Conduct associated with deficient use of social networks


In recent years, many of the people who attend psychotherapy have dysfunctional behavioral habits in the use of social networks.

This is partly because these digital platforms have quickly become popular in the last 15 years, but this is not the only cause. The very design and mechanics of social networks also contribute to the fact that a good part of its users are carried away by the experience and act from a counterproductive irrationality. Therefore, in this article we will see a series of problems derived from misuse of social networks such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or TikTok.

The 5 main psychological problems associated with the misuse of social networks

Social networks have become one more element of the daily life of millions of people. In a world in which the border between digital and material is becoming less clear due to the omnipresence of the Internet, smartphones and computers and tablets, the strange thing would be the opposite, that these virtual platforms were hardly used.

And it is that phenomena such as Facebook, Instagram or TikTok take advantage of the incredible potential of the digital world when it comes to developing varied functionalities and quickly adapting to circumstances, on the one hand, and the fact of having a lot of information about the users who browse among their pages, on the other.

The result is that there are those who see in these digital platforms something of what it costs to "unhook" even for half an hour. And it is that, to a certain extent, social networks are not made to help their users solve problems and satisfy needs that exist beyond the screens, but are designed to constantly capture the attention of those who use them, making it difficult for them to disconnect. That is, they propose solutions to some problems that they create, at least with people with certain psychological predispositions.

Taking into account the above, here we will see what are psychological problems that come from a misuse of social networks. Of course, it is not about mental disorders, but simply dysfunctional behavior patterns, which may or may not be part of psychopathologies with symptoms other than these.

1. Limit social interactions to the digital world

Some people go so far as to almost completely replace meaningful social interactions with social interactions on social media, be it chatting, leaving comments, etc. Over time, this disconnection with the interactions that take place face-to-face leads to the appearance of other problems, such as fear of meeting new people in person, adopting an excessively sedentary lifestyle, inexperience in the use of social skills, etc.

This is a problem that can especially affect those who have a predisposition to introversion as a personality trait.

2. Bad time management due to distractions

One of the characteristics of social networks is that second by second they offer different content adapted to the preferences of each user. Therefore, it is easy to lose track of time when using them, and this makes some people get used to using their breaks to use them, only to later realize that they have lost too many minutes or hours of work, study, etc.

3. Use of social networks to try to gain popularity at all costs

Most social networks offer a lot of visibility to a series of users who are seen as references in these virtual spaces: influencers, opinion leaders, etc. This approach encourages some users to feel pushed to seek the attention of others almost at any price, dedicating much of their free time to it and even being reckless just for receiving likes and comments.

4. Use of social networks so as not to miss anything

Another of the mechanics that social networks use is to raise the need to be aware of everything that happens minute by minute. In fact, many people use these digital platforms for hours not so much out of curiosity but out of fear of being "out of date" in a certain social circle.

5. Use social networks to try to cheer up

A curious effect that social networks have on many people is that some of the users use them for a long time when they feel sad or anxious, simply scrolling to see what the network offers them and forgetting about the rest. The problem is that since these digital platforms mostly show idealized lives, this can leave people feeling worse without realizing it.

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