One of the first social media influencers who rose to mega-fame, Cameron Dallas (a former teen idol) was among the first in 2014 to get a million likes on a single post.
He could earn around $20,000 for a sponsored post. At the age of 18, he was able to move to Los Angeles on his own and began to relish the dopamine rush of “feeling loved”.
He began obsessively tracking his number of followers and likes across platforms in a daily journal. Each day the numbers climbed, he felt a rush.
“The high it can give…was a drug for me,” says Dallas. But when the numbers were flat, or down, he felt “confused” and would spend hours studying the algorithms of social media platforms, trying to get more followers.
He began drinking. He had no set schedule and no one to answer to. He went to rehab but only stayed 17 days.
In West Hollywood, he fell in with what he called the “wrong friends”, kept drinking, and added in drugs.
At the time he describes as his “rock bottom”, he says he felt everything around him was fake and realized his life was built around a “screen”.
Dallas entered rehab a second time and stayed 45 days focusing on “addiction, anxiety, and depression”. He recently celebrated a year of sobriety.
A question experts say to ask yourself is “do you crave your phone”? Another one is “Does time on Instagram replace meaningful interactions in real life”.
For anyone who is worried about using too much social media, experts suggest a vacation from social media for a day or a week. Create some distance if using compulsively!