Social media addiction and concerns in Virginia foster care

Social media addiction and concerns in Virginia foster care

Social media addiction and foster kids in Virginia

All kids, not just kids in foster care can all suffer from this addiction.

Let's face it Social media addiction and concerns about it are impacting kids in Foster care today and adults alike. We all do it more times than we can count or even notice in one day. It may be the first thing you do when you wake up and the last thing you look at before bed. It feels like a part of you, and when it's not around, you feel lost. Most of us are addicted to social media, posting, liking, following, and now it has become such a norm; it isn't even noticed as an issue. The fact is, social media addiction is an issue, and it is affecting adults, teens, and even children far more than one may realize. Statistics show that 89% of teenagers have a smartphone, and 70% use social media multiple times a day. 38% of young people report that social media has a negative impact on how they feel about themselves.

It is a fact that 210 million people worldwide suffer from social media & internet addiction . You may find it easy to blame your teenager for not having more self-control. We need to keep in mind social media platforms have thousands of Ph.D. level researchers spending billions of dollars trying to figure out how to get users to spend more time on their social media platform. The more time we spend on social media, the more money the platform makes.

What have the researchers found that is making us go back for more of the same scrolling for hours each day? Dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical produced by our brains that is the starring role in motivating behavior. This chemical gets released when we take a bite of delicious food, when we have sex after we exercise and when we have successful social interactions . With that in mind, every "like" and shared post rewards us for beneficial behaviors (using social media) and motivates us to repeat them (causing us to go back to look at social media again). A positive social stimulus will result in a release of dopamine, reinforcing whatever behavior preceded it. Adding to that, our smartphones provide us with a virtually unlimited supply of social stimuli. Every notification, whether it's a "like" on Instagram, or a Facebook notification, has the potential to be a positive social stimulus and dopamine influx. Why is this unlimited supply of social stimuli a problem? Both negative and positive social stimuli can negatively impact your overall mental health. Sometimes the artificially high levels of stimulation can alter the brain's sensitivity to the less intense stimuli of everyday life. Over time this decreased sensitivity can have some surprising results such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, sleep deprivation, envy/jealousy, and communication issues, or lack of socialization skills for teenagers.

If you think you or your child or foster child might be overusing social media, or social media may be affecting your daily life, including mental health. 

Some ideas to decrease use:

  • Turn off your notifications for a minimum of a few hours each day
  • Utilize apps that help you engage in healthy behaviors such as meditation.
  • Use an alarm clock instead of relying on your phone as an alarm to prevent you from using your phone the minute you wake up.
  • Slow your addiction
  • No more CandyCrush.
  • No more Facebook.
  • No more Snapchat.
  • Clean your phone with no unnecessary apps. They are only there to find information about you to sell to others so you can get addicted to their app.
  • Use it for calls and important messages only.
  • Turn your phone upside down to live more!
  • Once these apps are less in reach, they will automatically lose their attraction.

 Restrict Notifications

 Turn off the notifications to all applications calm your world.

  • Yes, you heard me, right!
  • Notifications are the dealers to the addiction, a signal for you to check your phones and feed the addiction.
  • Notifications turned of mean less checking of your phone, resulting in a better lifestyle.
  • Social media addiction statistics show this has been one of the best ways of getting rid of your addiction.

Notifications directly affect your mood since you won’t be able to do the task at hand once you indulge in checking social media.

 Limiting Your Time

  • Watch the clock to keep an eye on yourself.
  • The 15-minute rule usually does wonders to curb your desire to pick up your phone again.
  • Or the “No social media in the office”.
  • Even at home, try putting a timer on the usage of social media.
  • As you have a lot of time to spare, you can pick up different hobbies to make new friends with real friends.

Keep yourself busy.

  • Make new friends. And yes, not on the internet!
  • Concentrate on the things close to you, family, friends, use the phone as it is intended to be used to speak to a real person.
  • Healthy app to block the addiction
  • Use apps that block all social media after a specific time 

Statistics of people attached to their social media devices, you are not alone!

Facebook: 2.3 billion users

Instagram: 1.1 billion users

Youtube: 1.9 billion users

WhatsApp: 950 million users

LinkedIn: 564 million users

Reddit: 542 million users

Twitter: 327 million users

Pinterest: 201 million users

Snapchat: 187 million daily users

Social media addiction in foster care

 

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