Social Media Meltdown? A Sign of Addiction?

Social Media Meltdown

Social media provides the opportunity to connect with friends and share life experiences with people in your life, regardless of distance. However, social media platforms can also offer unique insight into a person’s current emotional state. Often times, it’s easier for a person to be truthful when alone at a keyboard than when face to face with others.

Even when a person isn’t ready to be honest about issues they’re facing, their behavior on social media may suggest an underlying problem. Being perceptive to subtle personality changes and posting habits on social media can alert you that someone may be in the grips of a drug or alcohol addiction.

Perhaps you notice that in the evening your friend is tagged at the local hotspots and posting pictures of their good times, but during the day their posts take on a more forlorn, melancholy air. Maybe someone in your life has a recent habit of posting passive-aggressive or hostile status updates that are then deleted within a few hours. Or you notice recent posts that suggest they think no one cares about them, that they feel alone in the world, or other signs of withdrawal and isolation.

Regardless of the form it takes, you can often tell when someone on social media is in trouble and asking for help, even if they’re not aware they’re doing. It’s important that to reach out to that person outside of social media. Call them on the phone or schedule a lunch date. The face-to-face contact may provide them with some comfort and even prompt them to reveal what’s troubling them.

In the case of drug or alcohol abuse, often a person must come to terms with their addiction. Offer your support, educate them about available treatment programs, and let them know you support them and are concerned about their health and well-being.

Social media can provide a unique perspective into the current emotional state of people who may otherwise be very good at projecting a public persona of happiness. If you recognize signs of distress in a friend or loved one, it’s important to make real-life, in-person contact with them. Take the time to reassure them that they’re not alone and that you’re truly someone who cares — not just a random avatar on their computer screen.

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