According to the Pew Research Center, as of January 2014, 74 percent of online adults were using social networking sites.
While some of these people only use social sites from time to time, others let it consume their life. They are checking Twitter while they eat breakfast. They are posting to Facebook when they are supposed to be working. And of course, they are using Instagram to show the world what they are doing, where they have been, and maybe even what they are eating.
Generally speaking, a social media addiction is not harmful. Sure, it may consume many hours of your day, but it is not likely to land you in rehab. Even so, there could come a time when you need to back off, leave social media behind for a bit, and step into the real world.
Here are five signs you are addicted to social media:
1. The first thing you do in the morning is reach for your phone. You don’t do this to check the news or weather. You do this to jump on Twitter and Facebook, anxious to see what your followers and friends are up to.
2. You can’t make it through a single meal without posting an update. What would life be like if you left your smartphone out of your reach when eating dinner? If the thought alone gives you chills, you may have an addiction. Believe it or not, people will live if they can’t instantly see what you are eating for dinner.
3. You talk down on friends and family who don’t use social media. You don’t need to explain to loved ones that they are “missing out.” If they want to get more involved with social media, they will. Until then, take a step back and let them make their own decisions.
4. You created a social media account for your pet. Does your cat really need its own Twitter profile? Is Mister Kibbles is probably not going to become famous. Drop it.
5. You can’t read an article or view an image online without wondering how to share it with your social networks. There are times when sharing with your audience is a good idea, but this doesn’t mean that every article and image should be pushed to your network.
What do you think now? Do you have a social media addiction? Better yet: do you even care?