Sunday, February 13, 2011

Addiction is Futile

            In the past week, I’ve had quite a crisis. My Blackberry Curve, which I’ve had for only about a year, has stopped working. The only thing I can still do on it is call people, but the rest of it is completely non-functioning. My texting, memo pad, Sudoku, Facebook and Twitter applications, and Internet can no longer be accessed. It seems as if I’ve been disconnected.

            These days, people are constantly connected to one another. Everyone is always at their computer Facebooking and chatting with each other, even if there really isn’t an important reason to be doing so. Whether it’s for necessary communication or just plain boredom, people have the need to be utilizing the different forms of social media at all times. It truly has become an addiction.

            Social media may have some useful purposes, but it has gotten to the point where it is taking over people’s lives. Is it really necessary to be instant messaging that person during lecture? Should you actually be on Facebook when you’re doing homework? Do you really need to tweet about what you had for lunch today? For the most part, you should be answering no to these questions. Does it mean that you haven’t done any of these things before? Not necessarily.

            Not only has social media been overused, but it can and has done worse things to people than just distracting them. Social networking may make it seem like you’re always being social, but many people reduce the amount of face-to-face time with the people they are talking with via social media. The hours of face-to-face time per day has significantly decreased since the rise of social media. Social networking sites also give rise to minimized security. Sure, Facebook stalking is completely harmless, but real-life stalkers can utilize all the information you share. I know, that’s crazy, right? The information on your various accounts can also be seen by all sorts of businesses, which could potentially threaten a work situation or the chances you have of getting into a school. Hackers also frequently access people’s information on social networking sites and use that information in terrible ways. Another little known fact about social media is that it can cause brain and personality disorders in children. Children who start using social networking too early have harder times having conversations in real life, have self-centered personalities, and can even develop ADHD. Social media is clearly a lot worse than people think.

            So why is it that so many people are addicted to social media? It is entertaining at times and it’s nice to be able to stay connected with people that are far away. Maintaining relationships is a clear benefit of social media. Sometimes it’s even a bit pleasant to broadcast what has been going on in your life. Other than that, there really isn’t very much reason as to why they are. And that is why the addiction is futile. In the mean time though, I still wouldn’t mind having a functional phone.

Some facts in this blog were found on 


  1. I couldn't agree more on your section about how much people are connected through social media today. I don't consider myself addicted to Facebook or Twitter or any other sites, but when I feel my phone buzz in class or anywhere else (it buzzes for calls, texts, emails, Facebook notifications, and more), I feel the need to see what happened. When I went for ten days without my phone during winter break (like what you're going through now), I had a very difficult time adjusting to life without constant communication. I had the hardest time meeting up with people in my same hotel. I cannot image how living your entire life would be without at least a simple cellphone. Society is much different than it was in the past. You later go on to say that social media has decreased the amount of face-to-face time that people experience, and I'd like to know more about where you are getting this information. I feel like people don't choose to spend time on social media sites instead of seeing people in person. Maybe, people are spending their free time and time that they would have been watching television on Facebook, so these sites aren't decreasing personal communication. I wonder if it would be possible to conduct a study to examine behavior regarding this topic.

  2. I completely relate to the feeling when your phone buzzes and "needing" to check it because heaven forbid, the world might have burst into flames or something. Since then, I've found some empowerment in resisting the urge, like "I don't need to see what happened on Facebook, I have a real life" kind of deal. I do wonder how our relationships have changed because of social media- if we're more socially awkward in real life or if we have trouble translating our online relationships to our face-to-face relationships, and visa versa.

  3. I know the feeling. I recently got a smartphone and it is definitely nice to check e-mail and other updates. I can also see how it damages social interactions. You can't understand someone's tone through a text. With actual face-to-face talking, you can read body language and are not limited to short sentences. People are forgetting how to interact with people and I have definitely noticed it in some more than others. Hopefully our world doesn't come to the point where people only interact through social media. Although I do not deny many of the advantages in social media, I believe there is so much more to conversations than there is in our interactions through social media.