11 Signs that Your Social Media Habits are Unhealthy

Any addiction is unhealthy, so if youíre a self-proclaimed social media addict or tech addict, then youíll want to examine your relationship with it immediately. But maybe you donít know whether youíre an addict. If thatís the case, then peruse these signs of social media addiction to determine where you fall on the spectrum.

11 Signs that Your Social Media Habits are Unhealthy

11 Signs of Social Media Addiction

1. You check your phone constantly.

You know this has to be the first one because the rate of usage is always the first sign. If youíre constantly on your phone, scrolling your social media accounts then thatís a big red flag.

2. You canít wait in an elevator, line, or at a traffic light without checking your phone.

Silence kills you. Even if you have music blaring in your car and you’re waiting for the light to turn green, you canít keep your hands off your phone. In fact, itís so habitual that you donít even realize youíre doing it. Then one day you run into the car in front of you because some guy in the right lane decided to run the red light. And your peripheral vision tricked you.

3. Your phone is in your hand (and possibly on and facing you) while youíre in an intimate conversation.

If you canít leave your phone in your pocket or purse during dinner or while youíre in a conversation with a lover, then youíve got a problem. More than one. First, youíve got your addiction. Then youíve got the problem caused by the addiction: an upset lover, friend, or family member.

4. You document your every move.

Go ahead and review your timelines. If your life is so thoroughly documented that you know what you ate for dinner four years ago on Friday the 13th of January at 7:08 pm, then youíve got an unhealthy relationship with social media. The same goes for when you know every nail polish color youíve had on your toes and fingers for the last five years.

5. You spend more hours on social media than you do with real people.

You can track how much time you spend on social media with neat apps. Some apps will even show you how many times you open social media or simply open your phone throughout the day. Try tracking yourself for a few weeks. More hours on social media doesnít nurture a healthy social life. It actually hinders it.

6. You experience FOMO when you go without social media for any amount of time.

If you miss anyoneís posts, even your own, and you experience a deep fear of missing out, then you need to back away from social media for a while. You will miss out on things in life. And youíre making yourself crazy thinking that you wonít. Youíll experience exactly what you need to when you need to.

7. Your sense of self-worth depends on the number of likes, shares, or friends you have.

Itís sad but true. Some individuals rely heavily on the amount of fake congeniality they experience online to bolster their sense of self-worth. This is an extremely unhealthy relationship with social media that has a far-reaching impact. If you depend on likes, shares, or friend requests to feel good about yourself, then you need to reexamine your relationship with social media today. You are worth far more than a mere click of a mouse.

8. You accept friend requests from strangers.

You donít need to be friends with anyone you donít know. The only time this would make a difference is if you are a business. And youíre business needs customers. Then youíll definitely have people you donít know friending you on Facebook. Thatís the only time itís okay. New friends are to be made in person, then friended on Facebook. Or, if youíre dating and you meet online, thatís a different story. But most of the time, the strangers friending you on Facebook arenít real anyway.

9. You check your phone first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.

If your morning ritual consists of your phone, then you need to take a step back. Bombarding yourself before you get out of bed and before you go to sleep at night with what other people are doing diminishes your connection with yourself. The more impaired your connection to self, the more you depend on others to give you your sense of self.†That’s†an unhealthy, codependent relationship, even if it is through social media alone.

10 . You walk down the street looking at your phone.

You are putting yourself and others at risk. You could inadvertently walk into traffic, crash into someone carrying groceries, or trip and break a wrist. Itís not worth it.

11. You had to increase your data plan to accommodate your usage.

You may need more data for other reasons, but if you have an unhealthy relationship with social media, then you know that youíre increasing your data for one reason and one reason alone: increased scroll time.

Final Thoughts

You know youíre addicted to social media before you even read these 11 signs. While social media addiction isnít as big a problem as some might think, it still exists. And itís more likely to occur in those with addictive personalities.

The same types of people who are likely to get addicted to drugs can experience a social media addiction. Seek help sooner rather than later. Real life social interactions are far more important than the superficial interactions of social media. Plus, real life social interactions have proven to play a role in longevity and overall health.

Image via Thinkstock


Paulo R
Paulo R4 months ago

sad. ty

David C
David C5 months ago

what is FOMO???

David C
David C5 months ago

got it.....

Richard E Cooley
Richard E Cooley5 months ago

Thank you.

Greta L
Greta L5 months ago

thank you

Ruth S
Ruth S5 months ago


Albert Wrzesinski
Albert Wrzesinski6 months ago

"You spend more hours on social media than you do with real people."

I'm sorry? I'm certain that people I'm messaging are pretty real. I live alone, hundreds of kilometres away from any of my close friends. I hang out with coworkers from time to time, sure, but I don't consider them close. Am I supposed to force myself to spend time with strangers instead of having conversations with people I actually care about?

Christina B
Christina B6 months ago

"And you’re business needs customers" --> the correct spelling is "your business".

Kerrie G
Kerrie G6 months ago

Thank you.

Richard A
Richard A6 months ago

Thank you for this helpful article.