Yudala, Nigeria’s online and offline e-commerce firm, has urged people with Social Media Anxiety Disorder (SMAD) to take a break from social media and socialise more in real life.
Mr Gideon Ayogu, the Head, Corporate Communications of Yudala, gave the advice in statement in Lagos on Friday.
The Research and Development Unit of Yudala described SMAD as relating to social anxiety, a mental illness which occurs when social media interferes with the mental and physical health of a person.
Yudala said that such interference would cause one to feel inadequate, jealous, incompetent and unsatisfied.
It said that SMAD was afflicting a growing number of young adults; hence, the need to curtail it.
According to Yudala, social media has grown in importance and plays a greater role in people’s daily lives.
“Indeed, majority of people relying on their social media networks for a number of things including lifestyle habits, trends and social validation.
“Unfortunately, we are in a world where everybody tries to put his best image forward online and, as humans, we tend to compare ourselves to the sometimes make-believe representation of others.
“While social media is a useful way of connecting with people and a remarkable way of bridging the gap between loneliness and companionship with just a click, it is important to exercise caution.
“All that glitters is not gold. This age-long saying holds true especially on social media, where a lot of people are guilty of excess show of materialism and flaunting fake lifestyles or standards,” it said.
Yudala said that in order to cope with social media anxiety, one must first admit of having the problem.
The e-commerce firm said that SMAD could be difficult to treat, considering the emphasis on social media networking as a model of success, especially in business.
“The first step in treating social media anxiety is to identify the problem, admit it, understand it and try to solve it.
“Another step is to stop comparing yourself, as constant visits to social media platforms can make you feel as if you have not accomplished a lot, especially when you see make-believe lifestyles.
“The most important thing is to look back on your journey and compare with your current state; this will make you feel good about how far you have come,’’ it said.
The firm advised Nigerians to socialise more in real life.
“Nowadays, people are so addicted to social media that they focus more on holding their phones than talking and sharing their thoughts in person.
“When your social media friends are not as responsive as normal, you may become anxious and start to feel lonely; that is when social media anxiety sets in,” Yudala said.
It also advised that anyone battling with social media anxiety should take a social media break.
Yudala said that setting a specific social media time limit daily or weekly could be very helpful.
“Being lonely is different from wanting to be alone which can actually be quite healthy.
“Going for a walk and being by yourself sometimes, with no distraction from your mobile phone or social media, actually gives you the chance to clear your mind, focus and think more clearly.’’
“Another way to cope with SMAD is to focus on your passion, as social media can be distracting.
“You can develop your hobbies. Find something you are really passionate about and focus on them, rather than spending time on social media and thinking someone else is doing better than you,” Yudala said.
It said that focusing on ones passion could help give a sense of fulfillment.