If you have read one of my previous columns, ‘Online Is The New Reality’, (if you haven’t then shame on you. Tut) you’ll know that I investigated our addiction to social media and the life we spend hovered over our iPhone’s. This time I’m going to help you to identify if you, in fact, ARE a social media addict. But before I start, I want to clear up that I’m not judging anyone who is. I’m one of you. My life is spent online. Sad, I know, but here’s the list.
1. If you find yourself reaching over to your bedside table for your phone every morning before you’ve even had the chance to open your eyes properly, you’re probably an addict. How many likes did your pre-sleep selfie have? Did that inspirational quote get reblogged? And more importantly did your favourite celebrity reply to the 10 tweets you sent them before bed time? I usually find myself doing this each morning before I’ve even had my morning coffee. But that’s just the start. It gets worse.
2. It’s Friday night and you and your friends are celebrating the end of the working week by heading out to a restaurant and wining and dining. You can’t wait! You’ve been excited all day about it! But it’s not the food you’ve been dying to experience. It’s the moment you crack out your phone and snap the whole experience. The breadsticks, starter, main and dessert will be shared with your followers through a hipster-chic filter to make it look more appealing. Some even go as far as to photograph their every meal, especially those on a diet. #NomNom #TweetWhatYouEat #Fatty #Nandos. Hashtags everywhere.
3. Whenever you find yourself at Starbucks or shopping for a new outfit, the one thing that’s on your mind is ‘checking in’ with your friends to show your friends how much of a social butterfly you are. Personally, I’m not a fan of the ‘check in’ feature. I get a bit creeped out knowing that people know where I am. But one of my friends constantly checks us in to places, so going off the grid is pretty much impossible in this day and age. Especially if ‘you can’t make it to work today because you’ve got food poisoning from that meal you went to no matter how good it looked on Instagram’.
4. This next one is something I find myself doing more than I should admit to. I am guilty of using hashtags and emoticons in conversations that are supposed to be written in a professional manner. For example, an email to my boss may sound something like ‘I won’t be in today, I’ll be working from home. #NoSleepLastnight #Tired :(. The thing is, I can’t help myself. I do it without realising and I know there’s people out there who find themselves doing exactly the same thing.
5. Another thing I talked about in my online addiction column was how the lingo of the internet finds itself not only being typed up outside the internet, but escaping our mouths vocally. As ashamed as I am to admit it, I always seem to end up in a situation where I’ll use ‘totes’ instead of ‘totally’ and ‘amazeballs’ instead of ‘amazing’. I for one would like to know what these ‘balls’ are and why are they so amazing? An example for my new found language is last week when I was walking through town, I bumped into someone by accident but instead of saying ‘sorry’, the word ‘SOZ’ creeped out of my mouth leaving me looking like an idiot. There must be someone else out there who experiences this? Anyone? PLEASE?
6. I’m not a victim of this one, but there are people on my Facebook and Twitter feeds who are. And these people are the ‘oversharers’. They literally share EVERYTHING that happens in their day, from the cheese on toast they made for breakfast right down the update that they’re at home cuddling up with their other half having ‘quality time’, which is something I’ve never understood. Surely when you’re with your partner you should be, well… with them and not your iPhone? Although saying that, it’s probably the reason I’m still single.
7. Okay, so this one is something everyone can relate to. We all have atleast one person in our live who we never seem to see in person but spend all our time communicating with them over a social networking site. I have friends on twitter who I tweet on a daily basis who I’ve never even met. I also have friends who I have met but tweet more than speak. I’m not going to knock it. It IS the 21st century after all. But how long will it be before our friendships are defined by this act? I’m guessing not long at all.
8. And finally, you know you’re addicted when the first thing you do when you hear a fabulous piece of gossip is start a group message with your friends over Facebook and chat, chat, chat. It’s been done to me so many times. I often wonder why people can’t just pick up a phone and get it over and done with quicker, but like I said, it’s the 21st century, and this is our means of contact now. The same applies for any major news or gossip. We seem to share it via tweets or blog posts to let everyone know what’s going on and keep them in the loop. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it.
So there you have it. My list of identifying your social networking addiction. So what’s your result? Are you an addict? Are you ‘nearly’ there? Or are you one of those lucky folk that live life away from all things internet? Lucky sods! But there’s no denying that even though it’s taking over our lives, the internet has made our lives that much easier. How else would we keep up with breaking news, or keep everyone in the loop about your life? And how would I even promote my writing, which by the way, you can check out here or over at JoshThomas.Blog.Com (pretty please?).
As always, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed skimming through it as much as I enjoyed exploring these points. If there’s anything I left out or if there’s something I left off the list that you find yourself doing then please feel free to comment below or let me know via email at: Joshua.Thomas91@aol.co.uk
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