Feb. 2, 2024 – In recent years, there has been growing concern about the addictive qualities of social media. Last year, the US surgeon general issued a public health advisory on the risks that social media could pose on young people’s mental health. Social media companies use algorithms to decide who appears in a person’s feed.

These algorithms are a set of tech rules that decide which posts appear in a person’s feed.

In the earlier days of social media, users were shown specific posts or media based on how many likes or views it had, meaning the posts with more engagement were seen by more people. Over time, these companies implemented algorithms which allowed them to tailor each user’s page.

Using information gathered through monitoring internet activity, these algorithms observe the posts, videos, and advertisements that individuals engage with by liking, sharing, or interacting in any manner. Leveraging this data, the algorithm can anticipate user interests and display relevant content on their feed.

Who Is At Risk For Social Media Addiction?

As previously mentioned, the study conducted by Dr. Orben found that a higher proportion of young girls reported feeling as though they had a social media addiction than young boys. While anyone can struggle with a social media addiction, it’s clear that younger individuals, primarily girls, are most at risk.