Social Network Addiction is REAL

Social networking sites have transformed our world into a small global village where everyone is connected either directly or through another host. People spend hours fixated on glaring computer screens just absorbing the wonders of the web. With Facebook, Twitter, Jumbler and many others you could become ensnared in a fantasy networking world. Facebook has over 500 million users and Twitter has over 26 million users – these numbers are growing exponentially as you read this. With 2011 boasting these innovative accomplishments in the technological field we have nothing to fear for the future…or do we? Are we limiting our social interactions by hiding behind office cubicles and chatting to people online? Are we becoming addicted to updating statuses on our phones every 5 minutes? I have to question whether these sites have brought people closer or if they’ve just minimized the space between us? You might think there’s no difference, but the difference is a computer screen.

A blog from Brenda K. Carter title ‘Down on our Luck’ lists 10 signs that could indicate that you’re addicted to social networking sites.

  1. Your friends on Facebook know more about you than your spouse.
  2. You have found 7,000 people to follow on Twitter, but haven’t called your mother in over 2 weeks.
  3. You haven’t seen the light of day besides going to work in over a week.
  4. You have dropped 600 Entrecards every day for the last month; the old fashioned way.
  5. You’re best material is left in comments.
  6. You check Twitter every 5 minutes because you’re afraid of missing something.
  7. You can’t remember the PIN for your debit card, but you know the passwords for all 200 sites that you belong to by heart. FYI, I do not belong to 200 Social Networking Sites. Only 100; JK I really only use about 10 or less regularly. I’m not sure where I’d find time for more than that.
  8. Joe Schmo from New Mexico giving your Stumble home page a “thumbs down” throws you into a deep depression for over a month.
  9. Sex, what’s that? I might miss a Tweet.
  10. I have a blog? What’s the URL again?

Reading the list is funny, I laughed! But do some sad facts ring true to you? This world we live in is full of…….wait a minute, I have to comment on my friend’s comment to my comment on her wall post….I like it…okay almost done. Okay back to the topic! What was I saying? Oh yes! On the CNN Health site you find a article on 5 Clues You’re Addicted to Facebook. The fact that its on a ‘HEALTH’ site should scare you already. It’s an article about a single mother who is so absorbed on facebook she has no time for her 12 year old daughter. Her daughter has to e-mail her to get her attention! She spends 20 hours a week on social networking! She’s too embarrased to disclose her name, but has this to say about her addiction:

“I can go a whole day without Facebook, but I’ve never made it through an entire weekend.”

“I’m an addict. I just get lost in Facebook. My daughter gets so PO’d at me, and really it is kind of pathetic. It’s not something I’m particularly proud of. I just get so sucked in.”

Paula Pile, a marriage and family therapist claims that she gets frequent visits from couples complaining about their spouse’s addiction to the cyber world. A lot of single men and women spend copious hours on facebook flirting. The problem with website relations is that it’s not real. Many people get sucked into feeling they have fallen in love online. It’s a myth! You don’t smell your lovers stink morning breath over the computer!

The five signs:

1. You lose sleep over Facebook

“If you’re staying up late at night because you’re on Facebook, and you’re tired the next day, Facebook may be a compulsion for you. “You shouldn’t be neglecting yourself because of Facebook.”

2. You spend more than an hour a day on Facebook

Pile says it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how much is too much time to be spending on social networking.

“I can’t imagine that anyone would need more than an hour a day on Facebook, and probably no one needs more than 30 minutes,”

3. You become obsessed with old loves

Reconnecting with old friends is one of the great attractions of Facebook, and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with “friending” an old boyfriend or girlfriend. But Pile warns that it can get out of hand very quickly.

“One of my clients met up with an old boyfriend on Facebook. They started spending hours and hours into the night talking to each other on Facebook. She made some really inappropriate comments about how unhappy she was in her marriage,” Pile said. “Her cousin saw the comments and told her parents, and the parents told the husband, and now they’re in the process of getting divorced.”

4. You ignore work in favor of Facebook

“If you’re not doing your job in order to sneak time on Facebook, you could have a real problem,” Lipari said.

5. The thought of getting off Facebook leaves you in a cold sweat

I can proudly say I’m not addicted to social networking sites and I am glad I do not deal with any of these problems. On the popular series Modern Family, Phil a father of growing hormonal teens has this to say about his chatting capabilities, “I’m cool dad, that’s my thang. I’m hip, I surf the web, I text. LOL: laugh out loud, OMG: oh my god, WTF: why the face?” It all boils down to self control. Know your limits. And for crying out loud, stop reading this, leave your computer screen and kick a ball outside! The fresh air will do you some good.


About nicobaleng

My paradoxical love for the web is feeling immense freedom while confined to a seated position behind a desk. This is what the world wide web has to offer. Learning about the latest technological toys or playing around with programs sounds like nerds-play, but once you start exploring, the pc monitor in front of you becomes less and less intimidating. Tracked and documented I will share the journey of an average Joe like me, moving up toward achieving a black belt in web design! KAPOW!

Posted on March 7, 2011, in Geeked Up and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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