When Social Media Use Crosses the Line

How to know when social media use is a problem

Tyler Mosley is 23 and a senior in college, and admits to having a consuming social media habit.

"I think I have it worse than most people,” Mosley said. “I'm always constantly on my phone. I can never put it down. It's even hard to just even be in tune with television, friends or family.”

Mosley even sleeps with her phone and wakes up in the middle of the night to check for messages on Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat.

“I just need it near me. Last night I was watching YouTube and I just needed the videos playing so I could go to sleep,” Mosley.

Though Mosley’s fascination with social media probably can't be called an addiction, mental health experts have a warning for people who let their social use interfere with their lives: if you can't control yourself from checking your feeds, updates and notifications, beware.

“I think there are people around us, particularly youth, who have a habit that relates to social media, and they misuse social media,” said Dr. Desirè Taylor, a psychologist with Baylor Scott & White Medical Center Plano. “That means social media use interrupts their lives in a way that leads to negative consequences, and the person can't curb their behavior.”

"Is it an addiction? I'm not quite sure,” said Taylor, “But it definitely sometimes gets in the way of normal functioning, from the day to day."

Problems to look out for: insomnia, not connecting with family and friends and feelings of withdrawal when unable to check in. Also, an overwhelming feeling of missing out.

Mosley said she can control her use -- she even deleted the Twitter app to get ready for finals.

“I wanted to concentrate on school, so I just deleted it," she said.

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