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Addiction Health Social Media

Social Media Addiction: Understanding The Problem

Once we understand how there are powerful algorithms set up within the apps and websites that we use in order to keep us using them, we can begin to untangle from this addictive matrix. Knowledge is power.

Social media is designed to be addictive. Many of us are hooked on it. In this post I will write about social media addiction. Companies purposefully design these apps to be addictive. How can we combat this time consuming addiction?

Social Media

Social media companies have long understood the power of trying to keep you hooked on their apps. Facebook, for example, knows that the longer you spend on their app, the more advertisements you will see. Companies like TikTok use algorithms to get you to spend more time on their app. One way companies do this is by using what is called A/B testing. Let’s understand how this works.

A/B Testing

In order to keep you using a social app or website longer, companies will engage in what is known as A/B testing. This is where one subset (group A) of users of the web site is shown a particular version of the site, while another set (group B) is shown a different version of the site. Using data analytics, companies can decipher which version of the website users have spent the most time on. Then they will modify the website to the version that users spent more time on. Companies do this to maximize the time individuals will spend on the website. This is done to increase profits for the business which is running the platform.

Addictive Algorithms

Once we understand how there are powerful algorithms set up within the apps and websites that we use in order to keep us using them, we can begin to untangle from this addictive matrix. Knowledge is power. Knowing is half of the battle. Once we know how we are being subtly manipulated into using these social apps, we can begin to resist them. Companies with billions of dollars invested in them to keep us using these apps are obviously going to hire the best minds in order to make these platforms increasingly more addictive. Do not forget about the simple pleasures and joys that people used to have before social media addiction.

Positives of Social Media

Social media does have positive aspects to it, especially in situations like COVID-19 lock downs. It can be a great way to communicate with relatives who are far away. Online social platforms can be great for launching businesses as well. It is just important to resist the negative aspects so they do not outweigh the positive ones. Take time away from social media and try to spend it with real people. It is a lot more natural than staring at a screen all day.

Conclusion

Combating social media addiction is something that many of us need to work on. Especially if you are working as a content creator. It is hard to create content consistently if you are constantly consuming it.

If you need in depth help battling social media addiction, I would recommend checking out this book written by the addiction experts at Allen Carr. The book is called “Smart Phone, Dumb Phone – Free Yourself From Digital Addiction.”

You can purchase a copy of the book here. It explains more in depth how these companies aim to get us hooked on our devices and ways that we can aim to break free. I highly recommend it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and have a great day.

©2020 Richard Gillespie