Social media, phones. ADDICTION?

I know phones are a necessary evil now a days and they have their place in the world.

Do you think people can be highly addicted to their phones? My partner spends hours scrolling through social media, she knows I don’t like it, it’s as if she can’t help it.

I’ve also noticed my friend is terrible for it also he was around at my house the other night and they were both sitting scrolling on their phones whilst I played with my son.

I noticed myself years ago when I had social media that I would look at it for hours at night and look at it first thing I opened my eyes, so I deleted it all.

My friend has said multiple times he’s going to delete Facebook its a lot of shite ect ect, but never does almost the same as someone trying to quit drinking or something.

I was feeding my son last night and asked my partner to grab him fresh water she said in a minute as she was on her phone, so I got up 5 minutes later and got him some, she never noticed.

I just think I can’t be the only one noticing this behaviour.
A fake sort of INTERNET life that has really no meaning and your REAL life in front of your eyes takes a back seat. It’s sad I think. Sometimes I catch my son looking at her on her phone it angers and stresses me.

I’m not perfect but I can certainly see the problems.

What’s your guys thoughts?

I know I’m opening a can of worms here and I’m ironically writing this on my phone.


Absolutely. There is research data that receiving likes and notifications release dopamine, same as drugs. I know many online behaviours are the same as drinking, to escape, to feel a sense of belonging, and that itch to check when u hear that ping is a craving. Unlike drinking, the online world can have benefits, but should be used carefully, with awareness and limits.



Social media is designed to be addictive. The more time people spend on the sites, the more valuable they are to advertisers. That’s how they make their ££.

I’m guilty of it tbh, although I have a phone that doesn’t have the FB app preinstalled so I use it on my mobile browser which is much less intuitive and so less wormholey. I have an FB page that I manage but that doesn’t work on mobile so I only use that through my laptop.

But WhatsApp chats, forum chats etc… For me they are positive interactions. Easy to get sucked into virtual conversations with people at the expense of someone I’m in the room with - not so positive. I’m trying to be aware of it and bring my attention back to where I am now. And not pick up my phone in the first place if I’ve got someone or something to engage with in front of me.


Agree. Im sure there have been numerous studies confirming such too.
I came off FB (due to too much negativity, random adverts, aggression and hate etc) in September and dont miss it one bit to be honest.


You’re certainly not the only one noticing this sad phenomenon. FB, Insta and the like with their constant feed of new posts to look at and hits of gratification via likes, heart, retweets… The perfect drug. Very dangerous and very high potential to minimise involvement in real life, imo.
Sorry for your partner. Have you spoken about having no phone time? Or go on a trip/walk/excursion a week w/o the phones. Something for her to see how different it is to have full attention in the present. Though tbh I predict resentment, antsiness and withdrawal symptoms… Wish you strength!


Your correct any mention of her on her phone, she hates it and ends in her snapping at me or something so I don’t say anything. She can’t see the problem.


Well I get that. But there’s two ppl in that relationship (and three in the family it sounds like). So everyone needs to compromise an everyone’s needs should be at least heard. Time for some no phone zones and some boundaries. You familiar with the concept? Google it if not. You set boundaries to protect yourself. For example if your boundary is you won’t spend time with her if she’s on the phone after a certain time of day, and she’d be on it anyway, you’d leave and you wouldn’t spend time with her. This way she feels there’s consequences to her behaviour. Her choice. Or, if it’s addiction, lack thereof.
Good luck! Keep us posted.


I am a technology addict. If I have no interruptions, I’ll sit behind a screen 18 hours a day. I can without a doubt say that technology is the worst addiction. Substance abuse is looked down upon. Sex addiction is looked down upon. Eating addictions are looked down upon. Technology addiction however is the norm. You can become a millionaire through social media. You’re cool if you game all night long. You’re outside the norm when you don’t abuse technology. You don’t know this meme? Do you live under a rock or something?
Social media teaches girls that they won’t be good enough until they have the same body as someone in an edited picture. Facebook is dividing the world. Their cookies bring anti-left stuff and conspiracy theories to the right-winged people and edited footage of “police brutality” to left-winged people(this is an example, not an argument for political debate). People get to see what they want to see online and slowly they are being immersed in their own world. A world agreeing with you in every single way is much better than real life.
Here’s a fucked up fact: Suicide rates have been on the rise since the introduction of social media.

Even this forum has plenty of addictiove features. The :heart: button. Every like releases dopamine. The blue dot above your profile pic when you have a notification. Also dopamine release. The ability to look at everyone’s stats. The fact that there’s a ranking. That you can see how many people have viewed a topic. Stats being highlighted in orange when the topic is popular or has a high like:post ratio. The ability to get badges. I have tried to get people to use this forum. But not for their sake. Just so that I could get the “invite” badge. I’ve compared myself to the stats of other people on here. I average 3 likes per post. Others have a 6 like per post average. Not because of their contribution to the forum, but because of the huge amounts of memes they send every day(they do also have great contributions, but it’s not the cause of their high like:post ratio).

The point is that technology is most certainly an addiction. The fact that your friend gets angry when you confront them is most likely because they know you’re right, but they don’t want to lose their precious screen. Who are they without their online persona? I am an 18-year old. My generation is the future of this world. And half of my generation is dependent on their devices and doesn’t even want to know it. The other half lives in third world countries and can’t afford phones. 6-years ago it was normal to give children their first very cheap smart phone when they were twelve. Now 4-year olds get iphones and have a very wide vocabulary of curse words.

I’m sorry for the rant, I hope you can make some sense of it. I’m just worried for the future of the world. Especially now that Mark Zuckerberg is working on full-scale immersion technology.

P.S. I highly recommend watching the netflix documentary called “the social dilemma”. It’s about how social media is fucking up this world, but told by people who have spent a lot more time into researching it than me.


As others have said, it’s been proven that the likes, notifications, etc trigger dopamine release. Pushes that little instant gratfication button that people hunger for. That is what we are - a culture of instant gratification and seeking external validation.

I’m just as guilty of it at times. However, I did get rid of social media (aside from TS and Reddit) about 3 yrs ago. That was really only FB, I had never had any of the others to begin with. Didn’t see the point.

SM aside, these days I’m very intentional with my phone - or at least, try to be. I often leave it in another room when I’m at home, and largely keep it in my pocket if I’m out and about. Maybe a quick look if I’m waiting for someone/something, but that’s it. I especially keep it out of my hands if I’m with people. Personally I find it to be very rude to start aimlessly scrolling through your phone when spending time with someone.

I’m part of the last generation to have grown up in a world without SM, smartphones…even w/o internet for the first 10-12 yrs of my life or so. I’m very intrigued to see the long-term mental impacts on humanity that chronic SM/phone use has.


Yeah. I hate to admit it but I spend way too much time on the phone. Except for here, and there’s nothing much worth spending a day on.
I got 5 library books I haven’t read yet, missed the last meteor shower of the year, etc. I’d like to delete my Facebook but there’s a couple of people I want to stay in touch with.
And it’s just going to get worse. Apparently Mark Zuckerberg watched Ready Player One while hepped up on goofballs and just said "Yeah…that!!!. Last thing the world needs is a more immersive Facebook. :roll_eyes:


A few months ago I realized that some things from my past, specifically related to my toxic job I left several years ago, were following me through social media. I also realized that I had no need to be “friends” with people from high school or random folks. But I also keep in touch with family and long time friends through social media. It was hard to strike a balance, but I believe I have found it. And it is a relief. I actually enjoyed the idea of “curating” my social media, Instagram in particular. It took a lot of work, though. Unfriending and unliking left and right!

The main work was in beating the patterns of scrolling scrolling scrolling. It helped that my husband and I both wanted to work on this together. Keep the conversations going…it might be a confrontation and require some give and take, but communicating not just what the problem is, but what you are hoping to achieve with being more present with each other and what that looks like is important.


My soul and life felt so much lighter once I deleted my social media, one less thing to think about in my life. Its none of my buisness what other people are doing.


Just wait until the Metaverse is fully rolled out…

The short of the long is that tech addiction is definitely a massive problem in the world. This forum and Yelp is about the extent of my social media usage. Even so, I have all updates on Yelp silenced. I also keep my phone on silence unless I’m specifically expecting a call. It’s too easy to get “sucked in”.

If I write anything of length, I have a policy of doing it on some kind of larger device–desk top computer, laptop, or tablet (mine is large enough that it’s almost like a mini laptop in portability terms).

A lot of sites use subconscious ploys to keep you there. The more aware a person is of the game, the more likely they will be to not be caught up in it.

Have you talked with your partner about your concerns for your son? Children unconsciously pick up how to be in the world by the adults around them. If they see the parents always on mobile, they will subconsciously think that is the way people are to be. I don’t know. It’s a hard thing. I wish you luck.


I know right. I’m fucking terrified of the future. It will be a horrible pain in the ass to fight my curiosity towards that metaverse. And I know that as soon as I get into immersed technology I’m practically done for.


So my wife is addicted to her phone. She doesn’t really spend too much time on social media, but she spends a LOT of time playing games. It’s really annoying because we’ll be watching a show and she’ll miss 90% because she’s looking at her phone. She then gets really defensive when I call her out on it.

My daughter (21) is the same. She spends waaaaay too much time on reddit and twitter. To the point where it affects her mental health. I mean, you can only be exposed to so much negatively until you become an apathetic cynical asshole.

Idk, I kind of feel that we are standing at the precipice of a major turning point. Likely the kind not seen for many generations, and it feel uneasy.


:raising_hand_woman:t2: Addict to both here; the internet and the forest. Luckily I’m able to go into the “forest” and not constantly check the phone, ahem, maybe because no signal ( cough cough)
I’m from a time before phone answering machines. We felt liberated with answering machines because we didn’t have to answer all those calls, we could answer and talk at our convenience and also receive messages left while we were gone from home.
Then mobile/ cellular phones. Then internet and on it goes …
I don’t like the fact that a lot of people feel like I should respond to them on a text the second I get it, I refuse to, unless I choose to.
That’s going back to answering the phone every time it rings a ring…
I used to go to the library every week and get many, many, many books.
Art, history, literature, books about plants, Books about rocks, travel books, novels, fiction, nonfiction, self help, … … books about all kinds of things. I would put pieces of paper in the books and then go back to the library and Xerox/ copy the pages that I was interested in. Lots of recipes.
I admire my friends who are still in the library getting real books. I am thankful for the libraries that are open with lots and lots of books and getting more. Instead of the libraries becoming a thing of the past.
Me, I am grateful also that so much of all of that is in the palm of my hand on a small phone device.
And the camera I used to carry around is in the same phone., The day planner calendar is in the phone. The calculator is in the phone. The translator is in the phone. It’s all in the phone.
It tells me how many steps I take, it tells me how many hours I sleep. It makes those phone calls and takes those phone call messages.
This is all before we even get into the social aspect of it.
The first social media site I was on was a help site. I would go to the physical libraries to get on the Internet when I was out of town. “To catch up”. It was a novelty, it was fun, and yes addicting. The site was like a slot machine.
There were parts that would light up and Blink in crazy ways when a friend came on or when something else happened. It was like hitting the jackpot in a slot machine.
Addicting yes. For lots of reasons.
I love my “forest”, I love my Internet.

Edit. I have to edit to say that yes there are wonderful wonderful wonderful connections on the Internet. Connections that would never be replaced by a walk in the forest. These are the social connections that are deep and meaningful. Much like many find here on talking sober. Some even life-saving. Certainly life-changing as well as life saving when it comes to fighting addiction as well as friendships. So in many ways the meme is actually superficial. I did like what it said.
Perhaps it should say that a good balance is best. And that the “Forest” will always be important and good for our mental and physical well-being.


Is it even possible to delete Facebook and keep Whatsapp? I’ve turned off my facebook months ago, for a lot of reasons. yesterday I was about to simply delete it and they’ve warned me It would also delete my WhatsApp :man_facepalming:t2:
And I need Whatsapp.

When I’ve turned off fb, I felt suddenly alone in the world :hushed::joy:
I prefer Instagram, I love photography. Even if of course most people use it to take selfies in their bathroom or snap of what they eat. Lots of people feel they’re not in holydays if they don’t share it.

I need internet to keep in touch with my friends, they all live miles away.

I’m addicted to nature also like @Alisa


Absolutely. I think about this all the time and try to make a habit of leaving my phone on the counter.
We have to learn to be present, and alot of people are like this it’s pretty crazy to think about.


I watched some good stuff on you tube under dopamine detox, that kind of helps me better understand what i can do to change my behavior.


I am totally addicted to social media. I’m really glad this topic came up because I definitely need help. Days are wasted by me endlessly checking for likes, responses, watching addictive YouTube videos like Tarot readings etc. The only one I’m not addicted to is this community. You all have saved my life more than once and I really love you guys. Need to quit social media but am “scared” it seems to just live in the real world. I’m glad I admitted this, it’s been on my mind to quit for a long time. Have a great rest of your day! :sunglasses::metal:t2: