Social Media – hobby or addiction? And how do we deal with it?

By HyeRyun Kim

Social media is one of the biggest platform these days that almost every teenager and young adults use. People’s concern about social media is that you can easily get addicted to it once you start using it. But is social media considered a hobby or an addiction? Before getting into the discussion, let us define what hobby and addiction really means and what the difference between the two are. A hobby is mostly seen in a positive way where it makes you more productive and motivated. Addiction, on the other hand, is rather portrayed in a way that describes what negatively impacts you. Think about “smoking”, if there’s someone you know who smokes a lot, you would describe that person as someone who’s addicted to smoking rather than who’s hobby is smoking, wouldn’t you? This is because there are more negative impacts you may get from smoking than the benefits. So, how can we distinguish between the two for social media and how do we deal with the addiction?

My answer to the question – “hobby or an addiction?” – is simple: it depends. Oh, what a boring answer, you thought, right? But it really depends on how you use it and deal with it. Just scrolling down the feed to see what your friends are up to these days and messaging them could be counted as a hobby. But if you’re on it for several hours and feel like it is a “must” to check or post something, then it becomes an addiction. Social media can easily turn from a hobby to an addiction once it starts dominating one’s life and even compromising their well-being. For example, you may start using social media to check out what others are up to these days, but then start seeing those desirable pictures that makes you feel like you have to do better than them and show it to others or you feel the tendency to socialize and catch up with recent events and posts and if not you get anxious, that’s when a hobby turns to an addiction.

When people get addicted to social media, they try to show what they think is better than other people or is their positive side because the posts they see everyday makes them compare those people to themselves. Due to the desirable pictures celebrities or even the people around you post, self esteem and confidence are at risk every time an image or video is posted. Social media makes you manipulate your life in whatever way you can in order to get “likes”, “followers” and “comments”. By showing the unusual side of yourself and getting attention by that, as in getting likes and comments, it will make you feel accepted from a certain group and raise your desire to not let it go, which then may possibly lead to depression due to the feeling of futility in life once you turn off your phone and face the reality.

Besides the addiction, conscious awareness is as important as the addiction itself. Resisting the usage of social media is not the answer, but being aware of the fact that you might be addicted to the point you’re sacrificing your well being is extremely important. Accepting the fact that you have an addiction is getting yourself one step closer to stopping the addiction. However, if someone is obviously addicted to social media but denies that fact, it then becomes a big problem because they will not be able to get it fixed and the addiction will get worse. What I think is the real problem with social media addiction is that people don’t accept the fact that they are addicted to it and justify themselves and others that its completely a hobby. There is a difference between a hobby and an addiction. Therefore, if someone denies and argues against the fact that they are addicted to social media even though it is so clear that they are, you should let them know that they are, but in the most polite way, ‘cause, you know, nobody would really want to hear that they’re “addicted” to something, especially from someone else.

Works Cited

  1. Kiberd, Roisin. “Social Media Addiction Is Not Natural or Normal – but Is It Really a Disease? | Roisin Kiberd.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 19 Mar. 2019, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/19/social-media-facebook-addiction-not-natural-normal-disease.
  2. “Social Media Addiction: Meaning, Symptoms, Causes, Effects, and Treatment | Essay.” The Wisdom Post, 23 Jan. 2018, http://www.thewisdompost.com/essay/addiction/social-media-addiction/social-media-addiction-meaning-symptoms-causes-effects-treatment/1293.
  3. “Addicted to Social Media?” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, http://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-excess/201805/addicted-social-media.
  4. Elgan, Mike. “Social Media Addiction Is a Bigger Problem than You Think.” Computerworld, Computerworld, 14 Dec. 2015, http://www.computerworld.com/article/3014439/social-media-addiction-is-a-bigger-problem-than-you-think.html?page=3.
  5. “r/Explainlikeimfive – ELI5:When Does a Hobby Become an Addiction?” Reddit, http://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/5ks4zi/eli5when_does_a_hobby_become_an_addiction/.