Writing

Social Media Addicts Anonymous

Hello,

My name is Whitney and I’m always connected to my social media pages.

*insert warm and inviting “Hi Whitney!” from the congregation of fellow addicts*

Welcome to the “Social Media Addicts Anonymous” group, where we will discussing this nasty habit that some of us can’t or won’t seem to break, lol.

Let’s start with a show of hands, and try to be honest with yourself.  How many times have you looked at your social media accounts today?  How many of us roll over in the morning, hit the alarm and immediately check out what happened overnight in the Internet world (when truthfully, everyone you follow should have been sleep anyway *rolls eyes*)?  I hate to admit it, but I have to confess that I have an issue with social media.  I spend entirely too much time trying to figure out who is telling all their drama on Facebook (as I sit back eating my popcorn and sipping an enormous mug of tea), who posted what on Instagram, and what the trending hashtags are on Twitter.

This is definitely something I am guilty of, and as much as I would like to say that this is completely self-inflicted behavior, there are other times when I feel that society has burdened us with the idea that all communication, networking, and engagement amongst other human beings has to be through some form of technology or social media.  We have been saddled with the crutch of keeping our phones in our hands, constantly swiping downward to refresh that new page and see what else is going down in the world.  It is basically the new wave that everyone is riding, and as fast as the world moves; I don’t blame myself for being addicted.

Social media is pretty much the fastest and most efficient way to get information out to others in a matter of seconds.  With a click of a button, you can share anything and everything you want to, to anyone in the world.  If I want to show you a video of my daughter and her daily toddler shenanigans, I can click one button and it’s on Instagram.  Click a few more buttons and from that app, I can share to Twitter and Facebook. 10 seconds is all I need to give you a piece of my day on Snapchat.  The world has gone completely digital; likes, comments and DM’s are now what’s hot in these streets.

As much as other generations like to tell my generation and ones younger than I, completely about how us young kids don’t know how to talk to people face to face anymore, social media has its benefits.  As much as it can be bad for you, it can also be the best thing to happen to your life.  Many use it to the advantage of staying connected to family, networking, branding, and expanding their creative platform.  For example, I have family in different states who love to see my daughter but because of distance, we are unable to see each other face to face as often as we would like.  I post pictures and videos on Facebook and Instagram so they can watch her grow and catch the moments that they can’t see in real time.

Also, due to me wanting to expand my name and get more into the blogging and writing realm, I need to use my social media platforms so that people will know who I am.  Unfortunately, it’s not enough to just have a blog and pray someone comes across your site while searching; I have to make sure in order to get as much traffic as possible, I post it on as many of my social media accounts as possible, with hopes to gain some positive exposure and make new connections.  Prime example, this post in particular will be posted on my blog, and I have the ability to share it to my Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr page, which expands the number of people who get to read it and connect with me that way.

Even with me publishing my book, I would be nowhere without the ability to create and share posts about it on social media.  Social media promotion has been a key factor in getting some of the sales I have gotten thus far.

The rush that social media gives is like no other as well. I was recently listening to one of my favorite podcasts, The Friend Zone, and they were talking about the Dopamine Loop.  Basically, the Dopamine Loop is the rush we crave when checking our social media for views, likes, comments (good and bad sometimes).  We all post pictures, videos and blog posts with the intention of gaining some level of attention, and when you KNOW something you posted is poppin’, your main goal when you open your phone is to see how many people felt the same way.

For some, we have to determine if the benefit of social media outweighs the cost, or vice versa.  I can admit that I have some very addictive tendencies when it comes to these dreaded apps, but I have good reason when it comes down to it; or maybe I’m just making excuses.  Either way, I’ll be at the meetings every month to try and fight this feeling I have and hopefully Facebook, twitter and IG won’t completely take over my life!

Here’s to hoping that we all learn to curve our addiction, and use it more for the greater good!

-Whit C.

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