“The word ‘addiction’ brings to mind alcohol and drugs. Yet, over the past 20 years, a new type of addiction has emerged: addiction to social media. It may not cause physical harms, such as those caused by tobacco and alcohol, but it has the potential to cause long-term damage to our emotions, behaviour and relationships.
“While the older generation – those born in the baby boom period shortly after World War II – had alcohol and drugs as their vice, the younger generation – the so-called millenials – have social media as theirs. The millennials, born between 1984 and 2005, have embraced the digital age, using technology to relax and interact with others. Social media is a big deal for them; it is a lifeline to the outside world.
“Although people of all ages use social media, it is more harmful for younger users than it is for older people.
“Addiction may seem a bit of a strong word to use in the context of social media, but addiction refers to any behaviour that is pleasurable and is the only reason to get through the day.”