In the next few years, social media addiction will be diagnosed as a mental illness, and will be found to be widespread, especially among those under the age of 20. The addicted will not be able to go more than a few minutes without checking in a social media, and will obsessively spend every spare moment loading pictures and commenting.

Addicts will actually base their self-worth on their social media experience, agonizing about how many likes they get on each selfie, tending to their friends list with the sort of obsessive lunacy of a hoarder. Some will even try to build massive collections of online friends, and insist on interacting with them all, regardless of how well they know each other.

The only cure for this will be a total shut down of social media, followed by a very slow return to it, in order to train the addict new habits. Many will experience relapses and can only be cured by avoiding social media altogether — a prospect that is agonizing, as they will have lost many of their basic social skills in the real world, and will no longer know how to interact with people except via the Internet.

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