“Cornell Information Science published research earlier this month that looked at (among other things) the difficulty some people have in quitting Facebook and other social networks. They even have a label for the failure to quit: “social media reversion.”

The study used data from a site called 99DaysofFreedom.com, which encourages people to stop using Facebook for 99 days.

The site and study are interesting because they revealed the difficulty people have in quitting Facebook because of addiction. Participants intended to quit, wanted to quit and believed they could quit (for 99 days), but many couldn’t make more than a few days.

The addictive aspect of social networking is associated with FOMO – fear of missing out. Everyone is on Facebook. They’re posting things, sharing news and content and talking to each other 24/7.

Social media addiction is real, and it can damage careers, degrade life and even harm relationships.

For most of us, though, we’re simply being manipulated by the social sites and content creators to waste far too much time in a way that benefits them, not us.” (Computerworld)

Uswatul Muslimah Comment:

Modern technology can be used for various permissible purposes and can also sometimes be very beneficial. However, generally for the majority of people the harms far outweigh the benefits. Thus for most people abstention is the best decision. Numerous people started off on a ‘harmless’ note and very soon thereafter found themselves addicted.

Social media addiction harms oneself and others — at times very clearly and most of the time in a very subtle way. Like many who are addicted to substance abuse, the biggest hurdle in overcoming social media addiction is being in a state of denial. Therefore, the first step to overcoming this addiction is to acknowledge that one has a problem. Among the signs of addiction, or being on the verge of addiction, is repeatedly using social media at frequent intervals throughout the day.

As a first step to escape from the claws of social media is to fix a time for using it. Stipulate two or a maximum of three 15 minute ‘social media slots’ for the day at a time when no family or work will be neglected. Then strictly stick to the specified time slots and firmly suppress any urge to check what may have come in or to post anything to others. Also switch off audible message alerts. Most importantly, confine yourself to those things which are permissible in sharee‘ah. 

May Allah Ta‘ala guide us all to His pleasure at all times, aameen.