POUT, FILTERS, SNAP STORY, NEWS FEED, INSTA and LIKES etc. are the lingo of the teenage girls today. Photography has undergone a revolution ever since “SELFIE” has taken over. I do agree that there is always a pinch of curiosity to know what is happening in your “FACEBOOK FRIENDS” life. But, somewhere it hits me that we have taken it way too far.  Being a selfie queen myself, I have the subconscious need to being accepted by my Social Networking Family. The irony is that we barely know these people to impress.

As s psychologist, I am to be aware of the mental illness springing along this season and to my despair, I came across an article that spoke about SOCIAL NETWORKING DISORDER. My Naïve bubble was burst in a spur and I understood how clinically affected one can be if fallen prey to Social Networking Disorder.

As a psychologist, it is also my duty to bring to the light the increase in mental illnesses among youth. Depression is the commonly found mental illness in India and most of the country feels that it can be cured just by negating the mind. There is no awareness of treatment to such psychosomatic disorders. The other illness that is doing the rounds this season is the “SOCIAL NETWORKING DISORDER”. A dual personality disorder is closely associated with this as social networkers are constantly seen living in two worlds.

Social Networking disorder refers to a condition where the individual feels the need to share every minute detail of their lives and this is often prominent amongst youngsters.

How do you know if you’ve got Social Networking Disorder?

  • Your cell phone becomes your number one accessory. If it’s attached to your hip 24/7 and you wish it was waterproof and in the shower with you, you might have Social Networking Disorder
  • If you send a Tweet to someone and they don’t reply to you within six hours and you become anxious, you might be suffering from SND.
  • If your cell phone is with you at the dining table and everyone is texting while they’re eating and no one is saying a word, you might have SND.
  • If you post a cute photo on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or other photo-sharing sites with no one liking it or sharing it, however, you still keep checking every few minutes or hour, you might have SND.
  • If you stare at your Twitter followers and the count goes down and it upsets you, you could be suffering from SND.
  • Strategies to cope with Social Networking Disorder

  • Reduce the SELFIE MANIA: youngsters these days are always on the urge to share every minute little detail on social media. They feel included in the pop culture when they are progressively active on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat etc. it is said that if a person indulges in taking more than 20 selfies a day then he has likely prone to Social Networking Disorder. This clinical condition can be avoided by directing oneself to productive tasks such as YOGA, MEDITATION etc.
  • SNAP OUT OF SNAPCHAT/INSTAGRAM: one really has to understand that sharing every little detail on snapchat can land them in serious problems. Celebrities haven fallen prey to this. Hence only minimal things to be uploaded online.
  • Get Psychiatrist help: Social Networking Disorder is an addiction and help must be taken by mental health professionals to come out of the urge and live a normal life.
  • For me dinner times always meant, posting a picture of food on Instagram and Facebook, a big group of friends and all of us engrossed in our phones. One of my friends had come up with an idea of piling up all phones and whoever looks at their phone first get to pay the bill and we ended up having amazing conversations and totally forgot about our phones. Parents and youngsters can come up games like these to promote quality interactions with family and friends.

    Finally, I would like to tell every adolescent and parents to monitor how many hours they spend on the internet and how much of that is used productively. Also, Charity begins at home, hence if you see toddlers playing with phones, I pads, tabs etc. Please help parents come up with outdoor games.  It is never too late to start a healthy beginning.