Are We Addicted To Social Media?

**Image Credit: familyhw.com

    Today at work, a colleague of mine stated that she had suspended one of her social media accounts because she got into a random argument with a stranger on some political page and it really shook her up.  Additionally, she feels that she has become a slave to checking her profile on her smartphone excessively.  Ironically, as she shared this with me, she was busy checking out another one of her social media accounts on her phone.

    After our conversation, I began to reflect on my own love-hate relationship with social media.  It’s no secret that I am a staunch supporter of interacting on multiple platforms and of using social media as a tool for engaging others in your brand.  However, at what point do we become consumed by our daily musings and exchanges there?  Although there are many benefits to being active on social media, it does have its downfalls too.  The question then becomes, are we addicted to social media?

    In order to answer this question, we have to be honest with ourselves and others about exactly how why and how much we use these platforms.  Chances are, if you are a business-minded and engaging individual like myself, you check your social media accounts the moment you wake up in the morning.  There is no such thing as disconnecting for long periods of time from social media, after all, you are only as relevant as your last post or tweet.

**Image Credit: Pinterest.com

    We pretty much live our lives on social media from the tragedies to the triumphs.  Our lives are told through words as well as through a never-ending stream of photos, memes, and videos.  Reunions have basically become obsolete due to being able to catch up with someone whom you haven’t seen in years within a matter of minutes by checking out their profile.  As a matter of fact, the new generation doesn’t even know about any other way of maintaining correspondence besides email and messaging.

    I’m going to say that we are most definitely addicted to social media.  It is the lens into the lives of others that the basic curiosity of human nature causes us to crave.  For the entrepreneur, it is the limitless opportunity to reach an infinite market.  Social media meets every need and satisfies every craving.  Unfortunately, it will never take the place of a warm handshake, eyes locking in a gaze, a smile of mutual respect and understanding, or the intimacy of meeting someone face to face.

    As long as we remember that social media is only a tool that facilitates all of these things, it will never entirely consume our social interactions.  There is still something to be said for being engaging in real life and for establishing a variety of interpersonal relationships.  The core of lasting personal and business relationships lies in the bonds that we forge beyond social media in the real world outside of our computer screens.

© 2013, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.

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  • Kimmy K

    I feel the same way about social media and make it a point to have time away from my phone and computer so it doesn’t consume me.

    • http://toughcookiemommy.com/ Maria – Tough Cookie Mommy

      Hi, Kimmy. It is so important to not let it all consume you. It is a valuable part of your life but not valuable enough to jeopardize your interpersonal relationships because of it.

  • http://twitter.com/JaiMami Jai C.

    So true! I think as bloggers we are a little more connected than the average person, but like you said, it’s more due to staying relevant. I actually left my phone home yesterday and didn’t miss it too much because I was so busy at work. But you are right, I do check all my accounts at least once a day. And it is the first thing I do in the morning. But what I have an issue with is oversharing. There are some things you need to keep to yourself. For example. I was going through my fb feed last night and someone I went to HS with posted a picture of his work clothes thrown on the bed with the caption “I need to stop doing this”. Um ok. maybe instead of taking the time to take the picture and posting it on your profile it would have been faster to just put your clothes away. I mean really. Is this what we’ve come to?

    • http://toughcookiemommy.com/ Maria – Tough Cookie Mommy

      You are right, Jai. Some people engage in TMI or Too Much Information. I have learned some personal things about people on social media that I really did not need to know. It seems some can’t just share in moderation and feel the need to spout all of their business online.

  • Melissa Schwartz

    I think you are right. I actually read an article not too long ago about the younger generation and how they do not know how to relate on a personal level because they do everything via social media. There is a concern over a lack of empathy. I find myself getting too wrapped up in it too. You are always afraid that you are missing a big opportunity if you do not pounce on it right away. Unfortunately, this can be true. But, I try to power down. We love to hike, so I have no choice but to power down then!

    • http://toughcookiemommy.com/ Maria – Tough Cookie Mommy

      Hi, Melissa. You make a great point, if you don’t stay on top of your social media accounts, you do get a feeling like you are putting yourself at risk of losing valuable opportunities. This is especially true for those of us who use it as a way of promoting our brand. It’s so important to have hobbies in the real world that keep us grounded.

  • http://twitter.com/jenkehl Break the Mom Mold

    It’s so hard when you an see immediate results, to not lose yourself. When I am active in social media my page views are up, when I fall behind because I need to live my “real life” my page views go down, and then the vicious cycle starts. For me it is really hard to balance being a mom and dealing with all of the social media platforms. I don’t want my son to see my on the phone or the computer all day….. So then I am doing this all night and not sleeping :-) I am really working on finding the right balance, but it’s tough.

  • Reinaa Pmora

    It is true now live in a world in which almost everything depends on networks! There is where we write every day what happens in our homes in which opinions are asked, where you will find answers to your questions, osea all! do and to be honest that I dislike anything by that tell the world what’s wrong? and worst people q did not even know, deveria be more cautious and not counting the daily live all the people on social networks, in my opinion that this very badly but we can all do that better us paresca, what if it is that you nets us are removing the desire to go out and enjoy with your family or friends, so you have to be more aware and leave for a while the internet, so go out and enjoy the day and all the wonderful things that God gives us. :)