Social Media Dependency Is Real And Now There’s A Therapy Program For It
Social media is a double-edged sword. It can be a great place to escape from daily adulting, but the need to constantly stay connected can turn into an unhealthy obsession. This dangerous love affair with the digital world has become so bad that there is social media therapy that uses an app to help people who can’t step away from their devices. The Social Media Dependency Therapy Program was launched by Talkspace — an online therapy company – in 2015 as a cost-effective way for people to seek help for their dependence on social networking platforms.
Users are able to work with a licensed Talkspace therapist over the course of 12 weeks to help learn strategies to manage the mental health effects of social media usage. However, the participants use a messaging system to keep in contact with therapists through their phone or computer. Yes, you read that right. They are managing social media dependence with a messaging platform.
While it seems a little counterintuitive, Talkspace’s head of clinical development, Nicole Amesbury, believes the company is doing its best to meet people where they are. Amesbury told The International Business Times’ Kerry Flynn, “There’s a line in therapy: you have to start where they are…n If you can’t meet your client where they are in the world, you can’t help someone. We need to meet them where they are, however they feel comfortable.”
I actually think Talkspace is a clever app. The company was founded in 2012 by Oren and Roni Frank and changed the therapy game by offering Unlimited Messaging Therapy. Users can pay a flat monthly fee and send their therapists as many messages as they want at any time of the day. Talkspace gives people the “constant connection” they desire while using the very thing they love to reel them in — social media. Most forms of social media have some sort of messaging or commenting function, so it’s natural and comfortable for people to use messages to convey their emotions. The only difference is the other person is a therapist instead of a BFF.
Compared to other programs like the reStart Internet Addiction Recovery program, an in-patient facility that carries a hefty $14,000 price tag, the Social Media Dependency Therapy program is much more cost effective. The pricing specifics aren’t laid out on the website, but this social media program works similar to the unlimited messaging therapy – which has sessions for $32 dollars a week with no contract. While it may be tempting to click on the Facebook app instead of Talkspace, the price tag may be the thing that helps a social media addict make the right decision.
Whether we like it or not, social media is a part of our society and apps like Talkspace just might be the new way to combat the ills of the digital world. If you can’t beat ‘em, then join ‘em, right?