Social Media Addiction Treatment

Social Media Addiction Treatment can differ from video game addiction treatment.  Both screen behaviors may be rooted in fulfilling basic needs including socialization, escape from boredom, competency, or identity development needs.

Research suggests that extensive use of screens (3+ hours per day) use can have detrimental effects on academic outcomes (e.g., Johnson, Cohen, Kasen, & Brook, 2007).  In one study, social media use was negatively associated with academic outcomes, but newspaper reading and music listening were positively associated with academic outcomes.

We provide effective social media addiction treatment in a positive, supportive environment.

The Importance of Social Media Addiction On Identity Development

Research studies suggest that social media use can play an important function in two of the critical tasks of emerging adulthood: 1) identity development and 2) establishment of intimacy. Identity development is critical in emerging adulthood (Arnett, 2004; Côté, 2006) and it is known that social media may be used to express identity to peers (Pempek et al., 2009).

Our children are growing up in a different world than we grew up in. Today, social media is commonly used to establish and express identity.  Further, many employers use social media to screen candidates and use social network websites like LinkedIn to find new talent. It’s critical as parents we send our kids into young adulthood prepared to appropriately use social media.  Thankfully, Summerland at CPT focuses on self-regulation and the transferability of skills and prepares our campers for the challenges of modern life in a world of digital distractions.

Now is the Time to Act

The effect of excessive social media on grades is clear.  In one study, it was found that women who spend more time using some forms of media report fewer academic behaviors, such as completing homework and attending class, lower academic confidence, and more problems affecting their school work, like lack of sleep and substance use.

social media addiction help

Social media addiction help is approached in a different way than video game overuse help.  We have to consider how the habit formed, and the need that is being met by using social media for treatment to be effective.

Taking Action as Parents

Social media addiction help is a new topic for parents, children, and treatment professionals alike.  There has been recent growing concern that teens are replacing drug and alcohol use with social media addictions.  Experts and social media users alike have stated that social media is quickly taking place of drugs and alcohol and that the effects can be similar.  Research has demonstrated that receiving a “like” or positive interaction on posts results in a dopamine high. This creates a reward loop where young, impressionable users become hooked into a pattern of online socialization and therefore lose social learning opportunities in the real world. In time, the teenager develops the belief that they can only be successful online and real-world interactions begin to suffer.

It’s important to remember that abusers of social media apps can be different than abusers of online gaming.  While similar neuro pathways are activated in both cases, the meaning of the overuse can be different. For teens that need social media addiction help, there is often a need on the part of the child to use social media for both identity development and the establishment of intimacy.

Adolescents and teens can run into problems with social media for many reasons.  When the focus is on a cell phone or smart device over homework or other duties, an intervention is warranted.  While research is new in this subject area, it’s generally accepted that there are social reinforcers that stimulate the reward centers of the brain.  For example, Facebook or Instagram ‘likes’ and shares and Twitter retweets are positive reinforcers of using social media which enables the user to experience a dopamine rush and the behavior of returning to social media seeking out more social reinforcement.

social media addiction help

Early intervention is key to effective social media addiction help.

Inappropriate Social Media Use

Unlike video game addiction, overuse of social media also has a clear connection to identity development.  Young people create profiles to establish an online identity or persona.  Through this persona, social media users present their idealized selves to others.

It’s often through this idealized persona that young users can find themselves in trouble online by crossing boundaries or letting others cross their boundaries online. The Summerland at CPT program addresses these issues through group discussion topics where we role-play different scenarios and the group discusses the best course of outcome.

Online Bullying

Due to the disconnected or even anonymous nature of online communication, people often say things to each other that they would not say in a face-to-face conversation.  For children that are isolated at home and whose main method of communication is social media, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of negative online interactions. At Summerland at CPT, we teach practical skills to deal with online bullying.  We show campers how to block negative users and the best ways to respond (or not respond) to others online. We also discuss what is appropriate to share online by asking, “Is this post light, bright, and polite?” and how to best share content online through playing a game called, “Text or Tweet.”

Treatment Summary

The Summerland at CPT program offers several components above and beyond the base curriculum, which all campers receive at CPT for an additional cost.  Summerland at CPT campers receive fitness classes, nutrition and culinary classes, self-esteem groups, and all of the amazing and fun activities other campers receive.  These activities include ropes courses, climbing, waterfront activities, and traditional camp activities like talent shows and skit nights, and they also have the option to add on whitewater rafting and paintball depending on dates of attendance.

Summerland at CPT campers also receive two group sessions per week focused on technology overuse behaviors. They receive the Summerland at CPT workbook and a copy of, “Light, Bright, and Polite” which helps young people navigate social media and shine online.

Summerland at CPT campers also receive a Behavior Planning Journal or “BPJ.” The BPJ is used to plan and execute target behaviors to stay on track during the day. Campers in the Summerland program become proficient at self-regulation.  Summerland at CPT behavior coaches check in with campers during the week and prompt them to keep up with their BPJ and work on daily and weekly healthy goals they chose while in the group.

Finally, Summerland at CPT parents receive four online Family Workshop sessions geared to help parents set up their child for success at camp. Parents also receive weekly updates from Dr. Bishop who runs the Summerland at CPT program. Please contact us today at 1-800-365-0556 to discuss the Summerland at CPT program and how to enroll your child for this additional camp experience.

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