If you find yourself ‘Pinterest’-ing your Twitter, ‘Flickr’-ing your Google+, ‘Meeting Up’ into your Tumblr, or ‘Instagram’-ing your Facebook – you know you’re a serious addict – so this one is for you. And I completely understand how it goes…
You are just about to log off – because you KNOW you’ve already spent too much time there… and then… that notification icon pops up like a Jack-in-the-Box holding a late notice for for your Internet connection… Or your alerts ‘alert’ you to something that just might be REALLY important. And you break down and click it… and it’s just someone hawking the latest crock pot recipe, sharing a cute cat video, posting their 10th Instagram selfie of the day, or pinning pictures of crafts.
However, while logged on, it only makes sense to scroll through the feed, right? Afterwards, you must attempt to pry yourself off again – and that darn pesky/exciting/you-know-you-can’t help yourself notification happens again. Next thing you know – it’s been an hour… or two…and for the worst social media addict…it might be 10 hours later!
CONFESSION #1: It’s been two weeks since I started this article, and spending about 8 hours a day on Facebook is the culprit. I’ve been far too ‘busy’ fielding messages and groups and ‘liking’ a lot of cute cat videos.
CONFESSION #2: I deactivated my Facebook account temporarily so I could finish this article and others… it is AMAZING to wake up and not find my inbox bottoming out like a Chevy with worn shocks with 600 or more social media notifications! But I’m jonesing a bit!
How Social Media Lures Us Like Hungry Catfish During Spawning Season
A few reasons it seems people become addicted to social media include:
Boredom – Manifested or Otherwise: Honestly, all states of boredom are wholly manufactured, because there is ALWAYS something to do! While it’s easy to get lost in the virtual world of hearing others woes and joys, it seems some of us forget that the physical, tangible world is often where we truly find OUR joy, our power, and discover new possibilities.
Being Cautious with Your Energy: Being around people in general can be challenging, particularly if you’re akin to being an empath. However, many others find themselves becoming increasingly uncomfortable and sensitive to negative energies as they awaken and are more connected to their subconscious feelings. For a while, the Internet seems the ideal place to ‘hide’ – until you discover that their is just as much negative energy amid social media, and perhaps even more so!
You’ve Lost Interest in Socializing with ‘Real’ People: Granted, it’s often easier to ‘connect’ with like-minded people online via common interests groups and such. Going out in the real world to look for friends or romance these days can be a bit intimidating, dangerous, and you’re apt to meet some people you’d prefer to toss off a cliff than befriend. Unfortunately, we have alluded ourselves into thinking that the virtual world brings us security. However, if you’re a social media addict – you also know you can meet some real trolls online, too.
Trolling Entertainment: I’m not a fan of these addicts! When you have nothing better to do with your life than make others miserable, then it’s time for a Joan Collins style facelift! There are literally hundreds of things better to do than troll the web and attempt to discredit and undermine the intentions and thoughts of others. These types are not only addicted, they really need to get a life!
Work Related Promotion or Sale of Goods or Services: This is an EASY way to get sucked in, and in fact, it’s how I got hooked. The results? The first section about the vortex is my personal story! If you manage groups, promote profit websites, write for a living, or have any type of business, social media can be the bread and butter of your biz.
8 Easy Ways to Retreat from the Social Media Vortex
- Realize that most people aren’t that interested in what you eat for dinner, that you’re having a bad day, or viewing 12 nearly identical selfies across three platforms. Keep your ego in check!
- Hire someone to handle your social media for business and promotional purposes. Better yet, if you have a teen at home, put them to work for you.
- Limit time spent on social media; use a timer if necessary.
- Turn off notifications and limit who you ‘follow’. Be choosy about groups. If it’s not pertinent or truly serving your spiritual journey or business…you can live without it.
- Cut back on ‘friends’ and stop accepting requests from just anyone. I miss the days when I in some fashion actually knew what was happening in all of my ‘friends’ lives…
- Make some real life friends. Join a club, take a class, volunteer – you get the picture.
- Check your bank account balance or pay bills…there’s nothing like those reminders of the ‘real world’ to set you back into focus.
- Disable accounts – even if it’s temporary. A little digital detox will serve you well…even if it’s just a few days!
That being said…I will soon reactivate my account. Because if there is one thing writing this article has taught me it is this – it’s easy to totally AVOID our social media addiction. However, to truly ascend beyond the addiction we must empower ourselves by learning to master those tendencies. I will be taking my own advice upon reactivation – believe that!
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