Social media connects us whether it is from across the room or across the country. We share selfies on Instagram and accomplishments on Facebook and Twitter to provide our friends and family a simple snapshot of the important moments of our lives.However, there comes a point where you are no longer connecting with others and your social media hobby becomes an outright addiction. To some, social media has turned from an electronic scrapbook to a place where they escape reality, seeking validation and identity.
The symptoms of this social media addiction are simple. Instead of going to an event, you just follow the live tweets. Instead of greeting your friend and wishing him a happy birthday, you result to posting a brief message on his wall or page. For some, Facebook is now a way to create an online persona of who they want to be. You are completely in control of what is shown and what is not.
Posts should not be bragging about what you are doing in order to make others jealous of you. Posts should be about significant moments of your everyday life that you want to share with your close friends and family so that they can have some insight into your daily experiences in life. When you only take photos to post to your various social media accounts so that people can see what you are doing or wearing, you are no longer living those life moments for yourself but for the approval of others. People need to stop trying for “likes,” “shares,” “retweets,” or whatever else and learn how to live their lives. When you live-tweet a concert, you are not really experiencing the concert the way it is intended with your face and attention turned away from the action and toward your mobile device. Events such as concerts, weddings and parties are to be enjoyed in the moment and not through a cell phone screen.
Looking back several years from now at a significant event in life, you want to be able to remember the lights, sounds and the atmosphere – not the way it all looked as you watched your cell phone record it.Social media allows you to write or post anything that you desire. This freedom allows you to have an opinion but also encourages the spread of false or misleading information.Instead of posting about going to the gym while watching that marathon of “Law & Order,” get off your couch and hit the track rather than boasting about false accomplishments. Social media sets a platform for you to create a persona of who you wish you could be. Not everyone lies on social media, but some do tend to create an idea of a person they are not. Users may only post photos where they are dressed up for rare occasions instead of how they look every day. Users may share articles that match certain ideas they want people to think they have.
Social media obsession prevents you from truly connecting with the world and people around you in the current moment, placing Facebook posts and Instagram pictures between you and the real experience.