Social Media & Gaming Addiction
As social media continues to pervade more and more areas of everyday life, it’s becoming more and more lucrative for companies to maximize user’s time on their respective sites.
Unfortunately, this means there’s incentive for these companies to profit off of people’s ability to become behaviorally addicted to engaging with social media, video games, etc.
Powering up a video game or anticipating the likes on Instagram after a post activates your brain in the same way as a heroin user preparing their next hit. Also similar to drug or gambling addiction, one soon gains a tolerance and requires more and more of the stimulus to get their fix.
As such, the impacts can include employment issues, self-esteem issues, spending less time with loved ones, or even financial. The latter can stem from more innocent sources like skins or backgrounds that merely change the aesthetics, however some entities utilize “pay-to-win” game tactics where it gives you the option to buy your way into a position (i.e. better weapons, more strength, extra lives, etc.) that makes it impossible or near impossible for people that do not pay to win the game.
This is all especially predatory to people that find themselves addicted.
One way that has been posited to make an improvement would be for companies to be on a subscription-based model. The reason behind this is that it would force them to cater to the well-being of people instead of advertisers.
In terms of what we can all do to help mitigate some of the negative impacts of social media and video games is to make it easier to disengage. This could mean everyone putting their phone in a box when it’s time for dinner, or setting up Sleep Mode on your phone for a set time before bed to limit distractions.
If addiction has taken over your life, Williamsville Wellness is here to help you take it back.