Are Video Games and Social Media Addictive?

Wyatt Aramburu, News Editor

This question is very common in today’s society and the truth is video games and social media is addictive. An increasing amount of teenagers are playing video games for hours a day. Sometimes, teenagers spend more time playing video games then doing an actual hobby which leads to addiction.

Up to 90 percent of young people in the US play video games and as many as 15 percent are addicted to gaming, according to the American Medical Association. According to Heathline, the defining characteristic of an addiction is its underlying compulsivity. Therefore, teens feel an uncontrollable urge to continue behavior.

Video games are designed to distract humans, but sometimes the distraction is used to escape emotional pain which may overwhelm the emotional state of a teen. Also, 7 percent of all Americans have a social media profile of some kind. While most of the social media platforms are created to bring people together it could also lead to cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying is leaving some teenagers to feel symptoms of anxiety, depression and isolation. Technology addiction can also lead to decreased physical activity. Many of us know the relation between regular exercise and improved mental health.

Physical activity increases brain function, spending too much time online typically translates into less participation in physical activities that foster confidence and improves our well-being.

While it’s too early to write that social media addiction directly causes depression, psychologists believe it does dramatically increase symptoms associated with it. Therefore, it’s important for parents to learn how to thoughtfully monitor their kids’ time online to help them make healthier choices.