Are You Addicted To Social Media?

soxcial addictionDo you check Facebook and other social platforms constantly? Are you constantly checking who has viewed your LinkedIn profile? Do you post stuff on social sites many times daily? If so, you may be addicted to social media. Is this a real addiction?

Let’s start with the reality that our mobile smartphones are in fact an addictive device. They whir, buzz, ping and ring. Most of the time the messages, and information that is fed to you is highly unimportant, things like “Dwayne Wade to play for Heat tonight” and “Joe Girardi says A-Rod will need to earn playing time” and other critical pieces of information are fed to us. But despite the frequent superficiality of the information, we often feel the urgency to read, comment, respond to our smartphones. In addition, since the majority of emails are now read on mobile devices, the urgency is even greater.

Now add to this the fact that social media has become predominantly a mobile activity. And voila, we’ve created a society of social media addicts. I may have the “disease”, though I am not sure I seek a cure as yet.

weaponsHere are basic factoids that place the addiction to the “weapons of mass distraction” in perspective:

1. There are more than two billion active social media users worldwide, a penetration rate of 28%

2. Social networking already accounts for 28% of all media time spent online. Users between 15 and 19 spend at least 3 hours per day on social media, and even younger Millennials, 20-29, spend 2 hours per day on social.

3. 18 percent of social media users can’t go a few hours without checking Facebook. (I am among the 18%).

4. LinkedIn signs up 2 new members every second. (As any professional knows, LinkedIn is the ultimate site for job seekers)

5. The average American spends roughly ¼ of their work day browsing social media for non-work stuff.

We all know a lot of social media is mindless stuff. Some is substantive too. So my 2 cents is that anything in moderation is fine. When it rules your life, it’s not so fine. We all need to find the right balance.

How addicted are you?

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