International Project ‘Online Slavery: Social Media Addiction, Social Life’s Extinction’ in Corona Virus time

 February 2020

What were your plans for Spring 2020?

Erasmus + partnership from Spain, Turkey and Poland was looking forward to implement numerous off-line activities for pupils in primary and secondary schools involved in the project ‘Online Slavery: Social Media Addiction, Social Life’s Extinction’.

Schools in Lodzkie Region (central Poland) started their summer semester in February, it was to be the most active period in the project delivery. An extremely rich programme was established by ZNP Schools that participated within the project with great enthusiasm; designing sport, cultural, educational, entertainment events and trips engaging all school community members: students, teachers, headmasters and parents.

These were our plans…

Unfortunately, at the very last moment, the situation changed unexpectedly all over the world due to the COVID-19 crisis and very few actions were undertaken.


On Tuesday, 11 February 2020, we celebrated the 17th edition of Safer Internet Day (SID), with events and activities taking place right across the globe in over 170 countries. With a theme of ‘Together for a better Internet’, the day called upon all stakeholders to join together to make the Internet a safer and better place for all, and especially for children and young people. Series of workshops were organised for pupils, teachers and parents at the premises of ZNP schools as well as those across the partnership.


Valentine’s Day Celebrations at ZNP schools aimed at spreading positive emotions. Nobody expected then on how much we will need them now….

in new reality…

 March 2020

It is a story about how our enemies must become our allies.

Let’s recall why the project was implemented.

The widespread use of smartphones and social media and the uncontrolled use of IT, especially among school-age youth, turn into a habit that leads to addiction. This, at first, affects both academic success and active participation in social life negatively and prevents people from undertaking physical activities. Starting from the family, there is a need for awareness and guidance on healthy alternatives at school and community level.


The project focuses on the “social media addiction” that occurs in students and affects them irreparably. The main objective is to direct students to non-virtual “real” socialization activities such as competitions, tournaments, clubs, outdoor activities and to protect young people from social media addiction. In this direction, regional education authorities, guidance and research centres, schools and technology centres were included in the partnership, and a multidimensional strategy was put forward by blending theoretical, technical and psychological studies.

Since March 2020, all schools in Poland are closed. The Ministry of Education imposes on-line learning as the only possible form of legal education in the pandemic period. Families are obliged to stay at home, all social gatherings are forbidden. Virtual reality is a must and we hope not a threat. Paradoxically, we should accept everything we were against while designing the ‘On-line slavery” project, which is facing new challenges. Our intention was to minimise negative effects of over-using social media by students. IT skills and cyber communication competences among school pupils should constitute an asset when there is no other option for learning, for socialising, or for living.

On-line life is the only one available right now, so let’s benefit from it … wisely.

‘Isn’t it ironic? Don’t You think?’ Alanis Morissette could sing again.

Lodz, 31.03.2020         36,6 Competence Centre; ZNP Schools


30 Signs Of Social Media Addiction


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“Nah, I’m not a social media addict. I can control my level of activity anytime I want.”

This perhaps is one of the most common remarks we may get from our friends. However, most of us have subconsciously become addicted to social media and may not even realized it.

Check out the 30 signs of social media addiction and see what’s your score.

If your score is anything from 1 to 11, you are still on the sane track of social media.

11 to 22, alarm bells are ringing. You should go out, get some fresh air, socialize and meet more friends.

23 and above, you may need professional help before it is too late!

Sign #1: You check your mobile phone every few minutes for any notification on Facebook, Twitter mentions and such.

Sign #2: You think your world is over when you have no internet access or when Twitter, Facebook or other social media is down.

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Sign #3: You assume other people can understand what you mean by your cool terms such as BRB (‘Be right back’), CMI (‘cannot make it’), LOL (‘laugh out loud’) and so on.

Sign #4: You have to check in at every new location to let everyone know where you are.

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Sign #5: You literally announce to everyone on social media what you are doing every day, every hour. Things like brushing your teeth, having a lunch, found a penny, went shopping today and blah, blah, blah.

Sign #6: You have a meeting every week with others (social media addicts) to plan on what updates to put up on Facebook for next week.

Sign #7: You tag your friends on pictures that do not involve them, in order to make sure they see the pictures on their Facebook timeline.

Sign #8: You start to #hashtag #about #everything #under #the sun.

Sign #9:  You have made urgent requests on Facebook for your family and friends to send you ‘lives’ on Candy Crush. (As if your life depends on it.)

Sign #10: You believe life is more happening on social media than in reality.

Sign #11: You freak out if your pictures are not able to be uploaded onto Instagram or Facebook.

Sign #12: Words like ‘Tweet’, ‘Insta’, ‘Pinned’, ‘Updates’, ‘Hashtags’ suddenly has become part of your lingo.

Sign #13:  You created a Twitter or Facebook account for your pet dog, Bambi; and its parrot pal, James Bond.

Sign #14:  You cannot live a day without social media; you need to travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it, or even using it while taking a dump.

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Sign #15: You think your friend is an alien if he or she does not have a social media account.

Sign #16: You feel stressed for the entire day, if your ex-schoolmate, John does not respond to your friend request.

Sign #17: You love to stalk your friends via Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts.

Sign #18:  You feel angry and mad when people in real life do not understand what you mean in 140 characters.

Sign #19: You feel proud when that cute picture of yours get a hundred likes on Facebook.

Sign #20: Every food you eat does not only go into your digestive system. It will also go into your Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook permanently.

Sign #21: You secretly spend some of your work hours on social media.

Sign #22: You have “accidentally” signed your Twitter handle name on your marriage certificate and your personal cheques.

Sign #23: You feel upset when nobody comments on your updates in Facebook.

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Sign #24: You spend at least 4 hours a day on social media, thereby isolating yourself away from social life.

Sign #25: You add strangers on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter, to  make up the numbers.

Sign #26:  Social media has become part of your daily ritual; like sleeping and eating.

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Sign #27: You would wake up in the middle of the night to check your social media for updates.

Sign #28: You are ecstatic when your children add you as a friend on Facebook.

Sign #29: You feel uncomfortable communicating with friends without using any social media device.

Sign #30: You think that the blue Twitter bird mascot exists in real life.

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“So there you have it, the 30 signs of social media addiction. How addicted (or immune) are you?”


Studies and Articles on Social Media Addiction

30 Signs Of Social Media Addiction

How To Get Rid Of Your Social Media Addiction

Social media overuse: the struggle to get up for school.

Social media use may harm teens’ mental health by disrupting positive activities, study says

Are you overusing social media?

SIX WAYS SOCIAL MEDIA NEGATIVELY AFFECTS YOUR MENTAL HEALTH Documenting your every move on social media can take its toll

6 Ways Social Media Affects Our Mental Health

Social media addiction: Its impact, mediation, and intervention

29 Social Networking Addiction Statistics