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88 MAGAZINE

How To Beat Social Media Addiction WORDS BY 88 MAGAZINE Love it or hate it, social media apps

addictive. Just like a drug, it’s

Dr Jones recommends taking

such as Facebook and Instagram

designed to trigger reward

smaller steps to mitigate your

have profoundly changed the

centres in your brain every

habits. “I think it’s a problem

way

time you see a notification on

when people start too big. Start

and socialise as a society. Mental

your phone or a like on your

somewhere, where there’s the

health experts, researchers and

latest Instagram post. And this is

least resistance”. Examples of

other pros are voicing concerns

why the cold-turkey approach

small steps to help break your

on how our social-media obsessed

sometimes won’t cut it (or will be

addiction include turning off

society can cause more harm

so tough you’ll give up).

notifications, turning off vibrate,

we

think,

communicate

and using a feature on your

than we may have guessed. On a deeper level, these social

phone that monitors how much

But is quitting social media (even

media companies know exactly

time you spend on social apps.

for a few days) a good idea and can

what they are doing from a

it really help you in the long term?

neurological perspective. What

“Something I’ve personally found

Find out why taking a break

they’re doing is called intermittent

helpful

from social media is not enough

reinforcement -- it’s what casinos

boundaries around my own social

to change your health, and how

do too with slot machines. And it’s

media use is implementing “cut-

to make your social media use

the same with swiping on Tinder

off” times for my phone. Starting

better for your mental health.

or

Instagram.

around 9 p.m., I won’t check social

The addiction is the reward

media and I won’t look at it again

pathway, it’s a dopamine hit!

until after 7:30 or 8 a.m. the next

WHY SIMPLY QUITTING SOCIAL MEDIA ISN’T ENOUGH

checking

your

with

creating

better

day. While I’m not totally avoiding

First, it’s important to keep in

Instead of totally quitting your

mind that social media is literally

social media, health professional

using it, I feel like this time


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