Sunday, November 29, 2009

Causes of Social Media Addiction

I’m trying to figure out when my two year old son became a football fan, because I don’t know if I’m ready for this. It’s Sunday, so I was trying to watch a little TV, but every 30 minutes, D asked if he could watch football. Because I’m kind of sneaky, I would turn the channel to football and when he started playing with some of his toys, I would change the channel. Of course he would notice that the game was not on and he would ask to see it again. After about 6 times, I got sick of it and went into my office to catch up on some blog reading and do some research for my Social Media Addiction-Solution essay for English class.

Now I enjoy using sites like Facebook, Twitter, even YouTube; but I’m always conscious of the amount of time that I spend online. I am a true believer in the adage, “Time flies when you’re having fun.” This means that I know I could easily spend 4 to 6 hours playing games, tweeting, and watching silly videos. Last week I turned in an essay about the of Social Media Addiction-Causes, which in my opinion is 50% boredom, 25% loneliness and 25% avoidance.

We all get bored sometimes but there are a lot more things to do besides sitting in front of a computer all day, especially if you are not doing anything constructive. First of all, you could read a book. Maybe you could watch something on TV. Get out and go for drinks with friends. You could even learn to crochet a sweater for your dog. But spending 4 or 5 hours sending notes and posting comments on MySpace gets old after a couple of days. Yes, the games on Facebook are very appealing but you should try to win (or lose) some real coins by taking a trip to the casino.

A lot of people that are addicted to social media are online to make friends because they don’t have any friends in real life. These internet fanatics feel comforted by the fact that they have an endless number of people that listen to their rants and raves. They feel that no one ever listens to them but their Facebook friends by commenting on all of their status updates. This internet empathy that is received is not real because real friends tell you the truth, for your own good, but internet buddies just tell you whatever you want to hear or because it sounds good to the rest of your audience.

Social media addiction affects an addict’s daily life in so many ways. The house is always a mess, their kids have eaten nothing but Happy Meals for 6 months, and they are late or have missed work more than once on a weekly basis, why? Because they felt that updating their blog or sending a tweet every ten minutes was more important than fulfilling their real life obligations. This is not a good way to live. The house will get so dirty that they won’t be able to find their laptop. All of the kids will be 20 pounds overweight and develop high blood pressure. If they do not go to work, eventually they will not have the money to pay the utilities or keep on the internet service.

When social media is used properly, it can be a great business tool or a nice way to entertain yourself. But when used improperly, it can cause problems in your everyday life.

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