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Virtual Teen Social Media Addiction Treatment

As a parent, you know that social media is ever present in your teenager’s life. From Facebook and Twitter to YouTube and Twitch, your teen feels the need to stay connected with friends, celebrities, and the world at large. While many teens’ use of social media is non-problematic, there is a percentage of young people who can’t escape their computer screen. They seem to be addicted to like emojis and shares, and they can’t seem to stay logged off of social media sites for long. While it may seem far-fetched for some, teens that “can’t get enough” of social media may have a social media addiction.

This article will discuss the prevalence of social media in a teenager’s life as well as how young people can become addicted to social media. We will also cover the dangers and signs of social media addiction. If your son or daughter can’t break free from the grip of social media, Thrive Treatment can help. We offer evidence-based social media treatment that will help your teen break free of social media addiction. Call us today to learn more about our signature programs.

How Prevalent Is Social Media Among Teens?

It goes without saying that teenagers and social media usage fit like a hand in glove. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), ninety percent of teens ages 13-17 have used social media. Also, 75% report having at least one active social media profile, and 51% report visiting a social media site at least daily. It is also reported that two-thirds of teens have their own mobile internet devices, such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets. On average, teens spend 9 hours per day on the internet, not including homework time.

For many teens, social media has benefits such as staying connected to friends and meeting new friends. Benefits also include finding a “community” for specific activities and finding avenues to share passions such as art and music. However, social media also has its downside, which includes the following:

  • Exposure to harmful or inappropriate content (e.g., sex, drugs, violence, etc.)
  • Exposure to dangerous people
  • Cyberbullying, a risk factor for depression and suicide
  • Oversharing personal information
  • Exposure to excessive advertisements
  • Privacy concerns, including the collection of data about teen users
  • Identity theft or being hacked
  • Interference with sleep, exercise, homework, or family activities

If your child is losing control over their social media use, a virtual social media addiction treatment program such as the one at Thrive Teen can help. Call us today and find out more about our online teen social media treatment programs.

How is Social Media Addictive For Teens?

If you are unfamiliar with social media addiction, you may be surprised to learn this addiction is very similar to addiction to substances. When teens log onto social media sites, it activates the same reward centers in the brain that are also activated with drug and alcohol use. When teens check social media, it releases dopamine in the brain. Dopamine acts in the brain’s reward and sensation centers. With every like, every share, and every mention, that rush of acceptance releases dopamine. For teens, the anticipation of seeing who has liked a status or looked at their profile causes them to regularly check their social media accounts. If you notice that your teen closes an app only to log back in shortly after, they are displaying a phenomenon known as a dopamine loop which can be defined as the following:

“A dopamine-driven feedback loop is a “self-perpetuating circuit fueled by the way the neurotransmitter works with the brain’s reward system. Feedback loops, in general, are circuits that return output as input to a given system to drive future operations and, in this case, behaviors.”

Since the teen brain is in a major stage of development, they are more vulnerable to the addictiveness of social media. Constant social media exposure can lead to obsessive and compulsive issues, which can lead to addiction. If left unchecked, a teen’s social media addiction can become a gateway to other addictions, including substance abuse. Teen social media addiction needs to be stopped in its tracks before addictive behaviors grow worse. Thrive Teen offers online teen social media treatment that is evidence-based and proven to work. Call us today to learn more about teen social media treatment.

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We Work with Most Insurance

At Thrive Teen we accept most private insurance plans and we are in-network with Magellan, Cigna, MHN Health Net, First Health, and Anthem Blue Cross. Additional payment options are available so don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can help.

What Are the Signs of Social Media Addiction?

Social media has become a central part of people’s daily routine and especially for teenagers. However, there is a fine line between staying connected to the world and being enveloped by that world. The following are common signs of social media addiction in your teen:

Your Teen Checks Their Social Media Constantly

The first sign of teen social media addiction is that your teen constantly checks their social media accounts. This can be the first thing they do when they wake up, during dinner, before they go to bed, and even in the middle of the night when they should be sleeping.

They Check Their Accounts During School or Work

When your teenager is at school or their part-time job, their focus should be solely on their studies or work. If your teen is constantly checking or posting on social media during these times, they could be addicted to social media.

Your Teen Feels Anxious When They Aren’t on Social Media

During the times when your teen isn’t on social media, you may notice that they seem anxious and crawling out of their skin. This is especially true if they are away from their phone.

Your Teen is Constantly Checking How Their Posts Are Performing

Another tell-tale sign of social media addiction in your teenager is if they are constantly seeing how their posts are performing. The chase to get the most likes and reactions can be all-consuming for your teen. Emphasizing the popularity of their posts shows they are placing too much of themselves in their posts.

Your Teen Thinks They Hear Their Phone Buzz…But It Isn’t

If your teen is constantly “hearing” the notification buzz from their phone when there isn’t any, chances are they are becoming consumed with social media.

Does Your Teen Need Online Social Media Addiction Treatment?

It may seem silly on the surface, but social media addiction is very real. If your teen is struggling with breaking free of social media, you need to find virtual teen social media treatment that is evidence-based and tailored to meet your teen’s specific needs. Thrive Teen is a premier virtual teen treatment facility. We feature effective treatment programs for social media addiction as well as other mental health and substance abuse issues.

Our experienced treatment team has years of cumulative experience in both understanding and treating issues that affect teens from all walks of life. For social media addiction treatment that works, call Thrive Teen today. 

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Thrive Teen integrates relational and behavioral therapies, along with holistic, medical and psychiatric interventions to help clients reach not only sobriety, but also emotional health and lasting well-being. We look forward to guiding you through this process.

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