Social media addiction 'new crack cocaine' of digital age, expert warns

Social media addiction is the "new crack cocaine" of the digital age, a leading digital expert has warned.

Director of Digital Education at SMART NI Naomh McElhatton said that human relationships are under threat from excessive social media use and that Irish people need to educate themselves on using social media and digital devices in moderation.

"It’s sad that for some people their identities are carved by virtual audiences," she said.

"There needs to be a better awareness on how we need to change as real life human relationships are now being jeopardized at the mercy of our smart devices."

Figures show that adults are becoming increasingly dependent on social media.

According to the IPSOS MRBI social networking tracker report, 64% of Irish people have a Facebook account with 71% of those admitting to checking it daily.

Meanwhile figures from itstimetologoff.com show that 80% of smartphone users say checking their phone is the first thing they do in the morning. It has also been revealed that the average user logs 2.15 hours a day on social media.

- Digital Desk

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