Too Connected

Texting

When I wake up in the morning, one of the first things I do is reach for my iPhone, check my inbox of mostly irrelevant mail, then scroll through my Facebook feed. Facebook is my go-t0 social network even though that is losing its appeal as it becomes more personally intrusive with the now required timeline and life story feature. I like to keep my personal and Facebook life separate (though let’s save social media and privacy issues for another day).

I hate to admit it but yes, I have a slight addiction to technology and that includes social media (I’m ironically also pursuing a career in public relations). A quick search on Google points to over- excessive social media usage as a growing problem worthy of being categorized as an “addiction” whose users can display withdrawal symptoms. It sounds extreme, I know. It’s apparently on a different level than the MOUSE acronym used a decade ago to determine if a person was spending too much time on the Internet.

This tech addiction study, conducted at the University of Chicago, tested the willpower of 205 people in Germany when Blackberries were placed in their hands. This study concluded that checking email and participating in social media was harder than cigarettes or alcohol to resist. The study blamed the participants lack of self-control using social media on its high-availability with no price attached. When we go on Twitter or Facebook, see an unread envelope in our inboxes, or receive a text, we feel rewarded,dopamine gets released, and we’re instantly gratified with feeling connected–blame our biology not society.

I wonder sometimes how it would feel to be disconnected from technology and not hear news about someone from Facebook, especially when college students my age are said to be addicted to social media. I’m sure I would panic first (like I do when I can’t find my phone and think I’m missing out on something without it) but then I might be relieved I can be “more in touch” with the world around me then have it pass me by as I text away. I welcome that relieve, however until the day comes when I disconnect for more than I day, I can use these 5 tips to fight social media addiction.

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6 thoughts on “Too Connected

  1. Nice first post Jakie, I can completely relate to waking up and grabbing my phone first thing in the morning. I’ve wondered if PR pros can legitimately disconnect and still remain adequetly informed.

  2. Your post is great. I think most people can relate to instantly grabbing your phone before getting out of bed in the morning. I would love to see more about why social media is so irresistible. I have all of my social media notifications sent to my phone and check them every day. Although certain platforms can be used professionally, I wonder why we are so addicted. Way to get us thinking!

  3. Your blog post is very insightful and thought-provoking. As you mentioned, Internet addiction is one of the big issues facing our society. As you may know, a study by Rutgers University shows that communication tools are fueling Internet addiction, and in some cases the addiction is as difficult to cure as a drug habit (http://bit.ly/P5gP3). For your information, I share links of articles about negative impacts of social media on people. While you may have read them before, I hope they could be helpful for you.

    ・The study shows why Facebook is making people sad.
    http://abcn.ws/xPezgG

    ・How many Facebook friends do you have? “More than 250 friends isn’t very
    healthy.”
    http://rww.to/xNg5HR

    ・Teen’s laptop shot over Facebook. Father shot daughter’s laptop after she posted
    on it complaining about him.
    http://bit.ly/zHZZ4o

  4. Jackie- you make a really good point about our generation’s addiction to social media. Like you I check all my media outlets when I wake up, so that I can feel connected. I use my phone like a crutch, to keep me connected to the outside world. People that don’t use social media are fewer and farther between. I have one single friend who is a Facebook hold out.

    I think one of the reasons we are all so addicted to social media is because everyone we know is. If I don’t respond to a tweet, or a Facebook message I feel rude. If I ignore an email people get upset. It would be great to be able to disconnect for a while, but that idea seems nearly impossible at this point.

  5. Pingback: The Dark Side of Social Media: Facebook Addiction | Exploration for outer space

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