Social Media Free Challenge – Day 10

So Day 10 and while I am still being productive, I feel incredibly on edge. Rather like a big bag of jangly broken glass.

I’d say I was definitely addicted to my likes!

(Relevant music video here! – http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6907128/might-as-well-face-it-youre-addicted-to-likes-music-video)

So today, I got curious and started looking into social media exterminating software. I figured that it would be hard to find as not only are people really addicted but they are REALLY addicted, i.e. neurologically and that means that the denial and aggression factors actually do appear.

Actually, though, quite a lot of “productivity” software exists – stuff especially designed to nuke Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and Twitter so that people sitting at their computers can actually work.

(Some good ones? Get Shit Done for Apple/Mac and StayFocused for Windows)

The fact that I found around fifty ranging from free to expensive in about an hour tells me a good deal about out plugged in culture.

There are also dozens of time trackers including the one I used – which shocked me badly by telling me that I was spending 27% of my time, more than a fourth, people, on social media sites. Wow.

I was also spending $246 a month on online purchases related to social media. WTF?

And there is a growing body of research dealing with electronic addictions – cellphone use, texting, gaming, and internet usage.

If I were still a clinician, I’d have to say that I meet several of the criteria for addiction. For fairness, I’ll italicize mine.

Do you?

Common signs and symptoms of abuse

  • You’re neglecting your responsibilities at school, work, or home (e.g. flunking classes, skipping work, neglecting your children) because of your use.
  • You’re online/on cell under dangerous conditions or taking risks while online, such as driving
  • Your use is getting you into legal trouble, such as neglecting your job, driving while texting, or stealing to support a habit (such as to buy Google Game or Xbox cards.)
  • Your use is causing problems in your relationships, such as fights with your partner or family members, an unhappy boss, or the loss of old friends.

Common signs and symptoms of addiction

  • You’ve built up a tolerance. You need to use more to experience the same effects you used to attain with smaller amounts.
  • You log in to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms. If you go too long without s, you experience symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety.
  • You’ve lost control over your use. You often log in more than you planned, even though you told yourself you wouldn’t. You may want to stop using, but you feel powerless.
  • Your life revolves around social media. You spend a lot of time using and thinking about it, figuring out how to work it into your conversations or you free time.
  • You’ve abandoned activities you used to enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, and face to face socializing, because of your use.
  • You continue to log in despite knowing it’s hurting you. It’s causing major problems in your life—fights with your spouse, burned food, mood swings, depression, neediness—but you log in anyway.

Behavioral signs of abuse

  • Drop in attendance and performance at work or school
  • Unexplained need for money or financial problems.
  • Engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors. Go out with friends, etc, and sneak off to bathroom to post -if there have been fights – or post as food gets cold and beer gets warm.
  • Sudden change in friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies
  • Frequently getting into trouble (arguments, burning dinner, using while driving)

Psychological warning signs of abuse

  • Unexplained change in personality or attitude
  • Sudden mood swings, irritability, or angry outbursts
  • Periods of unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness
  • Lack of motivation; appears lethargic or “spaced out”
  • Appears fearful, anxious, or paranoid, with no reason
  • Use to avoid stressful situations

So yes, no wonder I feel a bit weird without it. The next step for me will be to delete my Facebook account, most likely.

But if the addiction thing does not creep you out – research also shows that social media and especially Facebook have spawned all sorts of other issues including robberies related to Facebook vacation posts, email hacking, identity theft, bank accounts being compromised, and so on.

Apparently 1 in 3 social media accounts will be hacked this month with results ranging from the merely trollish – posts about your penis size or sexual orientation on your page – to the financially serious – identity theft leading to spurious purchases to the very serious – suicide (due to trolls), murders -most domestic, and home invasions and robberies – because you told 500 plus people you were in Bali and not at home.

Well, 21 days to go. We’ll see what happens next.

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