Argumentative Essay: Is Social Media Addictive?

Argumentative Essay Outline

I. Introduction

1. Thesis statement

Yes, social media is addictive because of the manner it forms behavioral characters among individual that affect their lives.

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II. People use social media to:

1. Contact friends.

2. Share their feelings, videos and pictures with others.

3. Access important educational information and data.

III. Social media has become addictive since:

1. Statistically, two out of three persons who have access to the technological gargets, such as smart phones, spend seven and more hours daily on social networking.

2. Research indicates that those addicted to social media tend to become abnormal tolerant to and are dependent on things that result from using social media. This include people wanting to access Facebook or Twitter accounts before going to sleep or immediately after waking up.

3. Those who are addicted to social media can suffer from withdrawal symptoms, feel lonely, bored or be less focused, if the privilege of using social media is taken away.

4. Even though counterarguments talks of usefulness rather than addiction as the purpose for continuous desire of wanting to use social media among people, there is need to define the behavioral character and time limit for which something can be depicted as useful or addictive as with the case of social media.

IV. Conclusion

It is imperative for individuals to effectively evaluate their use of social media in order to avoid being controlled by the new technology. This way, they can protect their personal lives as well as health conditions from being affected by the negative impacts of social media.

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Is Social Media Addictive?

In today’s technological world, a lot of people, both young and old, have embraced the use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler and My Space among others in order to connect with each other. Just as the use of the Internet has progressed rapidly, the same case has been with the social media. Almost every individual who uses smart phones, iPhones, or comfortable devices that can easily access the Internet has in one way or the other used such devices for social networking. This has allowed users to contact their friends, families and other people who are beyond their physical reach. Though the Internet and social media has many positive results such as enhancing communication with distant friends, research for education purposes or for online jobs, if used in an unregulated manner, it can have negative effects on the society. Thus, while social media has significantly enhanced communication and connectivity, it can as well be addictive thereby affecting people’s lives.

Yes from the definition of the term addiction, I personally agree with the argument posed by authors such as Lewis that social media is addictive. Addiction can be described as becoming an abnormal tolerant to and is dependent on something that results into psychological or physical habit formation (Sherwood, p.1). It therefore means that whereas most people tend to think of addiction as that which have crack heads or the alcoholics, these are only common types of addiction which are as a result of unusual things which can also be in the case of social media. The fact that individuals seem to have great length especially in doing whatever it takes, just to make sure that they are able to use social media, makes it to be addictive. This leads to them forming behavioral problems that can be associated with being addicted to something.

Similarly, based of definition of the term addiction, I do argue that social media addiction can be described as the habitual character of a person who is always on the phones, laptops, computers or other internet accessing devices every minute of every day just to connect with others failure of which they do not consider their lives complete. As a result, these people become so attached to the social media allowing it to have control over their lives. Some can even suffer from “withdrawal” in case they feel that they are being cut from using social media. This echoes the arguments posed by Sherwood especially towards teens in particular becoming the biggest target when it comes to social media addiction.

One of the major reasons as to why social media has become addictive especially among teens is due to the availability of internet services and different social networking sites. As Sherwood argue, the availability of social networks sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpac, which are more compatible with most portable technological devices like smart phones, has open a window opportunity in which teens can connect with each other. I do agree with this argument because for addiction to occur, it means that at one point of time an individual must have been continuously involved with that particular thing, in this case, social media. Similarly, Sherwood points out that the problem with social media addiction normally starts when a person is allowed to create an account on the website which is usually free, and from which it gets worse. This is because after creating an account, adolescent teens tend to find out juicy information about other kids. This is followed by the urge to gain more information and this is what makes addicted.

The addictive nature is also supported by the findings of the past research. A good example of such studies is that conducted and published in 2012 by Harvard University on why social media is so addictive for many. The article drew its findings from a study done on why social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are so popular and highly addictive for many people. The study showed that people were more addicted in disclosing information about themselves actively on these platforms and could complain of depression, loneliness, boredom, or less focused when not allowed to access such platforms. It was clear from the study that the act of disclosing information about oneself forms same part of the body that activates sensation of pleasure and wanting to access more social media (Brown, p.1).

It is also established that behavioral addiction such as social networking addiction incorporates the experience of mood modification, tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, and emotional symptoms which control the addicted individuals (Patrick and Romer, 351). The results made it clear that the psychological desire of wanting to use social media that had created the feeling among the students that went beyond their voluntary control was a sign of the manner in which social media has become addictive especially to teens.

Whereas from my arguments, social media is addictive, it seems to counter arguments being made by some scholars such as Nicholas G. Carr. According to Carr (p.1), there is no way in which a useful and supportive tool used in connecting people such as social media can be referred to as being addictive. His arguments refute the claims about social media being addictive by pointing out that, nothing is unusual in as far as the use of social media is concerned. His argument is that, people routinely find themselves dependent on such technologies as social media based on their popularity and usefulness. He expresses his concern by comparing people denying the use of social media with requiring people to live without their indoor plumbing or private cars even for just a day. In such a case, he argues that, many of the affected people would obviously resort to the addiction language in describing their predicament. In this perspective, what is seen as social media addiction is not the case. It is rather the necessity with which social media enables people to see what is happening on a timely basis that has allowed them to adapt to the new technology.

Carr’s argument raises the question of whether being useful of something create a desire that forms some behavioral character in case that particular thing is not accessed as in the case of social media. This is especially useful in countering Carr’s argument when he denoted that the desire to continuously use social media is contributed by the importance of the new technology in accessing data and resources in the internet for the betterment of a personal lifestyle. Therefore, if social media is useful as the author argues, then why does it results into mental and physical disorders among the addicts because lack of interactive connectivity with their immediate family members?

Consequently, based on statistics provided by Lewis, it is true that social media is addictive because it can result into social isolation by limiting physical meeting or face-to-face interaction with others. As a result, those who spend too much of their time in social networking may incur psychological symptoms such as loneliness, social isolation, and negative outlook from their immediate family members or friends. This could result into health concerns which are even more serious, like heart diseases, especially when one feels that his or her problem is not being catered for by his or her family members or friends. However, such a feeling arises simply because he/she confides in his/her far reaching friends and in his/her social media accounts than his/her family members.

In conclusion, I am of the view that social media is indeed addictive. Whereas counterarguments establishes social media as an important and useful tool in enhancing communication through connecting with different people around the world, it raises concerns especially concerning what time limit in using something can be depicted as useful or addictive. Social media has many available resources that can lead people especially adolescent teens to their addictions. In essence, social media is addictive because it results into the problem of high dependency to internet technologies by the society. Though some people may argue against it, in reality, social media has become more addictive to our society. This has caused a lot of problems not only to those addicted, but also to those afflicted with addicts. People should thus take caution and think about their every day’s life and how their continuous use of social media can affect them.

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