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Evaluating News: Social Media Addiction

This LibGuide provides resources to help you identify fake news and evaluate news and disinformation.

Social Media Addiction

Technology can make our lives easier, but it can also have devastating consequences. Constant use of smartphones and social media can change a person's brain chemistry and cause addiction. Common Sense Media conducted a poll with 1,200 teenagers and parents about screen addiction. Fifty-nine percent of parents felt their teens were addicted to their smartphones and 50% of teenagers felt they were addicted to their smartphones. Seventy-eight percent of teens say they check their phones hourly. Click here to find more information about the poll.

Some symptoms of smartphone and social media addiction include anxiety, depression, withdrawal from social activities, neck or back pain, dishonesty about technology usage, inability to keep a schedule, avoiding work, agitation, dry eyes and vision problems, carpal tunnel, headaches and problems sleeping.

Take this test to see if you have a smartphone addiction.

Technology and Addiction

Watch this video to find out how technology designers influence our brains.

Smartphones and social media are designed to be addictive. They are intentionally designed to hook the user into frequent use through autoplay, push notifications, chime sounds, etc. Social media developers also use feedback loops. Every time you do or post online your brain experiences a temporary moment of pleasure. This reaction will cause your brain to want to use or post online even more.

Social Media


Here are some tips to balance media and technology in your life.

  1. Turn off autoplay on video streaming sites and apps.
  2. Turn of instant and push notifications on social media sites and apps.
  3. Don't sleep with the phone next to you.
  4. Don't carry your phone with you all the time. Put it in a designated spot when you are at home.
  5. Switch the phone screen to gray scale.
  6. Use an app that tracks the amount of time you spend on your phone.
  7. Instead of reaching for your phone when your bored, go for a walk, grab a book to read, or a piece of paper and pencil and start doodling!
  8. Limit the number of apps on your home screen.
  9. Remove social media apps from your phone.
  10. Consider taking a digital detox.
  11. Make time for face-to-face communications with friends.

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