OMG, NOW THIS MAY BE A SLIGHT OVEREXAGGERATION, BUT IS THIS YOU? Is your cell phone always glued to you? Do you constantly check Twitter and Facebook on your free time… like when you’re family is home at night and instead of playing with your kids or bonding with your partner, you’re futsing around on BBM (Blackberry Messenger), or iMessage, or other social media sites? Or better, do you bring your smartphone into the bathroom? Is your Facebook account or emails the first thing you check when you wake up? Are you exhausted from staying up too late reading about all of your “friends’ ” status updates, whereabouts and pictures? Has your family asked you if you love your computer more than you love them?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to admit, you may be a social media addict. And you don’t want to overdose, trust me. A recent German study released these findings: “Social media is more addictive than cigarettes or alcohol.” Scary stuff.
It’s okay, because admitting you have an addiction is the first step to recovery and half the battle. I think I’ve become an addict too. It all started a few years back with my OCD of staying on top of my work emails when I was running my company. I’m not one to cope well when things pile up. So getting a Blackberry became the PERFECT solution for someone like me. I actually felt CALMER leaving the office, knowing that when I was out on the road or at meetings, I could keep up with emails and work on the go. The 30 minutes of sitting and replying to emails when I used to return to the office suddenly became a thing of the past when I got my Berry. I could stay on top of my work 24/7. Amazing, right? What a great tool for someone like me. What a HORRIBLE TOOL FOR SOMEONE LIKE ME.
And the email checking turned into Twitter checking, and all other checking.
Sounds pretty bad, I know. I know I should shut it off when I’m home at the end of the day, but I can’t help it. I keep it on until I get into bed at night. If I am cooking dinner in the kitchen, and I leave it on my night stand away from where I am in the house, if I have to run upstairs to get something, I check. It’s the first thing I turn on at 6am. I am MUCH better than I used to be, so that’s a good thing. Please don’t judge me, I’m just being honest.
My girlfriend and her husband who both work in social media all day have a strict rule to manager this insanity. They actually SHUT DOWN ALL ELECTRONICS AT 6PM. Their Iphones and Macs are TURNED OFF at 6pm. It’s a rule. If anyone needs them, they call the house. I mean, how awesome is that?? They have uninterrupted family time every night without vibrating, buzzing and things ringing in their house. My house buzzes all night between my hubby and me. I think they are on to something, I’m telling you.
But if there is anything to learn from this YouTube parody, it’s that our social media addiction is alienating us from our spouses and our children. And when it effects the family unit, that’s no joke. That’s serious. Social media addiction is also known to lead to sleep deprivation, mental and marital problems. And many people these days are spending more time on social media sites than they are with their own families.
So, if you find yourself spending more time with your computer or smart phone than with your family or working on the job, it’s time to manage that addiction. Listen up!
Here are a few tips to curing your social media addiction and improving your quality of life:
- The First step is first avoiding the denial. If checking your Twitter or Facebook account is the first and last thing you do before you go to bed and wake up, it’s time to admit it. And as I said, admitting is half the battle.
- Make a Social Media Schedule and Put It In Your Calendar. I know this sounds weird, but let me explain. Instead of checking Twitter, Facebook, etc… constantly throughout the day, allot yourself one or two 30 minute time periods within the day to get the whole thing done and out of your system. Obviously, if social media is your day job, this is an impossibility, so you’re exempt from this exercise if you work in social media. I’m talking from a personal standpoint.
- When you’re home at the end of the day, focus on the family, no interruptions. Play with your kids, watch a movie, read books, bond with your spouse. DO NOT HAVE YOUR SMART PHONE OR LAPTOP NEXT TO YOU. Turn it off or put it in another room. When getting into bed with your spouse, the same rule applies. This is a biggie.
- A Huge and Radical One But Something To Think About: Remove ALL Social Media sites from your smart phone. GASP!: If you don’t work in social media, THINK ABOUT REMOVING THE TWITTER AND FACEBOOK APS FROM YOUR SMART PHONE, and limit yourself to those 2 designated times of the day for surfing. Really, is checking your friend’s status updates and pictures more important than time with your family? Again, if you’re working in social media, the line gets blurred I know, but try not mixing business with pleasure. It’s all for the betterment of you, your relationship and your family.
- Limit the people your be-friend on Twitter, Facebook etc… The less “friends” you’re following, the less you’ll feel the need to catch up on what everyone else is doing. I love this one and am gonna try it!
I think we’re all guilty to some degree, with some level of social media addiction. It’s become the society we live in. Even our kids are taught in school to be technically savvy. 2013 is around the corner. I’m gonna try and turn a new leaf. Promise. Join me! Let’s stop the insanity and engage more with the people we love. TO REALLY SPEND TIME AND BE PRESENT WITHOUT DISTRACTIONS. If not treated with kit gloves, Social Media will become just the opposite… not social at all.
Tell us, and be honest, are you addicted to social media? What are you doing about it, please share your tips and advice. What do you think about this whole topic in general?
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