Social media addiction is real.

It’s quite easy to fall victim to the trap of constantly checking your newsfeeds for updates. 18 percent of social media users can’t go a few hours without checking Facebook. Working in a busy environment may add to that desire to lose yourself in an online world.

Social media could end up becoming your borderline addiction.

“Social media addictions are real and can cause serious short and long term adverse effects on one’s physical and emotional health,” said Gregory L. Taylor, II, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the medical director of the Keck Medicine – Downtown Los Angeles clinic. “People should seek prompt help from their primary care physician or other healthcare professionals before it negatively interferes with their social and professional wellbeing.”

To avoid falling in the trap of constant scrolling through your phone to see what everyone else is up to, follow this game plan for success with your social wellness:

1. Schedule times to check your social media.

Do you like to read your newsfeed once you wake up in the morning? Or do you prefer looking over it when you are in bed? Schedule at least five times a day to dedicate ten-minute intervals to go over your social media profiles to read updates, get your news and engage in conversations.

2. Focus on being present in the moment.

A lot of people lose focus by letting their phones distract them from the present moment. They do this at dinner, at company gatherings, even when out with their friends. Put that phone away and immerse yourself in the situation you’re physically in. A mentor once told me that your mind is like a parachute: it only works when it is open. So if you are going to be somewhere, be there.

3. Talk with your colleagues.

The most important part of wellness is to interact with those around you. Your online friends will always be there. The people around you need your attention now. Show them your appreciation by focusing your attention on them.

These tips will help you better manage your mental wellness, especially in the today’s digital age.
If you are still having difficulty with social media addiction, schedule an appointment with a primary care physician to discuss a plan to overcome it.

If you are in the Los Angeles area and are looking for exceptional care from some of the top physicians in the world, be sure to schedule an appointment by calling (800) USC-CARE (800-872-2273) or by visiting http://www.keckmedicine.org/request-an-appointment/

By Leonard Kim