(150): Social media addiction: A quick take

 By Muhsin Ibrahim

I am in my late 30s. However, I sometimes struggle to minimise my presence online. That is even though being online is part of my main job (thanks to digital ethnography) and my ‘side hustle’. Often, one or another thing on the internet will take your focus away, and before you know it, you waste quality time doing nothing important.

According to reports, TikTok rolled out new screen-time limits for teens yesterday to help them reduce their addiction to the video-sharing platform. Under-18 users will get an alert when “they hit an hour of daily scrolling. To dismiss it, they’ll have to enter a passcode.” Unfortunately, this may not help much because kids know how to navigate these restrictions. For instance, they can fake their ages.

TikTok is the new ‘evil’ in town, but social networking sites like Snapchat and Instagram have been doing no less damage over the years. Thus, rehabilitation centres in the US, Japan and other developed countries exist for addict gamers and social media users. They sometimes call them "troubled kids".

Folks, select whom you interact with on and off social media carefully. Avoid toxic people even if they are 'influencers'. If their content continually disturbs you, unfollow, unfriend, or even block them. Don't seek people's validation; learn to ignore and tolerate trolling.

Perhaps more importantly, remember that there is a life beyond social media and outside the internet in its entirety. Live it very well. It's, in fact, the real deal.

Muhsin Ibrahim lives and works in Cologne, Germany. You can contact him via muhsin2008@gmail.com


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