addiction

Social Media Addiction – Is It Real?

facebookaholic(Image from brandalsurga.blogspot.com

I, like many others, am the stereotypical young person who is always looking at some sort of screen. If it’s not my Blackberry, then its my Nook tablet or my Dad’s iPad, or my laptop or my TV. Sometimes I am even looking at 3 at once!

As most people, I can access Facebook and Twitter on my mobile so I can easily check what’s going on no matter where I am, and yes, I probably check them too much (every 2 minutes isn’t normal, right?). I use these as a newspaper when I am commuting, whether I’m on a bus, tram or train I will scroll through my news feed to see if anything new is going on. I use Twitter to tell me life events rather than watching the news, and I’ll have a group conversation via Facebook as opposed to meeting up in person. Surely everyone else does the same thing though? I think as a society we’ve got to a point where it’s normal but could it actually be classed as an addiction?

I’m sure plenty of people know what I’m talking about when you leave the house and leave your phone behind, you feel ‘lost’ without it. Many Blackberry users have been known to see the red light (the notification alert) even when there are no notifications, but they are adamant they have seen it. I will hold my hands up and say I have been sure in the past I’ve seen the red light when I in fact have not.

I have read an article from The Telegraph (I read it online, surprise surprise) explaining a study which was undertaken to see if people who claim to be addicted to social media have withdrawal symptoms when they go without Facebook and Twitter. Indeed they found out they did get withdrawal symptoms when they were forced to go cold turkey.

What would happen to people like me if Facebook, Twitter, or even mobiles were to disappear? Would we need to go to social media rehab?