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Social Media as a Type of Addiction

Using the social network as a means of communication has become popular nowadays. According to statistics, more than half of the Earth’s population uses the Internet daily, and the majority of them also spend a lot of time on social media (Clement, 2020). The video posted by TMW Media informs the audience on the problem of social media usage developing into an addiction. It illustrates the similar symptoms of addiction that were covered in the Addiction and Obsession course. They are uncontrollable substance use, a false feeling of satisfaction from obsession, and the development of other addictions. The documentary is not biased since it considers the opinions of many social media users and references psychologists’ works.

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One of the first signals of unhealthy dependence is the inability to refuse the object of dependence. The main speaker of the video, Danis, states that a large amount of time spent on social media can infer that person has an addiction. The psychological counselor also suggests that to check whether an individual is addicted to social media, they should try stopping using it for a certain period. If they cannot do that, then they are most likely to be addicted (TMW Media, 2015). The teenagers from the interview claim that some of their acquaintances might be addicted by saying, “it’s become their whole life” (TMW Media, 2015, 05:13). In the same manner, the course textbook notes that substance abusers cannot control themselves when using a substance (Wormer & Davis, 2018). Accordingly, time spent on social media is the first factor when testing addiction on it.

Another indication of addiction is the feeling of satisfaction a person gets from using the substance. The book by Wormer and Davis (2018) describes how people temporarily find strength when they use the object of addiction. According to the video, there is a biological reward when people disclose information about themselves (TMW Media, 2015). Teens tend to pursue social help when they are in depression or feel anxious. They also escape their actual problems by indulging in the internet. Danis claims people experience pleasure and satisfaction when they can escape the complications in life (TMW Media, 2015). Youth can quickly become self-absorbed, and they seek recognition from their peers in form of likes, shared links, and subscriptions. It is a replacement for social interaction, and they get the attention needed in real life from the feedbacks they get on Instagram or Facebook. However, both sources deny the happiness effect of addiction since later the person is likely to get into depression (TMW Media, 2015; Wormer & Davis, 2018). Thus, dependency gives an addict a temporary feeling of pleasure.

Moreover, people who have an addiction are more prone to develop other bad habits. Thus, the video also suggests that active social media users, who try to run from reality, might get a substance addiction like drugs and alcohol (TMW Media, 2015). There is a similar statement in the textbook: “addiction often accompanies other disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and other substance use” (Wormer & Davis, 2018, p. 95). Therefore, social media addiction can cause other unhealthy compulsive behavior.

In general, the documentary is recommendable for the course because it describes one of the most widespread forms of addiction of modern days. The signs of addiction in it coincide with the information from the course. Therefore, the given video is applicable for the Addiction and Obsession course since it provides many examples and evidence of social media being addictive that correspond with the course textbook. The tape contains a lot of interviews from the most affected teenagers and views of professional psychologists.


Clement, J. (2020). Digital users worldwide 2020. Statista. Web.

TMW Media. (2015). Social media addiction [Video]. Kanopy. Web.

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Wormer, K. V., & Davis, D. R. (2018). Addiction treatment. Cengage.

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