Welcome to our digital detoxing series! A series on how to stop addictions toFortnite,Facebook,Instagram,porn,Netflix, Youtube,Tinder… Findall the posts about digital addiction. Today, let’s talk about how to quit the media addiction.
- What’s the media addiction?
- Addiction to media, a “real” addiction?
- What’s considered media addiction
- How much media is too much?
- Some technology addiction facts & statistics
- Symptoms & Causes of the media addiction
- Why is media so addictive?
- Possible causes of media dependency
- Symptoms, Causes and Signs of media addiction
- Problems, impacts & bad effects of media
- Some benefits of media
- health problems
- impact on brain & mental health
- impact on relationships
- How to stop & quit your media addiction
- Main steps and solutions to break the media addiction
- Best media blocker apps & functionalities
- where to seek extra help?
- To Go Further
- How to help someone with media addiction
- Best books about technology addiction
- Research about technology addiction
What is the media addiction?
Media is the collective of communication outlets used to share information, including television, radio, newspapers, magazines, websites, and social media.
Addiction to media, a “real” addiction?
Officially an addiction?
First, let’s have a look to the DSM-5,the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Does it includes media addiction?
No, media addiction is not listed in the DSM-5. However, it has been proposed as a potential mental health disorder that warrants further research.
So what means “media addiction”?
Media addiction is a term used to describe an unhealthy reliance on the consumption of media, such as television, movies, video games, and social media. It is a growing issue among all age groups, and can lead to physical, psychological, and social problems.
What is considered media addiction?
- 1. Spending a significant amount of time using or thinking about media activities.
- 2. Spending more time using media than participating in other activities.
- 3. Becoming anxious or irritable when not using media.
- 4. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using media.
- 5. Neglecting other interests or activities due to media use.
- 6. Lying or becoming deceptive about media use.
- 7. Escalating use of media despite negative consequences.
- 8. Experiencing physical or emotional distress due to media use.
- 9. Increasing the amount of time using media in order to achieve satisfaction.
- 10. Having difficulty controlling media use.
How much media is too much?
The amount of time spent on media depends on the individual. Everyone has different needs and preferences. It’s important to make sure that media use does not interfere with responsibilities or other activities and that it is balanced with other activities.
Some technology addiction facts & statistics
Technology addiction is a growing concern in today’s world. Here are some statistics related to technology addiction:
- 1. According to a 2019 survey by Common Sense Media, 50% of teens feel addicted to their mobile devices.
- 2. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 28% of adults in the US feel they are constantly online.
- 3. A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found that 43% of Americans are constantly checking their electronic devices for email, texts, or social media updates.
- 4. A survey conducted by the Royal Society of Public Health in the UK found that social media is the most addictive technology, with 63% of respondents reporting that they check their social media accounts at least once a day.
- 5. In a study conducted by the University of Maryland, students were asked to give up all technology for 24 hours. Many of the participants experienced withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, and even physical symptoms such as headaches.
- 6. A study conducted by the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found that excessive use of mobile phones can lead to sleep disorders, depression, and anxiety.
- 7. According to the World Health Organization, internet addiction disorder (IAD) is a real condition that can have serious negative consequences on an individual’s mental and physical health.
Is the media addiction widespread?
The constant access to media through smartphones, social media, and other digital devices has made it easier for people to consume media content for extended periods, leading to concerns about addiction and negative impacts on mental health, social skills, and productivity.
Symptoms, Causes and Signs of media addiction
Why is media so addictive?
Media can be addictive because it can provide a distraction from reality, offer a sense of connection with others, and provide a sense of gratification. It can be easy to lose track of time when engaging with media, and it can become a habit to check it frequently. It can also be difficult to stay away from media when it has become a habit, as it can provide a sense of comfort.
Possible causes of media dependency
- 1. Lack of Self-Control: People with poor self-control are more prone to media addiction. They may use media as a way to escape reality and cope with negative emotions.
- 2. Social Pressure: Many people may feel pressure to keep up with the latest trends or be part of the popular crowd. This can lead to an unhealthy dependence on media.
- 3. Poor Communication Skills: People who struggle to communicate in person may turn to media as a way to express themselves.
- 4. Stress/Anxiety: People may use media as a way to distract themselves from their worries and anxieties.
- 5. Boredom: When people are bored, they may turn to media as a way to pass the time.
- 6. Loneliness: People may use media as a way to connect with others when they feel isolated.
Signs & Symptoms of media addiction
Now let’s see if you have the media addiction problem.
- 1. You feel anxious when you cannot access the internet.
- 2. You spend more time on social media than with your friends and family.
- 3. You are constantly checking your phone for updates.
- 4. You feel a need to be constantly connected to the internet.
- 5. You struggle to focus and concentrate on anything else when you are online.
- 6. You have a hard time disconnecting from the virtual world, even when it’s time to sleep.
- 7. Your thoughts are often consumed with what’s happening on the internet.
Problems, impacts & bad effects of media: should you quit?
What are some benefits of media
Pros of Media:
- 1. Easy Accessibility: Media offers a vast array of information that can be accessed by anyone, anytime, anywhere. Whether it’s streaming a movie or watching the news, people can access whatever they need with just a click of a button.
- 2. Education: Media provides a great source of education for people of all ages. From documentaries to educational videos and podcasts, there are so many different ways to learn from the media.
- 3. Entertainment: Media is a great way to stay entertained. From movies to music, there is a wide range of entertainment options available to keep people engaged and happy.
- 4. Connecting People: Social media has made it easier than ever to connect with people. Through platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, people can stay connected with friends and family, no matter the distance.
- 5. Awareness and Advocacy: Media can be used to spread awareness about important causes and for advocacy. Through social media, people can spread their message and raise awareness about important issues.
- 6. Advertising: Advertising is a great way for companies to showcase their products and services. Through media, companies can reach a much larger target audience and promote their products and services.
But at the opposite, what can be some media addiction problems addicts suffer from?
general health problems
- 1. Obesity: Studies have shown that people who spend a lot of time watching television, playing video games, and using the Internet are more likely to be overweight or obese.
- 2. Addiction: Regularly engaging in media activities can lead to an addiction. This can cause people to become less socially active and isolate themselves from others.
- 3. Stress: The constant stimulation of media can increase a person’s stress levels and lead to anxiety and depression.
- 4. Sleep Deprivation: Too much media use can lead to sleep deprivation, which can have a negative impact on physical health.
- 5. Violence: Watching violent media can lead to increased aggression and desensitization to violence.
- 6. Poor Attention Span: Too much media use can lead to a shorter attention span, which can have a negative effect on academic performance.
media and sleep disorder
Yes, media can create sleep disorders or sleep problems. The blue light emitted by electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and televisions can suppress the release of the hormone melatonin, which regulates sleep-wake cycles. This can make it difficult for a person to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Additionally, the content of media such as violent or disturbing movies, TV shows, or news programs can cause anxiety, stress, or nightmares, which can also disrupt sleep. Social media and other digital communication platforms can also lead to increased anxiety or FOMO (fear of missing out), which can cause a person to stay up late checking their feeds or notifications.
It’s important to establish healthy sleep habits by limiting screen time before bed and creating a relaxing bedtime routine.
media affecting your brain & mental health: bad for brain and mental health?
Some effects of media on your brain
- 1. Increased Anxiety and Stress: Excessive media exposure can lead to feelings of stress, fear, and anxiety. This is especially true for those who are exposed to news coverage of violence and other negative events.
- 2. Diminished Concentration and Attention Span: Constant media exposure has been linked to attention problems and difficulty focusing.
- 3. Sleep Deprivation: Heavy media use has been linked to sleep disturbances, including difficulty falling asleep, frequent awakenings, and early-morning awakenings.
- 4. Poor Physical Health: Excessive media use has been linked to a variety of physical health issues, including obesity, headaches, and muscle and joint pain.
- 5. Increased Aggression: Research has shown that media violence can lead to increased aggression in children and adolescents.
- 6. Social Isolation: Excessive media use can lead to feelings of loneliness and social isolation.
Some effects of media on your mental health
- 1. Increased Stress and Anxiety: Exposure to news and media outlets can increase feelings of stress and anxiety in people. This is especially true for those who are more susceptible to anxiety-inducing information.
- 2. Isolation and Loneliness: Too much time spent on media can lead to social isolation and loneliness, as people become more isolated from the real world and instead focus on the virtual one.
- 3. Increased Risk of Depression: Studies have shown that users of social media are more likely to experience depression and other mental health issues. This is likely due to the comparison game that users can fall into while scrolling endlessly through other people’s highlight reels.
- 4. Poor Body Image: It can be difficult to not compare yourself to the idealized images seen on social media. This can lead to distorted body image, as well as eating disorders.
- 5. Distorted Perceptions of Reality: Social media can create a distorted perception of the world. People often post only their positive experiences and omit their struggles and negative moments. This can lead to unrealistic expectations.
Does media cause stress and anxiety?
Yes, media can cause stress or anxiety. Exposure to negative news, violence or disturbing images can trigger feelings of fear, anxiety, and stress. Social media can also contribute to stress and anxiety by constantly bombarding individuals with unrealistic expectations, comparison with others, and fear of missing out (FOMO).
Additionally, the constant need to check notifications and respond to messages can also lead to feelings of overwhelm and stress. It is important to be mindful of the media that we consume and take breaks when necessary to reduce stress and anxiety.
Can media addiction lead to sadness and depression?
Yes, media addiction can potentially lead to sadness and depression. Excessive use of social media and other forms of media can lead to feelings of loneliness, isolation, and a sense of disconnection from real-life relationships and activities. This can cause individuals to feel depressed and anxious, and may also contribute to low self-esteem and a negative self-image.
Additionally, the constant exposure to negative news and content on media platforms can also contribute to feelings of sadness and hopelessness. It is important to maintain a healthy balance and limit our use of media to avoid potential negative effects on our mental health.
Dopamine and media
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that is associated with pleasure and reward. It plays a significant role in the brain’s reward system, which is activated when we experience something pleasurable or exciting. The media, particularly social media and online platforms, can have an impact on dopamine levels in the brain.
When we engage with social media, our brains release dopamine when we receive likes, comments, and shares. This reward system encourages us to keep checking our phones and scrolling through our feeds. This constant engagement can lead to addiction-like behaviors and can be detrimental to our mental health.
Additionally, media content that is designed to be sensational or controversial can stimulate dopamine release in the brain. This can lead to a desire for more extreme content, which can have negative effects on our perceptions and attitudes towards certain issues.
Overall, dopamine and media are closely linked, and it is important to be mindful of how our media consumption habits are affecting our mental and emotional well-being.
media effects on Focus, productivity, attention span, academic performance…
Yes, media can affect focus, productivity, attention span, and academic performance. Here are some ways:
- 1. Distraction: Media such as social media, streaming services, and games can be very distracting and lead to a decrease in productivity and focus.
- 2. Attention span: Excessive use of media can lead to a decrease in attention span, making it difficult to concentrate on tasks for an extended period.
- 3. Academic performance: Spending too much time on media can negatively impact academic performance, as it takes away from time that could be spent studying, doing homework, or participating in extracurricular activities.
- 4. Sleep: Media use before bedtime can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to fatigue and decreased productivity during the day.
Overall, it is important to limit media consumption and take breaks from screens to maintain focus, productivity, attention span, and academic performance.
A word about ADHD and media
Yes, people with ADHD may interact differently with media compared to those without ADHD. They may have difficulty focusing on media for extended periods of time, and may be easily distracted by other stimuli. This can lead to a tendency to switch between different media or to engage in multitasking while consuming media.
Additionally, they may be more drawn to fast-paced or stimulating media, such as action movies or video games, due to a need for excitement and novelty. However, it’s important to note that everyone with ADHD is different and may have different preferences and challenges when it comes to interacting with media.
affecting your relationships
media and self-esteem
Media can have a significant impact on an individual’s self-esteem, both positively and negatively. Here are some ways in which media can affect self-esteem:
- 1. Unrealistic beauty standards: Media often portrays unrealistic beauty standards that can make people feel inadequate about their appearance. This can lead to a negative body image and low self-esteem.
- 2. Social comparison: Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook can make people compare themselves to others, which can lead to feelings of inferiority and low self-esteem.
- 3. Stereotyping: Media can perpetuate stereotypes about certain groups of people, which can lead to feelings of shame and low self-esteem among those who identify with those groups.
- 4. Positive representation: On the other hand, media can also provide positive representation of diverse body types, races, and genders, which can boost self-esteem and promote self-acceptance.
Overall, media can affect self-esteem in complex and varied ways. It is important to be mindful of how media consumption affects our self-perception and actively seek out positive representation and messages that promote self-love and acceptance.
media addiction leads to isolation and loneliness?
Yes, media addiction can lead to isolation and loneliness. When individuals become addicted to social media or other forms of media, they may spend excessive amounts of time online or engaging with media, leading to a lack of social interaction and real-life relationships. This can cause feelings of isolation and loneliness as individuals may feel disconnected from the real world and the people around them.
Additionally, media addiction can lead to a lack of in-person communication skills, making it difficult for individuals to form meaningful relationships and connect with others.
Effects of media on your relationship
Positive effects of media on relationships:
- 1. Communication: Social media platforms and messaging apps make it easier for couples to communicate with each other, no matter the distance.
- 2. Increased intimacy: Sharing photos, videos, and messages on social media platforms can help couples feel closer to each other.
- 3. Shared interests: Social media can help couples discover new shared interests and activities to do together.
- 4. Support system: Social media can provide a support system for couples going through difficult times.
Negative effects of media on relationships:
- 1. Miscommunication: Misunderstandings can occur when communicating through social media, as text messages can be easily misinterpreted.
- 2. Comparison: Social media can lead to feelings of jealousy and insecurity in a relationship, as couples may compare their relationship to others.
- 3. Privacy concerns: Social media can lead to privacy concerns if couples share too much personal information online.
- 4. Addiction: Excessive use of social media can lead to addiction and can negatively impact a couple’s relationship if one partner spends too much time online.
How To Stop & quit Your media Addiction
Finally you think you are addicted to media and you are wondering how to quit it? How to break and overcome your cravings for media?
Here are the best solutions, steps, supports, resources and help you can get to treat your media addiction.
Main steps and solutions to break the media addiction
- 1. Recognize and Acknowledge Your Addiction: The first step to overcoming any addiction is to recognize and acknowledge that you have a problem.
- 2. Set Boundaries: Set boundaries around your media use and stick to them. Make a commitment to yourself that you will not use any media during certain hours of the day, such as when you’re at work or at home with family.
- 3. Find Alternative Activities: Replace media use with other activities that can help you fill the void. This could include reading a book, going for a walk, or engaging in a hobby.
- 4. Connect with People: Increase your face-to-face interactions with friends, family, and colleagues. When you’re bored or lonely, instead of checking your phone, call a friend or plan a social gathering.
- 5. Seek Professional Help: If you find that you are unable to control your media use, it may be beneficial to seek professional help. A therapist can help you identify the underlying causes of your addiction and provide you with the support and strategies you need to overcome it.
Actually, that’s what most documentation out there is about… However, quitting a digital addiction can be a bit trickier than that.
So our team, after testing many ways, designed a bulletproof way to overcome them. Here are some clear and practical steps that are very powerful to quit a digital addiction, including media:
1. Purge temptations: Get rid of media
First, cleaning your life from temptations is much easier than resisting to them. Disable or delete your media accounts, change the password and hide it somewhere you can’t access easily, keep your phone / computer far away… Out of sight out of mind.
Here is a video from our course the The Digital Purge. on how to add resistance to your temptations, so you become so lazy to engage with them that you give them up: