While your children may be addicted to video games and Snapchat, you might be addicted to other social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You may update your feed whenever you take a breath, take tons of pictures of your shoes, or feel the compulsive need to share every picture of your six-pack of abs, or burgeoning six-pack while you’re in the gym. But, how do you know you really are a Twinstabook addict? Have you crossed the line or are you straddling it and still can be saved? Let’s look at seven signs you are really close or have crossed that line. Pay attention, read the entire article, and then get on social media. Okay? Great!
#1 NIGHT-TIME FIX
Have you woken up ever so randomly and the first thing you reach for is your phone? Is the first thing on your mind Twinstabook? Not in that order and not all of them, but one or more. Be honest, was it the ping of a notification that woke you up or did you open the app to take a midnight or early morning stroll through the timeline forest. You want to see what’s happening. FOMO is hitting you hard, even in your sleep.
#2 WHEN YOU WAKE UP
Immediately upon waking up, do you grab your phone and head to Twinstabook? Can you curb this desire? Some smokers say that when they wake up, the first thing on their mind is cigarettes. When you get on social media, do you look up and find 30 or more minutes have passed and you haven’t felt one of them zoom by? Your Twinstabook fans are always up to something and you want to know everything. If you wake up every morning and before even grabbing a cup of joe get on your social media, you have social media brain. One final question: do you have an order that you like to peruse your social media? Is it Twinstabook, Instafacetwit, or a variation of these?
What is the first thought that crosses your mind when you become conscious?
#3 YOU’VE SEEN ALL OF THE UPDATES WITHIN A 24-HOUR PERIOD
You enjoy your social media so much you have seen 24-hour updates in one sitting. You may scroll through the timeline all the way back to the same time yesterday, just to like and retweet all of your favorite someone’s. Bonus if this never gets tedious. Another bonus if your back and neck are aching by the time you get to yesterday. Those on computers often get a hunch in their backs from all of that leaning over the computer, but you have phone hunch, i.e., a hunch in your neck. This isn’t scientifically proven, matter of fact, I made it up, but you’ve got it. Your head may no longer sit up straight anymore without some serious thought on your part. Social media is totally affecting your posture.
If missing a social media posting brings you spikes, or waves, of anxiety, you have crossed the line into addiction.
STOP: Have you checked your social media at this point in the article?
If so, you are only adding points to your total. And unlike your child’s favorite game, these points are NOT a good thing.
#4 SIMULTANEOUS APPING
This article is full of made-up words that should be real, but if you’ve ever realized you opened a social media app on your laptop and then opened that same app on your phone AT THE SAME TIME, you could definitely have a problem this article is not qualified to diagnose. Why did this happen? Most likely, you forgot that the app on your computer was already open. It’s possible that you were on autopilot and mindlessly pulled out your phone, pressed the power button, then launched your favorite social media. Bonus if you put your phone away and then got back on the app on your computer because it’s easier to type on computers.
#5 MOST VISITED
Your homepage shows Twinstabook as your most visited. Those are absolutely the first three squares and they don’t have a number of the times you visited, they just say “recent”. These are probably bookmarked and you may even have them open automatically on your laptop. Not to mention, they are probably using up processing and battery power on your phone because you leave the windows open all the time. When you swipe other windows close, you instinctively skip your social media.
Parenting blogs? Swipe.
Emergency preparedness? Swipe.
Everything but precious Twinstabook or LinkedIn if that’s your social media fix.
#6 HITTING THE BOTTOM
On multiple occasions, you have reached rock bottom of someone’s Twitter feed. You’ve seen the “couldn’t load tweets” more times than people change their socks. Scrolling is your favorite past time and you do it with pride. Also, on more than one occasion, you’ve gotten scroller’s finger. Another term that doesn’t exist, but should. Your index finger or pinkie or knuckle would love a break from all of that scrolling, but your brain must have more.
#7 STALKING IS YOUR FIRST NAME
You are so good at social media stalking, you’ve stalked your way into your subconscious and then when you got lost stalked your way back out. After work, or during, you have found the most random of people that are only peripherally tied to someone you knew a long time ago. This is sheer fun. You enjoy following the thread of humanity and communication that is the core of social media. A friend has a friend who has a friend who has a friend. This is never-ending, fascinating, and absolutely addicting.
Final question: Did you finish this article without glancing at your social media?
If so, congratulations, that’s a step in the right direction.
Having said all this, this article cannot diagnose a social media addiction. If you have concerns about your usage or others have commented on your usage, please contact a licensed therapist, not your social media “doctors”.