Have you ever caught yourself tweeting or writing on the Facebook wall of someone you were sitting right next too? Don’t worry, I’ve done it too. But is this normal?
With the emergence of WiFi, smart phones and tablet computers we have seemingly endless means to stay “connected” to the world and our social networks. It’s good to stay in touch and keep updated with our networks, but when is being connected too much? In a previous blog post, The Psychology Behind Social Media, I discussed social media as a means to satisfy basic human needs. As social media has evolved, however, its uses and gratifications have changed. We must remember that all things should be done in moderation and too much of a good thing can turn all bad.
I was talking to one of my friends and we were expressing or disdain over social media.
Me: I’ve been so busy I haven’t had much time to interact and use my social networks.
Him: I’m so connected, I can’t stop. I just can’t disconnect.
Did you catch what’s wrong with this picture? Social media addiction is a new disorder on the rise. Numerous studies have been conducted and show that social media can be more addictive than cigarettes or alcohol.
Are you a social media addict? I’m not a scientific expert but answer these questions to see how far gone you are.
- Do you spend more time with social media than your family?
- Do you hear Direct Message pings when you lay down to bed or use the blow dryer and run to your computer to answer.
- You panic when your favorite social media network is down?
- You give other guys/girls your social network URL instead of your phone #.
- Do you get excited when you have more friends on a social network than you did last week despite the fact that you’ll probably never talk to them?
- You check your social network email first thing in the morning, at lunch, and before bedtime without fail.
- You belong to more Social Media sites than extracurricular organizations.
If you answered yes to a majority of these questions you may want to consider disconnecting for 5 minutes and having some face-to-face contact with your social network buddies. If you’re still in denial or want to do more tests just do a quick Google search to find more social media addiction tests. Need facts? Do a quick search for an info graphic on social media addiction.
Just remember, the first step to recovery is ACCEPTANCE!