Living an alternative reality, either because because one is not capable to deal with a situation - or because social media acceptance is much easily received than acceptance from family or peers in real life; this is how psychologists are defining social media addiction today.
On an average, people from all walks of life are spending over three hours a day on social media websites. “People who spend over three hours a day on such websites are addicts. For many who use the platform to promote their business, build a brand or further a cause, it wouldn’t matter so much. But for those whose lives are governed based on the number of likes their photos/statuses got or the number of virtual friends they’ve made — life is going downhill,” said Susheel Kiran, a psychologist from the city.
Many psychiatrists are also defining withdrawal symptoms experienced by addicts, based on case studies.
“We have been getting more and more cases of people who experience withdrawal symptoms like nervousness and incapability to cope with life when their device is not connected. Moreover many people go into depression when no one comments on their status message or people do not ‘like’ their photographs. We had one case of a student attempting suicide because her boyfriend did not comment on her status and changed his relationship status to ‘complicated’ from ‘committed’ after having a fight with her,” explained Kirtana Khamedar, a psychologist.
Sadly, psychologists also explain that in cases like Malini Murmu, who was an above average student and quite a strong person in real life, such social embarrassment can result in harsh decisions like suicide.
“Social media mangles up your entire self perception. People define themselves by what others think of them. That is when it becomesdangerous,” said Rohini Bala, a teen psychologist. Further, experts explain that disconnecting is the only way out to tackle addiction and the first step lies in accepting that they are glued to their systems more than required.