Social Media Is Allegedly No More Addictive Than Other Fun Activities

December 10, 2020

Thumbtypers, rejoice.

Documentaries are informative films that tell factual stories, but they are edited to tell the most entertaining story to earn money. Netflix recently released the The Social Dilemma documentary that explains how Facebook is an addictive activity. People are now ranting about social media addiction, but they have been doing that for years. Axios states humans become fearful about addiction with every new media technology, like the novel. Read more about the so called “addiction” in: “The Social Media Addiction Bubble.”

There is no denying that social media can be addictive. The same can be said for other media technology: videogames, TV, Internet. Addiction is a problem, but labeling something as an addiction does not help find solutions. Psychology professionals have not created an official “Facebook addiction” diagnosis, however, there is a Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale that determines individuals’ dependency on social media.

Facebook addiction is a subset of Internet addiction. Social media and technology experts do not want their creations to cause harm. For the most part, social media does not cause harm. Projecting fear onto information media is a “moral panic” and masks bigger issues. There is usually something else that is the root of addictive behavior whether it is in the form of depression or simple escapism:

“Addiction theories also promote a sense of powerlessness by imposing “all or nothing” thinking, as sociologist Sherry Turkle argued in her 2011 book “Alone Together.”

• “To combat addiction, you have to discard the addicting substance,” Turkle wrote. “But we are not going to ‘get rid’ of the internet. We will not go ‘cold turkey’ or forbid cell phones to our children…. The idea of addiction, with its one solution that we know we won’t take, makes us feel hopeless.”

Our thought bubble: Addictions typically are driven by an effort to numb pain or escape boredom, and solutions need to address demand for the addiction, not just the supply.

• People with fulfilling jobs, healthy families and nourishing cultures are a lot less likely to get addicted to Facebook or anything else.”

It is easier to blame something that is a tool and easily controllable than focus on the deeper issues behind the underlying behavior. Cars cause accidents, pollute the environment, and drain natural resources. Cars, though, are a tool and are not the underlying problem behind death, pollution, or depletion. The problem is humanity. How to fix the problem? You repair human habits by addressing what is wrong.

Whitney Grace, December 10, 2020


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