ARE YOU ADDICTED TO SOCIAL MEDIA?
I might come across like I don’t give a sh*t. But believe it or not, I am actually quite sensitive and I care (too much sometimes) about what other people think of me. Don’t we all though? We aren’t made from stone.
We’ve heard it all before. “F*ck the haters” they said. “People are just jealous”. Really though? Can you really hear that and then instantly forget the nasty comments you know people have said about you? Does it really make said comments irrelevant? Not really.
This is a world where keyboard warriors are all too common. We are probably too sensitive towards peoples comments. We read into absolutely everything we see or hear. We take offence if someone doesn’t like our photo. We can’t outfit repeat because we’ve already taken a photo in that dress less than 6 months ago… and we couldn’t possibly go out with friends or family without documenting it to the rest of the world… because if we don’t, it didn’t even happen, did it?
Social media takes over 75% of our life (I should know, it’s my job). Instead of taking an action shot just for the memories… we have 10 minute photoshoots (usually taken by your BFF or Instagram Husband) until we get our ‘fire’ selfie that has been taken 200 times from 17 different angles using 9 different poses and then we spent 10 minutes editing it on FaceTune and 5 solid minutes deciding what the caption should be. If you can’t relate to this… then I’m sure your children can.
IS SOCIAL MEDIA TAKING OVER OUR LIVES?
What do you think? … you’re on social right now, reading this. You might be at home chilling in-front of the TV/commuting to or from work/in bed reading/you might even be out for dinner. (If you are out for dinner then put your phone DOWN now).
One of my pet hates about social media users is: people who say they “don’t have time for Facebook” and they never go on social media because it annoys them. (Im talking about these people who scroll down for probably a total of 1 hour per day, without liking peoples posts and act like a ghost). What is the point? Give your friends selfie a like you stingy little so-and-so. Maybe they’ll start liking yours back.
You, and I, we all are, totally and utterly addicted to social media. Deny all you like, but you don’t fool me. If you’re fully aware then good for you. Pour yourself a glass of wine and keep reading.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M ADDICTED OR NOT?
Ok. So the 6 telling signs that you’re addicted to something are:
Importance: how important has it become to your sense of self and the way you live your life? E.g – your Instagram gets hacked and you can no longer scroll down your feed or upload any pictures. What do you do? Or Facebook is down and you can’t log on, upload or scroll on there either. You might find yourself clicking to go into the app to have a quick browse… however there is nothing there. Also… on the very same day, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and all other social media networks don’t work… and they’re never coming back. How will you cope? Realistically?
Cessation: Do you feel anxious thinking about a world without social media? One way to realise how important these platforms have become to you is to consider going without them. But you won’t do that. You don’t want to live under a rock, do you?
Reverting: Do you ever say to yourself, “I am going to spend less time on my phone”. or “I am going to come off Facebook for a while”… but then turn around and keep doing the same thing? It’s similar to the ‘Diet starts on Monday’ syndrome.
Reward Response: Does using social media make you feel better and more in control? If people suddenly stopped liking or commenting or just generally engaging on your social media posts, after a while, you wouldn’t post anymore. What would be the point? Also… social media gives you the control to present yourself in a certain way. A way you can control. So you only show the best version of yourself. Nobody needs to see what you look like first thing on a morning or when you’re having a melt down at work. However you’re happy to share your new promotion and your pre-night out selfie – because obviously it’s better if everybody thinks your life is great, right?
Prevalence: Do you find yourself using social media more often and for longer periods of time than you originally planned? Think back to when you first got Instagram. You probably didn’t spend half as much time on there as you do now. Along with the rest of the social channels you use.
Disruption: Has being on social media disrupted any part of your life or any relationships? Only you can answer that question.
All these signs point to addiction.
I GO THROUGH PHASES WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
Now… I go through phases with social. Im usually always pretty active on Facebook. My Facebook is private. If you’re friends with me, you’ll see regular life updates, photographs, status’, check-ins and the occasional meme… like most other people I suppose. On Instagram I’m a little more flakey. I go from being totally obsessed and posting twice a day… to posting once every 2 weeks. I’m in one of those ‘ruts’ at the moment. I work in social media… so when I get home I’m happy to have a break to be honest. Thats why I haven’t been as active as you might expect me to be. Not that anybody actually cares haha… except me. Because I’m a social media addict/troll/basic millennial.
THE VERY REAL REASONS WE USE IT
I have spoken about the negativity we face with social… along with making you aware you’re probably addicted to it. But in all honesty, being addicted to social media is a natural way of life these days. So don’t let it get to you, and certainly don’t live in denial. I won’t forget to bring to attention the real reasons we all use it.
What about watching what our friends are doing on the other side of the world? Those friends who give us the drive to work harder so we can travel to those places too? Or re-connecting with friends we haven’t spoken to for years? So we can meet and catch up? What about the fact it’s nice to just check-in and have a nosy at our friends day-to-day lives… and giving them a quick like or comment lets them know we’re here and we’re watching and we’re supporting them. Its about making our presence known.
A couple of months ago, when I was packing to move to London and cleaning my room, I came across a large envelope full of letters from a ‘pen friend’ I met when I was 9 years old when I went Skiing. I typed her name into Facebook to discover I had a pending friend request. A friend request I hadn’t accepted because I obviously didn’t recognise her name. I messaged her and it turned out our paths are crossing again and we both moved to London at the exact same time and we are arranging to meet up! Now THAT is the magic of social media.
Although it may annoy us sometimes and we might find it frustrating… we have got to take a step back and look at the positives too. I live 200 miles from home (which i appreciate isn’t as far as a lot of my friends on Facebook). Our family and friends have the luxury of keeping up with what we’re doing (as we do with them), because of social media. It allows us to share the ups and the downs, make announcements, collate memories, organise events, re-connect and most importantly: keep in touch. Which is what it’s all about at the end of the day, right? Whether you’re a business keeping in touch with your consumer or a Mother keeping in touch with her Daughter, we all use it for the same reasons… it’s just good to feel closer and see what’s going on.
What are your thoughts about social media? Let me know in the comments 🙂