Social Media Withdrawal

Social media withdrawal occurs when someone who has become addicted to social media stops using platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

Millions of people across the country use social media day, and most users can engage with these platforms without incident. But a small portion of people use these apps in an addictive manner. Social media addiction and withdrawal can be devastating, and young people are especially vulnerable.

Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by Attorney Matthew Bergman

Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by

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Child using cell phone in bed

Social Media Addiction Leads to Withdrawal

When people use social media platforms in a compulsive or uncontrollable way, they may be experiencing the symptoms of addiction. According to some psychological research, between 5% and 10% of Americans can be classified as at risk for social media addiction.

Social media addiction, like other forms of compulsive behavior, arises because these apps spur the human brain to release dopamine. Dopamine is a brain chemical that is related to motivation and reward. 

Using platforms like Snapchat, TikTok, and Facebook has an effect on the user’s brain similar to the effects of certain recreational drugs. Some research out of Michigan State suggests that consistent exposure to snaps, shares, likes, and posts affects users’ brain chemistry in a manner similar to cocaine use.

When a user receives a social media notification, the brain releases dopamine. This causes the person to experience pleasure, reinforcing the behavior. Abstaining from social media reduces dopamine levels, which leads to withdrawal.

Symptoms of Social Media Withdrawal

Because social media is so addictive, even a week-long break from platforms such as Twitter and TikTok can result in serious withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be severe and life-altering.

People going through social media withdrawal may experience the following: 

  • Strong urges to use social media
  • Increased boredom
  • Significant shifts in mood 

In a recent study, these withdrawal symptoms were measurable in people who used social media platforms regularly. Even after study participants resumed their normal use, some withdrawal symptoms remained. 

Many participants felt pressure from peers to resume their use of certain social media platforms, which is likely because social media involves digital interactions with others.

Nearly 60% of participants in the study experienced a relapse over the seven-day abstinence period. This shows how severe social media addiction and withdrawal can be.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the other possible consequences of social media addiction?

When you are addicted to social media sites, you may experience adverse symptoms aside from withdrawal. Many people with this type of addiction suffer personal and psychological consequences, including: 

  • Neglecting personal relationships
  • Mental and cognitive preoccupation with platform use
  • Escapist thought patterns
  • Hiding the extent of social media use from others
  • Fear of missing out (FOMO)
  • Symptoms of ADHD

If you believe that you have an addiction to social media, it is critical to seek help. Over-use of social media can lead to additional mental health issues and concerns, but a digital detox can address excessive patterns of social media usage.

How can you protect teenagers who use social media platforms?

Teenagers who use social media are especially vulnerable to the possibility of addiction, adverse effects, and withdrawal symptoms. Because of this, parents should know the steps to take to protect their children from the dangers of excessive social media use. 

Consider the following actions to protect your children when using social media: 

  • Review the privacy settings in all apps and platforms
  • Turn on parental controls on software that children use
  • Encourage children to carefully consider the content they post 
  • Use a shared family device to monitor their activity
  • Use ad-blocking technology to prevent inappropriate content 

If your teenager engages with social media applications for more than two hours each day, he or she may be addicted to social media. It is important to address excessive social media use promptly so that it doesn’t impact your child’s well-being. 

If left untreated, social media addiction can result in severe, life-altering harm.

Contact the Knowledgeable Attorneys at Social Media Victims Law Center

When you need legal representation in a social media-related case, look no further than the compassionate lawyers at Social Media Victims Law Center. Our legal team understands social media addiction and withdrawal and has witnessed the harm inflicted by social media companies.  

If you or someone you love has experienced significant social media addiction or withdrawal, you deserve justice. Let us represent you.

Contact Social Media Victims Law Center for a no-cost legal case evaluation today.

Frequently Asked Questions

For individuals and children who have been

We only handle cases on a contingent fee basis. This means that we are paid a portion of any recovery obtained in the case and you do not owe us any attorneys’ fees if the lawsuit does not result in a recovery.

Every case is unique. Our attorneys will work with your family to evaluate your potential case and help you evaluate whether filing a lawsuit or other legal proceeding is in your family’s best interest. Generally speaking, the types of cases we handle involve serious mental health effects, including attempted or completed suicide, eating disorders, inpatient mental health treatment, or sexual trafficking/exploitation that was caused by or contributed to through addictive or problematic social media use by teens and young adults.

We are a law firm based near Seattle, WA comprised of lawyers who have spent their entire careers representing victims who have been harmed by dangerous products. We are also parents. Shocked and troubled by the recent revelations about the harm caused to teens and young adults by social media platforms, which powerful technology companies have designed to be highly addictive, Social Media Victims Law Center was launched specifically to help families and children who have suffered serious mental harm or exploitation through social media use to obtain justice.

Matthew Bergman
Content Reviewed by:

Matthew P. Bergman

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