Internet/social media addiction_de-addiction
Social medias like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, WhtsApp etc. are affordable, easily available, user-friendly and easily deleted and re-installed. Messaging and forwarding information is not just made easy, it comes with a social responsibility. However, there are no social network policing, when both the parties (senders and receivers) are complying, or dealing with an untoward situation in the social networking in their own way, by ignoring or deleting.
While we love Emoticons, it can be confusing.
While social networking have built relationships, it when not used responsibly may cause an array of problems.
Privacy is now optional for some, as they wish to be known and seen by many. There are teenagers who feel misunderstood or not understood enough by their peers or parents and tend to add in anyone who seems desirable or chat‘table’. Their Digital Profile or DP as is called in a hep manner, reflects their mood. They post their selfies in any posture, completely disregarding the warnings that are circulated is directed towards their safety through the same social medias.
On one hand, tracking whereabouts, login time and read indications etc., contribute in keeping friends and family and acquaintances in communication or safe, on the other hand the same features of the social networking are causative agent of stress for many.
Reply from a certain someone, be it professional or personal, can mean anything from care to lack of it, while the truth could be far from it.
In case of children and teenagers sincere efforts are required by parents, by revoking their internet time and blocking sites. Such direct steps in a respectful manner, has been found to be more effective than usage of spywares in these cases.
Social media flirting has brought in couples for counselling. While this is cheating, but because technically no lines are crossed till then, there is no guilt and along with that a solid defense is ready. Sometimes it is started as a feel good factor and becomes an addiction. It takes twiddling of few keys on the smart phone or the keyboard to type and one is in touch with somebody/someone one need not be contacting.
If the couples, family members, friends get into an argument, discussing the matter and solving the issue in hand and enhancing their relationship, at that point seems like too much work and requires more energy, instead drowning and distracting oneself into conversations and reading messages from known, unknown people or group is alluring.
A hollywood actress got divorced due to the ‘chat cheating’ as was called. Right after her marriage to a famous footballer, she noticed that her husband was chatting without sharing with her, later she found he was chatting with women friends.
A young client was going through anger issues and during counselling she revealed and realised that her anger stemmed from feeling insecure, as she had noticed her husband of 5 months, was receiving messages at odd hours and had read a chat (accidentally left open) between her husband and his friend, who was a girl. In the chat neither her husband nor that girl seem to care that, he was married. She also recalled that her husband been receiving messages since the day they got married. She was hesitant to ask and therefore kept suppressing her questions, that had been brewing and at-last ended up creating her, so called, unexplained and unprovoked anger issues.
Chat in groups also has caused fights as one seem to get more replies than the others.
Typing few words and sending may not hold much discussion, however as the emotions get attached as per the sender’s or reader’s beliefs, the same conversation is seen in a different light. Everything from size of the reply, to the time of the reply to the type of reply, all contributes to this.
MrX from a known corporate, decided to seek help, as he had lost control over his social boundaries, he was getting in touch with complete strangers and discussing his most intimate details. He was threatened, he was scolded, sometimes some continued chat on the same topic. But, as his chat name was some random alpha numeric one, people were either chatting or deleting him. He was never really in trouble. But, his addiction to look for new members each time for a chat of this kind was keeping him away from family and his relationship at home and work was suffering. He was concerned that he might get caught as one of his colleague was fired, in overseas office branch, for personal internet surfing. With counselling he was given tips to de addict
- For starters not be hard on himself, be nice, if one wishes to chat go ahead, but just suggested to see if he can do something else, go for a walk, play with his kids or pet, cook, go to the coffee machine or water station in office. Gradually, this habit reduces.
- Use Post it- He was suggested to write down affirmations and keep it were he can read it as many times as possible, “I can do this, I have the will power” “Day by day I am getting better and better” “I love and approve of myself”. Affirmations, increases the vibrations and lifts the will power to change
- He was also advised to take up fun activities, anything that makes him feel joy.
Addiction is always something that gives pleasure, need not necessarily be good for you. Key to de-addiction is to understand the root cause of the addiction. Most of the cases we have seen it is desire for attention, something that makes them feel good about themselves. Explaining and de-layering to them about the same by trained professional, counsellors or healers, and chalking down simple steps for focusing on oneself, which is self-love not selfish.
While adjusting one’s time according to the responsibilities of near and dear ones is fine, sacrificing something from one’s space is not agreeable. Replace un-necessary sacrifices with simple things like your daily activities,
- taking bath (maybe twice),
- exercising (walking or sports one likes),
- drinking water (keep yourself hydrated)
- eating healthy and on time,
- communication with people one on one
- Brushing teeth
- Combing your hair
Such baby steps towards self care leads to self love. When you love something or someone, caring becomes easy, efforts required to stand up and stand by and stand for that person during the healing process seems doable.
One can add movie or museum or exploring other interest in arts and crafts or outdoor fun sports like paintball game or laser gun sport. You will be surprised, how much one finds out about oneself during these activities and once the re-connection starts with self, re-connection with the world around is also established, thus, warding off the primary causative agent of the addiction, loneliness or not feeling important enough.
De-addiction is process and might take time to completely come out of the addiction, but it is a necessary. There are chances one might slip and go back to their old ways, but when one decides to rehabilitate again, ‘support‘ works like a charm.
Another process or technique that has worked like a charm is the tapping sessions or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), along with counseling and we have found this process to be very effective.
Approval is the basic necessity of humans. Approval is acknowledgement of one’s presence or existence. When approval is not received from expected corners, one ventures towards unknown pastures. Proven fact of the matter is only approval one needs is from oneself.
Usage of any privilege or amenities available with respect is the necessary solution to the problems that have arisen due to irresponsible usage of the social networking sites.
Very grateful to mention that the excerpts from this blog article has been mentioned in the Economic Times 26-05-2015, please see link below of the article by Nasline Saliha in Economics Times – “Are you addicted to being e-social”
IADLife-ReenaYadav-in Economics Times – “Are you addicted to being e-social”
http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/index.aspx?eid=31815&dt=20150626# page 12
Reena Yadav (Researcher and Proprietrix at IADLife)