If a young adult is looking at their phone, chances are they are on social media. With an ever expanding variety of platforms, social media dominates the lives of most young people. In a few seconds they are able to scroll through pictures of people around the world. This can be a way to make connections, but often this constant exposure to other people’s social media can lead to anxiety in young adults. 

What is Social Media Addiction?

Social media addiction is a behavioral addiction that is characterized as being overly concerned about social media, driven by an uncontrollable urge to log on to or use social media, and devoting so much time and effort to social media that it impairs other important life areas. Studies have shown that social media interactions such as “likes” and “retweets” affect the brain’s reward center, releasing dopamine which feeds into the addiction. 

How is Anxiety Affected by Social Media?

An estimated 27% of children who spend 3 or more hours a day on social media exhibit symptoms of poor mental health. Overuse of social networking sites is much more problematic in children and young adults because their brains and social skills are still developing. A recent study cited on Psychology Today found that higher amounts of screen time are associated with high levels of anxiety and depression. It is easy to see how when a young adult spends hours a day comparing their life to the lives they see portrayed on social media, they can begin to feel anxious. Young adults begin to ask themselves questions like: “Why isn’t my life like that?”, and “I should have that.” or “Look at how much happier they are.” That constant comparison doesn’t allow them the space to feel grateful or proud of their own accomplishments. This can also lead to young adults feeling stuck and unmotivated. 

blueFire Pulsar Can Help

If a young adult you know is struggling with anxiety and social media addiction, blueFire Pulsar can help. blueFire PulsaR is a co-educational adventure-based wilderness therapy program designed to help young adults ages 18-28 develop the confidence, motivation, and communication skills to identify and pursue their goals, dreams, and passions. Their multidisciplinary team works closely with clients to develop an individualized therapeutic plan in order to target the areas clients would like to work on the most. To learn more click here or call (208) 565-2764.

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