Psychologists scramble to keep up with growing social media addiction

April 5, 2016

facebook-woman-2-1_2507268bFOMO, FOBO, and NoMo are among a growing list of acronyms relating to people’s fear of not being able to check their social media feed, and the issue has psychologists scrambling to keep up.

“Every time you have a spare moment, people are checking their Facebook or Snapchat, or various social networks,” Perth psychologist Marny Lishman said

“There is that rising anxiety causing the urge and if you don’t get to check it because you are at work, or out of mobile range, or have forgotten your phone, it is quite stressful.

“And because of smartphones we can be connected all the time. We can check social media the minute we get up, we don’t even have to get out of bed.”

Ms Lishman said people were becoming genuinely addicted to their devices, because of the rush generated by positive reinforcements and messages from friends.

The Australian Psychological Society issued its Stress and Wellbeing in Australia report last year, which included a section on social media FOMO, or “fear of missing out”.

The report found adults were spending 2.1 hours per day and teens 2.7 hours per day connected to social media.

It also found 56 per cent of teens were heavy social media users, connecting more than five times per day, with 24 per cent being constantly connected.

Sixty per cent felt brain ‘burnout’ from constant connectivity of social media.

“There is research about sleeping deprivation with children with smartphones,” Ms Lishman said.

In information overload, there isn’t enough time to take a breath and let that information process without more coming in. A virtual relationship is no match for a real, physical relationship. To read more click here.

Behavioural addictions will be discussed at the Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference 2016, themed Alcohol – Other Drugs – Behavioural Addictions, Prevention, Treatment and Recovery will be held on the Gold Coast from the 19 – 20 May 2016. To view the high quality Conference Program CLICK HERE.

To register your attendance at the conference CLICK HERE.  Early bird registrations close this Friday 8th April so be quick to receive a discounted rate.

Hosted by The Australia and New Zealand Mental Health Association the Conference promotes and encourages participation from all parts of the sector towards a shared appreciation of what medical, psycho-social and peer-based approaches can offer, through the experiences of service users, clinicians, and researchers alike.

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