Kathmandu: Amisha Das, a 19-year-old, often spends more than usual hours on different social media platforms. A high school student, Das says she has been spending almost 14 hours a day on social media sites. Despite knowing the consequences, Das just can’t avoid scrolling through the screen.
“I am aware of the consequences, but when I am on the phone, I get glued. I scroll through the screen continuously for hours,” Das told Nepal Live Today. For Das, the internet has already been an addiction, and “scrolling through the screen” is a medicine for her to get proper sleep.
“It has been an addictive habit. I just can’t go to bed without spending hours on social media platforms,” Das said.
With the increasing penetration of the internet, the active number of people, especially youths, is also on the rise. Despite knowing the consequences of excessive social media use, youths are caught up in the internet.
As per the latest update from the Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA), Nepal’s internet penetration stands at 128 percent. Likewise, at least 13.70 million of Nepal’s population is on social media platforms.
The overuse of the internet, especially social media platforms, according to the experts, has resulted in insomnia, and on some occasions, youths have suffered from anxiety and depression.
Recently, Nepal Live Today talked to high school and college students in Kathmandu and Biratnagar about how they have been spending time on the internet. Talking to NL Today, 80 percent of youths shared they spend more than ‘usual hours’ on social media platforms. Likewise, only 15 percent use these platforms according to their need and schedule.
Similarly, the remaining five percent shared they are not regularly active on social media, but have been using the internet for gaming purposes. Among the youths, the most famous platforms were Instagram and Facebook, followed by TikTok and YouTube.
Like Amisha Das, Rehan Shah is active on social media for more than 10 hours a day. “I have started to self-doubt myself. I only see people posting about happy moments on social media, and I feel miserable on many occasions,” he shared.
According to him, social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are a great platform to learn a plethora of things, but at the same time it affects mental health as people unconsciously start comparing themselves with what they see online. Lately, Shah has lost his concentration, and the excessive use of the internet has impacted his studies.
According to a study, the use of the internet has become a crucial part of our day-to-day lifestyle. Internet addiction, according to experts, has impacted youths’ day-to-day life, and they are finding it difficult to practice daily activities.
At least 80 percent of youths Nepal Live Today talked to shared that they are spending more than 10 hours a day on the internet, especially on social media platforms.
“Online/social media addiction is not what we assume. Using social media occasionally for 10-12 hrs a day does not consider an individual as an addict,” said Dr Kripa Sigdel Shrestha, a psychologist and lecturer. She, however, says that people who have withdrawal symptoms are most likely to be a social media addict.
“For youths who keep on counting social media likes and comments are most vulnerable on the internet,” she said. “Most of the people do not know about the proper use of social media sites. As a result, they are caught up on the internet. They don’t know how to limit their time on the internet.”