Snapchat–around 75 percent of teenagers use this social media platform as a way of communicating with friends. Experts believe Snapchat is such a hit because of its non-committal attitude and instant gratification. As its popularity continues to grow, an unlikely issue has arisen: Snapchat addiction.
Snapchat addiction is an issue that many families are dealing with, stemming from an overuse of snapchat. It is affecting hundreds of teens and young adults around the country.
This may be the moment that you chuckle, but I guarantee this is real. Technology addictions are getting more serious attention lately–and Snapchat addiction needs to be included in that enhanced awareness.
New study sheds light on Snapchat addiction
If you don’t already know what Snapchat is, it’s a social media platform in which individuals can send photo messages to each other, but there’s a catch–they only last for 10 seconds. The messages are not permanent, leaving no trail for parents to follow.
A recent study conducted by Texas Tech University looked into the key factors that are contributing to the Snapchat addiction phenomenon: simplicity and brevity. The researchers believe these two are the largest factors because we now live in a society with short attention spans and a need for ease. Snapchat provides those two things in communication.
This also makes it easier for addiction to take hold, though. A teen can send out multiple “snaps” within seconds, keeping up with friends and maintaining their “snap-streaks.” Snap-streaks develop after two people have sent snaps to each other every day for 3 or more days. Some teens get the number up into the hundreds.
Snapchat allows users to share their lives in a less permanent fashion, which produces more trust and less apprehension about communicating with others. This could be helpful, but it can also be destructive in creating a Snapchat addiction.
One of the researchers, Narissra Punyanunt-Carter, explained plans for further studies into Snapchat addiction and how to fight it:
“I’m going to look further at interpersonal communication behaviors and how these types of social media platforms affect interpersonal relationships and, perhaps, the sense of identity. I want to understand the interpersonal and intrapersonal communication elements on social media. There’s a lot that needs to be done.”
Why a Snapchat addiction should be taken seriously
To understand why Snapchat addiction should be taken seriously, you have to understand why technology addictions are very real. Addictions aren’t just reserved for substances–really you can become addicted to most things that light up the reward system in the brain.
Take gambling addictions for example; people become addicted to the feeling, the rush, of winning money. With technology, it’s similar. For video game addictions, it’s usually being used as a sort of escape from reality. For a Snapchat addiction, it’s more about views and “snap streaks.”
Overall, if you believe your son or daughter is struggling with addiction or other mental health issues, it’s critical to reach out to a professional for further guidance.
blueFire Wilderness is here for your family
blueFire Wilderness is a wilderness therapy program for teens. We help teens, ages 11 to 17, grappling with depression, ADHD, anxiety, defiance, and other emotional or behavioral problems.
At blueFire, we strive to help each client find their inner confidence and succeed. We believe that through a balance of self-assessment, insight oriented therapy, outdoor living, adventure activities and academic focus these teens will find their true selves. We provide a supportive opportunity for parents and children to reconnect and strengthen their relationship.
For more information about how we handle snapchat addiction and technology use issues at blueFire Wilderness, please call 1 (844) 413-1999 today.