Social media has taken over just about every aspect of life. You can’t look at anything without seeing links to a social media page or people asking for likes, follows and shares. Even business emails have social widgets designed to help draw you into social contact—there’s nothing sacred anymore. But for some people, social media hasn’t just invaded the world; it’s invaded them as well. We’re talking of course about social media addicts.
Addiction is a weighty word to throw around lightly since it obviously carries with it connotations of drugs and alcohol, but being addicted to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest is very much the same thing. You can destroy your health (sitting too long, carpel tunnel, bad eyesight, etc.), destroy your social life (not pay attention to loved ones, ignore your real life for your online life) and much, much more.
Six Signs Social Media Addiction Has a Grip on You
To help you understand the warning signs of social media addiction, here are six clear signs that you’re addicted to social media:
1. First Things First. What do you first do when you wake up in the morning? Get up and go to the bathroom? Kiss your sweetie good morning? Feed the cat? Check on the kids? Or do you go straight for your phone and check to see who commented on your vacation, what everyone is doing today or what’s going on in the world via your social media accounts? If it’s the last one, you’re likely addicted to social media. It’s even worse if you lay in bed flipping through other people’s profiles for thirty minutes before reluctantly getting ready for work. Try not to check your social sites until you’ve done at least five productive things in the morning to break the cycle.
2. Bed Buddy. Is your phone in bed with you when you fall asleep? Under the pillow? On the nightstand even if you don’t have an alarm set? These are all signs that if you haven’t gone too far with your social media use, you soon will. Put your phone across the room and leave it off.
3. Bathroom Breaks. Another sign you’re addicted to Facebook and other social sites isn’t that you simply check your accounts when you go to the bathroom—this is pretty typical and has replaced the book or magazine libraries people used to keep in the lavatory. The real sign you have a problem is if you sit there after you’re done using the toilet. It’s understandable, it’s easy to get caught up in social media and forget where you are. But if you are literally sitting on top of human excrement with your pants down and scrolling through pictures of kids or stalking your ex, there’s something a bit wrong, don’t you think? Don’t take your phone with you to the bathroom. This also eliminates the chance you’ll drop your phone in the toilet, but also keeps your phone clean since you’re wiping and touching the screen and scrolling and…enough said.
4. The Detective. If you learn all about new people you meet from their social media accounts and then talk to them about personal stuff they haven’t told you about yet when you see them, you might be a social media addict. Granted, this is a bit of a fine line since they put their lives out there on social media for all of their followers and friends to see, but if you weren’t around before, it’s not exactly normal for you to go snooping through their prior lives. This can be off-putting: “How did you know that about me? We just met.” “I saw it on your Twitter.” If you must do some snooping, be sure to keep it to yourself, but bear in mind it’s a sign that you’re addicted to social media networks, not that you’re doing your homework on a person. If you want to know something about someone, just ask.
5. Dinner for One. Another clear sign that you are addicted to social media is when you go out to eat and have your phone on the table or in your hands. Put it away. You’re out with other people, enjoying real human interaction. You don’t need to document every aspect of your life by Instagramming each meal that comes (do that with home cooked meals). Are you taking pictures of the bread basket? Are you texting while the other people at your table are having a good time? Put the phone down and be worried about building the memories that last a lifetime instead of proving to everyone that you had the chance to make them, but decided to take a selfie instead.
6. Ring Ring. Do you have alerts set up for when someone follows, likes, shares or reTweets something? Why? Is it that important you stop everything you’re doing and jump online because someone interacted with your social media? If it is, you have a social media addiction on your hands—shut them off.
Social media addiction can ruin relationships, friendships and cause you to miss out on life.
Author Bio – Kelly Caprio, the author of this article writes on behalf of Lauraposada.com, a certified professional coach and motivational speaker. To find out in-depth about how she helps coach people and get their life back on track, check out her website today.