Being “addicted” to social media might sound ridiculous at first, but it can actually be a serious problem. Much like being addicted to other things, being addicted to social media can have consequences and can negatively affect your life.
A recent poll found that 55% of people over the age of 25 felt that they had to check in on Facebook at least once per day, and that 49% of people under the age of 25 will let an electronic message interrupt them during a meal. In addition, 48% of people check or update their Facebook or Twitter accounts after they have “gone to bed” That means that for every couple lying in bed, one of them will reach for their phone even after they already said goodnight.
Being addicted to social media basically means that you are unable to stop using it even if you want to. This can cause problems which may include anxiety and low self-esteem. Many people place too high of a priority on keeping up to date with social media, and some even consider it to be their favourite hobby.
Like Jeff Foxworthy might say, you may be addicted to social media if… you speak in sentences of 140 characters or less. Here are 10 more Signs You’re Addicted To Social Media.
10. You Plan On It
It’s bad enough to spend a lot of your time using various forms of social media, but a real sign that you might have a problem is if you spend your time thinking about social media or planning to use it. You may be in a meeting at work where you really can’t use your phone, but instead of listening to your boss you are day dreaming about checking Twitter or Pinterest. You might also spend time trying to come up with that perfect tweet all day just so you can impress your followers once you get home from work. Imagine how bad this could make you feel if nobody cares about what you had to say and worked on all day long.
9. You Do It To Forget Your Troubles
Many people use social media as a way to escape from their real world problems. At least using social media isn’t as bad as turning to drugs or alcohol to drown your sorrows, but it can still cause problems. Lots of people want to escape from their everyday troubles, and to a certain extent those feelings can be quite normal. If you spend lots of time checking out what other people are doing just so you can forget your own problems, you might have one more problem that you didn’t even realize. Perhaps a better alternative would be sharing some of your problems with your followers to get advice or sympathy instead of sticking your head in the virtual sand.
8. You Feel Helpless
People who have drug or alcohol addictions can have physical symptoms of withdrawal, and social media is somewhat similar. If for whatever reason you can’t access your phone or computer for a long period of time, you may start to feel restless or troubled. Being addicted to social media might not only be mental, but it could also affect you physically. You might toss and turn in bed wanting to check your Facebook or Tumblr account. Luckily social media doesn’t impact your body in the same way that substance abuse does, so you probably won’t be seeing ceiling babies, but the effects are still unpleasant.
7. It’s Having A Negative Impact
If you notice your performance at work is in a downward spiral or your grades at school are slipping, you may have an addiction to social media. If your work environment is really laid back, you might be able to check your phone or your social media accounts on your work computer without anybody getting upset about it. While this type of environment can sometimes help worker productivity, a social media addiction can really take over and make it hard to even think about working. Imagine teenagers at home trying to do their homework when their cell phone is sitting right next to them, it just doesn’t make for a good combination. Parents who won’t let their kids use their phone while doing homework aren’t doing them a favour.
6. It’s Your Main Form of Communication
There is nothing wrong with taking some of your free time to use social media, but one interesting thing is that today many people are using that as their main form of communication. Instead of using your cell phone for a little known function called making a phone call, or even texting, many people are using Facebook messenger or Twitter DMs as their main form of contacting someone. Most kids and teenagers today would never dream of actually writing a letter, and would probably think that a carrier pigeon was some new type of cell phone company. If you would much rather send a private message through social media than actually meet with someone in person, you might be addicted.
5. It’s The First Thing You Do in the Morning
We know that a lot of people use their cell phone as an alarm clock, even though this may not be the best idea due to all of those signals bouncing around near your brain while you sleep at night. So what is the first thing that you do in the morning? Is it using the bathroom, taking a shower, brushing your teeth, or eating breakfast? The answer for a lot of people these days is checking their social media accounts. You might need to wake up 30 minutes earlier just to allow enough time to check all of your social media to see what’s going on that day.
4. You Take Photos of Everything
You know you are taking too many pictures when you don’t even keep the photo in your personal album after you post it to your social media account. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter encourage pictures, while others like Instagram and Snapchat were made for doing just that. While it may be nice to see pictures of your friends and family every so often, we really don’t need to see 20 pictures of you every single day. We also don’t need to see where you are at all times or what you are eating for every meal. If the main reason you take a picture is so that you can post it on social media, you might be addicted.
3. You Overshare
Oversharing goes hand in hand with taking and posting too many pictures on your social media accounts. There are plenty of acceptable things to post on social media, but there are also some things you should keep to yourself. If you want to keep everyone updated on important things in your life go ahead, but we don’t need to know everything about you. The line for what is acceptable to share and what should be kept private seems to be getting blurred as the younger generation has now grown up with social media and it’s really all that they know. Take a few seconds to think about what you are posting before you do so.
2. It’s The Basis of Your Self-Worth
Trying to get people to like or retweet your social media posts is fine, but letting your online popularity determine your self-worth can really turn into a big problem. Being addicted to social media is bad enough, but being addicted to how many people have expressed an interest in what you shared can be even worse. Seeking validation in life is natural, but it should come from those who really care about you like your family and real life friends. Liking or re-sharing your own content is just another form of trying to inflate your ego and boost your numbers, and can come off as looking pretty desperate as well.
1. Obsessively Refreshing
So now you have planned on using social media, used it as an escape from the real world, let it negatively impact your life and determine your self-worth, and overshared too many personal details and photos. The worst sign you are addicted to social media is refreshing obsessively. Whether you want to see who responds or likes your tweets, or you just can’t wait for that latest post by your favorite celebrity, hitting refresh over and over again is a sure sign you have an issue with social media. Many of the social media apps refresh automatically, so showing that you can’t wait an extra few seconds is a really bad sign of being addicted to social media.