An IT Professor from Australia fears that Alcoholics Anonymous type groups for Social Media addicts are what we a heading to in the near future.
It could only be a matter of time before we see people saying, “My name is X and I’m a social media addict” in front of a group, and going “cold turkey” on social media in order to live a healthier and more stable life.
“When we have about 11 hours out of our 16 waking hours completely immersed in screens, you can call that normalised behaviour or you can call that addiction.”
Amidst these fears Instagram and Facebook are now adding tools to help manage and limit users time spent on the sites. The move comes after numerous reports in the past few years have found a correlation between heavy social-media usage and mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
To access the new tools on Facebook or Instagram, once they become available, users can go to the settings page on either app. On Instagram, there will be an option to show ‘Your Activity’, while on Facebook it will appear as ‘Your Time on Facebook’.
At the top of the menus will be a dashboard showing a user’s average time for that app on that device, with the ability to see total time for a specific day. Below the dashboard, users will be able to set a daily reminder “to give yourself an alert when you’ve reached the amount of time you want to spend on that app for that day”.
In addition, the Facebook and Instagram apps will add a new ‘Mute Push Notifications’ setting in the ‘Notification Settings’ menu, to be able to shut off notifications “for a period of time when you need to focus”, according to Facebook.