Dear Editor, 

Our social media usage since the invention of the internet has constantly risen (as expected) but it has gotten to the point where we as teenagers and young adults are spending nearly 19 percent of our hours awake on a computer or a phone. Social media addiction is typically something that does not get much media attention, I suspect because people tend to hear that and think it’s not even a real thing. But it is very real.

I am as guilty as the next person of spending too much time on my phone, specifically on social media but change isn’t so bad, is it? I was not much of a believer in this “social media is addicting” idea but after paying attention to my own social media usage, I realized it is not as much of a joke as I thought it was. I find myself constantly checking my phone for updates on twitter, Facebook, Instagram and many other social networking sites, but I have never come to the conclusion that I was addicted to social media. How is one exactly supposed to know when they are addicted to social media? First of all, the word addiction comes with such a negative connotation. To me, I hear addiction and instantly think of drug and alcohol addiction (like I’m sure most people do). I would never associate social media and addiction together. However, the definition of addiction is “physically or mentally dependent on a particular substance” and I thought, could I go without social media for a week? Much harder than one might anticipate. After failing to even go a day without checking my social networking sites, the thought occurred to me … Social media addiction is real.

Addiction to social media is something that should be at the forefront of our minds, especially as technology is making it easier and easier to access these sites from a simple click or touch. 

Chris Fernandez

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