgmental.

I need to delete my social media because I use it to procrastinate. I hear this from members at my internship and my friends who still have social media all the time. It is actually the reason I choose to write this post. The question I get asked most often is what do you do with your time?

Honestly, different things. For a while I watched NCIS all the time on Netflix right after I deleted it. Then I returned to school in the fall and spring, so I had homework and school responsibilities. Over winter break I read four books, and I’m still working on number five. I plan on finishing it this summer. Also, I journal, color, and draw to help me relax. I play with my dog, Gibbs. I go to the Wesley. I play the mandolin and go to lessons. Over spring break I read “Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee. When the weather is warmer, I hike, kayak, and spend time outside meditating. These are all self-caring activities for me to help reduce stress in my life.

Today is a prime example of accomplishing something productive. My mom texted me and asked me to do some chores since I was home on spring break. I would have been distracted my social media until two in the afternoon if I still had my accounts. Instead I read the news, cleaned, and got ready for my day.

I believe it is important to not be too hard on yourself. If you do choose to delete social media, you’ll probably find another guilty pleasure to fill in the time. For me that was binge watching Netflix. Now, not so much. Some things just take time. So relax and slowly build up toward your goal.

WHY and HOW?

I told one of my close friends that I was going to research social media and dependence. She encouraged me to do it, and asked a question along the lines of how can I not to be addicted to SM. I told her I wanted to be more confident and find some research first to support the action steps I developed. Of course, I knew the easiest way to display what I found would be WordPress, so I am expecting to be dinged for posting an article about social media on social media. Considering how long this post took to do, I don’t find this becoming a problem area for me. This post is not here to make anyone feel guilty. It’s here to help you consider if you are using SM in a positive manner.

The Research

I searched for Social Media and Addiction and peer reviewed scholarly articles. I got 1,073 results. I used articles from the last ten years that were most relevant to questions people were asking me to research. Here is what I found:

  1. Left to Their Own Devices: College Students’ “Guilty Pleasure” Media Use and Time Management

(This was the first of 5 articles I chose and each will be discussed with the main points.)

This article discusses the concern of college students having more free time than they did before they came to college. Also, it points out that most of this new free time is unsupervised by adults. The article is held to the question are college age students neglecting their academic endeavors due to leisure media use.

-“Research shows that leisure media can affect students’ scholastic performance”(Panek, 2014).

-Key terms and ideas in this article are delayed gratification, self -control, and environment.

– The article defines guilty pleasures as “activities that one consciously values more than school work”

-The article states that guilty pleasure is linked to “immediate pleasure over long-term benefits.” This means that the person is seeking the “smaller instant rewards.”

-The article defines willpower. Willpower is “to not give into media use.”

-Hoch & Loewenstein Findings: 1. Reducing desire by using willpower 2. The environment can be seen as temping and increasing desire (i.e. Alone in dorm room with laptop)

-“Constant presence of tempting media options make it difficult for individuals who are in low self control to resist these options” (Panek, 2014).

– College students (especially freshmen) can be seen as a more at risk population due to the more flexible, less rigid, and more free time schedule college can offer. Ex. They aren’t going to school from 8-3 then on to sports or band practice, etc.

– “Internet addiction is regarded as a behavioral-impulse control disorder in which to alleviate feelings of emotional tension” (Panek, 2014).

-Media addiction prevents achievement of long-term goals.

-A survey was given online to university students, and they answered 13 statements. The scale was 1=Not at all like me to 5=Just like me. The results found that “College students self-control is negatively associated with amounts of leisure media use” (Panek, 2014). Also, “college students guilt about media use is positively associated with amounts of leisure media use” (Panek, 2014). The study did not find that “the amount of time college students spent on school work had a negative association with amounts of leisure media use” (Panek, 2014).

– “The study provides support for the claim that students who are low in self-control are apt to spend more time using leisure media and feel guilty about it” (Panek, 2014).

 

  1. MEDIATING EFFECT OF FACEBOOK ADDICTION ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SUBJECTIVE VITALITY AND SUBJECTIVE HAPPINESS

Compared to the other study this study’s participants were also college age students. The results were found through three scales. The Facebook addiction scale, subjective happiness scale, and subjective vitality scale were the methods used to find the results.

– “Problematic use of internet-based social networking sites like FB may be a significant factor influencing subjective happiness” (Uysal et al., 2013).

– “FB addiction can be described as unable to control and limit the amount of time one spends on activities on FB” (Uysal et al., 2013).

– “Severe depression, social dysfunction, anxiety, and insomnia were predictors of FB addiction” (Uysal et al., 2013).

– Uysal et al., 2013, hypothesis was “ The relationship between subjective happiness and subjective vitality is mediated by FB addiction.”

– “The results indicated the FB addiction could partly explain the relationship between subjective vitality and subjective happiness” (Uysal et al., 2013).

 

  1. Association between Facebook Dependence and Poor Sleep Quality: A Study in a Sample of Undergraduate Students in Peru

– Like the other studies previously stated the participants in this study are also undergraduate college students. The results will most likely not be a huge shock. The study concluded, “that there is a relationship between FB dependence and poor quality of sleep” (Alonso et al., 2013). “More than half the students reported poor sleep quality, and the study found that strategies to moderate the use of social network and to improve sleep quality in this population are needed” (Alonso et al., 2013).

  1. EXAMINATION OF NEURAL SYSTEMS SUB-SERVING FACEBOOK “ADDICTION”

– The behavioral results of this study found that “women presented stronger addiction-like symptoms then men” (Tunel, et al., 2014).

– Also, the study questions if addiction is the best term that can be used for this presenting problem. The results showed that the “amygdala-striatal (impulsive) brain system was positively related to ones FB “addiction” scale score” (Tunel, et al., 2014). “However, the prefrontal cortex (inhibitor) brain system showed no association” (Tunel, et al., 2014). According to the article this shows that it is similar to other addictions since the amygdala-striatal is hyper active, but the prefrontal cortex is not found to be hypo active. “Since FB “addiction” does not have a hypo active prefrontal cortex it also differs from other addictions, such as using illicit substances” (Tunel, et al., 2014).

– “The findings imply that individuals who present low-medium levels of addiction like symptoms in relation to FB have an imbalance between their amygdala- striatal and prefrontal cortex” (Tunel, et al., 2014).

– The imbalance can be managed by restoring homeostasis between the two systems, and the article states can be achieved through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) (Tunel, et al., 2014).

  1. A Unique Problem or the Manifestation of a Preexisting Disorder? The Mediating Role of Problematic Internet Use in the Relationships Between Psychosocial Problems and Functional Impairment

– PIU=Problematic Internet Use

– “The finding reveal that psychosocial problems, such as social anxiety, and depression, can initiate cognitive preoccupation too and uncontrolled uses of the internet” (Tokunaga, 2014).

– “PIU is an important pathway to the development of vocational and socially anxious, lonely, or depressed individuals” (Tokunaga, 2014). In other words PIU is not a sole cause to the development of vocational and socially anxious, lonely, or depressed individuals.

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References

Panek, E. (2013). Left to their own devices: College students’ ‘guilty pleasure’ media use and time management. Communication Research, 44(4), 383-400. Retrieved March 2, 2016.

 

Tokunaga, R. S. (2012). A Unique Problem or the Manifestation of a Preexisting Disorder? The Mediating Role of Problematic Internet Use in the Relationships Between Psychosocial Problems and Functional Impairment. Communication Research, 41(4), 531-560.

 

Turel, O., He, Q., Xue, G., Xiao, L., & Bechara, A. (2014). Examination Of Neural Systems Sub-Serving Facebook “Addiction”. Psychological Reports, 115(3), 675-695. Retrieved March 2, 2016.

 

Uysal, R., Satici, S. A., & Akin, A. (2013). Mediating Effect Of Facebook ® Addiction On The Relationship Between Subjective Vitality And Subjective Happiness. Psychological Reports, 113(3), 948-953. Retrieved March 2, 2016.

 

Wolniczak, Isabella ; Cáceres-Delaguila, José Alonso ; Palma-Ardiles, Gabriela ; Arroyo, Karen J ; Solís-Visscher, Rodrigo ; Paredes-Yauri, Stephania ; Mego-Aquije, Karina ; Bernabe-Ortiz, Antonio ; Schuelke, Markus [2013]. Association between Facebook Dependence and Poor Sleep Quality: A Study in a Sample of Undergraduate Students in Peru. PLoS ONE,8(3), n.p. Retrieved March 2, 2016.

 

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3 thoughts on “Social Media and Drawing the Line

  1. I love this. I deleted my Facebook and old instagram. I couldn’t deal with pro eating disorder talk and I had tried to delete it about 5 times but this time I have lasted my longest which was about 3 months and I don’t miss it. It’s why I started my blog because of speaking out against pro ed, and it is so much better than Facebook. I do feel a lot like I’m missing out but its a small price to pay for how i feel when i’m on there

    Like

    1. Thank you! You’re blog is quite amazing. I’ve read bit about your journey, and I’m truly impressed. Congrats your “FB sobriety”. I feel like it is a small price to pay, also.Continue what you are doing, and good luck on your recovery journey. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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