Let’s Talk About Social Media #sorry

TechnoConnect.My name is Desley and I’m a social media addict. There. I said it. I’m not proud. I’m also not alone. I know that for sure. Right? Anyone?

I read somewhere that some people check their phones hundreds of times per day. Consider the smartphones today – you just have to press that one button at the bottom of the phone and the screen magically lights up and shows you how many people are reading your posts, responding to your messages, favoriting your tweets, liking your breakfasts. It’s intoxicating. Right?

But when does checking your notifications become an all consuming addiction? I read an article which lists 12 signs that you’re addicted to social media. I only do 3 of them, so I’m almost certain I’m not an addict. One of mine is using the word hashtag in real life. I’m pretty sure I just do that ironically πŸ˜‰

The article is actually quite funny but I’m sure that there are many people who do many of those things daily. Psychologists have even done a study showing that we prefer electric shocks to our own company – watch the very short video here.

My reasoning for considering it an addiction is this: when I wake up, I press that button on my phone. I sayΒ that it’s to check the time, but often I don’t actually take notice of what time it is because instead I “see” the pile of notifications that have come through overnight. And then I have to hit the button again to find out what time it is and realize that I have to get up and organized!

Breakfast has become a one-handed task so that the other hand can hold the phone. Ad breaks on TV equals time for me to check my accounts, read quick blog posts, scroll through Twitter.

But can I go without it? Short answer, yes. I don’t check social media while I’m at work, except at lunchtime. I have a separate phone for work and have disabled the notifications for those apps on that phone, or not installed them at all. When I’m driving, I do try to leave my bag in the boot of the car so that I can’t see the phones. This is more about road safety than anything else. It is so easy to be distracted by your phone that I dare not risk it.

Yes I think I can go without it, but do I want to? Is it hurting me? Some thoughts are that social media is too inward-looking, antisocial in fact, and causing us to avoid other things in our lives. Some even suggest that it causes stress, anxiety, disconnection and loneliness!!

I think it depends on how you use it.

Let’s define how I use social media: WordPress, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Goodreads – this list is in order of how much I use them. Although that’s changing slightly. Less Facebook, more Pinterest. And I’ve only just linked my blog to Google+ so I’m not sure if that’s worthwhile. Google+ is strange to me, it doesn’t seem to have anything special to differentiate itself from Facebook, so what’s the point? Oh and what about about.me?? I have a page but I’m really unclear on how I should be using it.

IMG_5637

Mostly, it’s my blog and Instagram that drive my need to press that home button on my phone. I love to find out who has connected with which posts and photos. I love reading what people have to say, hearing feedback, reading new posts and seeing wonderful photographs from around the world.

I use Twitter mainly as a source of news and finding interesting scientific articles. I use Facebook to keep in touch with acquaintances, friends overseas, and I share any weird travel things that have happened to me recently or photos from an outing with friends or family. Good friends I will always see in person as well as call and text. I have only just discovered the plethora of information on Pinterest and I’m finding that to be a very cool resource.

I first started my blog as a place to share my photos, to connect with other amateur photographers and to find out whether my photography skills were ok. But it has become so much more than that. It has become a hub, it has given me access to a community of people who are creative and open and talented and supportive. I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting some of these people in person and I feel like it has opened up my circle of friends and broadened my view and knowledge of the world. I am absolutely thrilled that I took the plunge and started posting my photos and thoughts and words. It has been a fantastic experience all round.

So the downsides? Mostly, I don’t read books anymore. I used to read a book in about a week. I would buy books all the time, scan them into Goodreads, and read and read and read. I’m still reading, but I’m not reading books so much. I’m reading blog posts, comments, replies… Is this bad? I originally thought it was bad that I don’t read novels as often as I used to, but now I think maybe it’s better. Or just different. It’s ok… Now I’m reading real live thoughts from real live people. And then I’m interacting with those real live people as well. I amΒ loving the social nature of blogging.

WhenΒ I’m physically at home, in my house, then I’m usually in front of the computer or have the phone in my hand and I’m doing blog-related things – reading posts, writing posts, editing photos, scrolling through Instagram…. Is that ok?

Do I care if it’s ok? Am I happy anyway?

Yes, I’m happy anyway. And I make the effort to be social with people in the flesh as well as through the web-based portals.

I recently bought a book called “Go Offline and Be Inspired” with 135 ideas for unplugging, recharging and re-energizing and it includes a specific 30 day challenge – I’m very keen to give it a go and I will start it soon. If you want to join me, let me know, I’ll set up a page. Actually that mightΒ make me moreΒ accountable!

Can I give up social media? Yes, I think so.

Do I want to? Absolutely not.

Is it nice to take a break occasionally? Yes… But I love coming back. πŸ˜‰

Tell me… What are your favourite social media platforms? Are you an addict, open and proud Are you a closeted addict? Or are you so completely nonchalant about the whole thing that you should be wearing skinny jeans and sporting a really big, but perfectly groomed beard?

x desleyjane

PS Feel free to help fuel my addiction, click on the social media icons in my menu to connect with me. Particularly on Pinterest, as I’m just getting started and quite the newbie. But you are always welcome everywhere else as well!!

PPS If anyone has any insights into how I should be using about.me please let me know!

PPPS Let’s send these pics to Lucile’s Photo101 Rehab Clinic. One of my favourite social places!

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47 Comments Add yours

  1. I almost pressed delete as soon as I saw the title of this post. I’ve been challenged enough in the last 24 hours – if I get rid of shares in a bank that finances large scale open-cut mining, I stand to lose enough each year for two tickets to Poland and accommodation. Yesterday, I saw the National Theatre’s protection of “Everyman” which told me I need to account for my life. Now you’re going to make me think about my blogging addiction. NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

    But I’m brave. I read on. You were provocative, but it didn’t kill me. My excuse – I mean reason – for blogging is the community, and the writing I’m doing, crafting experiences and thinking more deeply about them. And NO. I definitely won’t connect with you via instagram although I desperately want to.

    Not sure whether you’ve made or unmade my day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Haha. So sorry. But I’m all for social media!! I love being addicted and I don’t wanna give it up πŸ˜‹
      I’m totally with you on the community of blogging. It’s the best experience!
      Please connect with me!! 😍

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Debbie H says:

    I can relate to everything you say Desley. I enjoy the connection with people on social media but am finding I’m on Facebook less and less. It’s just not as interesting for some reason. I know I can go without it all ad enjoy the times that I do but everyone needs to find the balance that is right for them. Good on you for sharing your thoughts and being so honest.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. desleyjane says:

      Thanks Deb. I agree with you about FB, it is missing something for me. There’s no sense of community there. I almost didn’t post this but I’ve been thinking about it for a while now so decided to put it out there πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Mara Eastern says:

    Thank you for this beautiful post! It’s clear that you’re not addicted: I can’t see what the problem should be with enjoying social media, and as long as it doesn’t impact your life – or your work, or your driving safety – all is absolutely ok. Says a fellow “addict” πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. desleyjane says:

      Phew. I’m not the only one πŸ˜‰
      Thanks Mara, for being “not addicted” too!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Victo Dolore says:

    I only blog. No other social media platforms for me! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Nice. I think that’s best. Plus Instagram πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  5. badfish says:

    HA! I have resisted smartphones for years. JUST got one a couple months ago. I’m not addicted yet, I’ve always been able to see the allure, the ease, the convenience. But now, I can see why people might become addicted. They are fun. I love the camera on my phone. I have an instagram account, but I only have like three photos on it…can’t be bothered really. But I’ll let you know when I’m addicted…or rather, you will already know!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. desleyjane says:

      Aha! It won’t be long πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. badfish says:

        that’s what I’m afraid of

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Loretta says:

    I love this post Desley – I laughed out loud reading it. Funny I was just thinking it’s about time I did a post on “why I blog”. I wanted to cover so much of what you talked about in the post, so I hope you won’t think I’m stealing your idea. But mine would be more on (my lack of social media sites) without a smart phone. You see, I don’t have a smart phone, nor Instagram, or Twitter, or google +, or Pinterest etc. So how do I blog? I’ve created a great community of contacts thru linky parties and I have FB. I’d been addicted to FB long before I started blogging and that’s the only place where I publish my blog. I’m so dumb, the other day I asked my daughter how I could start an Instagram account for my blog. She says, “Mom, you don’t have a smart phone, you can’t have Instagram”. Shows how much I know on social media. Ha ha! But good old FB, I must say I’m addicted to that and have stayed in touch with friends from near and far. Are you on FB? My biggest pet peeve though is (adults) checking their phone every 2 seconds when you’re out and about with them. I guess we’ve never had a need to use our cell phones as much, so just have regular flip phones. How antiquated is that!!! LOL. As always, good to connect with you via WP πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Thanks Loretta. I was hoping someone found it amusing πŸ˜„ I have been in Facebook forever as well. There’s a link to my page in the menu at the top. It’s a regular page if you want to friend me! I agree about people checking their phones constantly in public. It’s incredibly frustrating when you’re trying to have a conversation. I didn’t know that Instagram was only mobile-based either until about a year ago so don’t feel too bad. Thanks for reading my thoughts πŸ™‚

      Like

  7. Norah says:

    Great post. I love the video – electric shock or entertain yourself? Interesting thought. It would be interesting to know the ages of the subjects. People my age may have less trouble entertaining themselves, or that would be my hypothesis, as we had to entertain ourselves in our growing up years pre: TV, computer, smart phones, mobile phones, phones not chained to the wall!!!! I love my computer and my tablet, but I use my smart phone as a phone. I can look at Twitter and Facebook on the phone (and internet) but choose not to as I take my iPad most places with me. The lack of battery time on the phone is the biggest disadvantage I think. I don’t think my battery would last me long enough! I definitely don’t do social media at work, in the car, or when socialising in person!
    I am not addicted, but I do love my social media – especially blogging, and Twitter, though my usage is sliding a bit at the moment. Facebook I don’t really get, Pinterest I have just started using to “collect” articles or quotes of interest. Funny thing though, I collected them and haven’t looked at them since. I follow a few others on Instagram but don’t post myself. Don’t post to Facebook or Google+ either, though I think the blog posts there automatically. Sometimes I go to Facebook to like or share. I never share personal, only professional.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Thanks for reading and sharing Norah! I use my iPhone for everything social-media-related, although I do use my iPad occasionally. I write my blog posts on my Mac but I do use the WP app on my iPhone to do minor edits and some scheduling. I love social media as well, I know you are super active on Twitter and awesome at sharing intending posts and raising the profiles of other bloggers and I thank you for that. My FB page is my personal page but it’s usually just travel anecdotes or pics of what we did on the weekend that I share there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Norah says:

        Thanks for your kind words, Desley. I do try to share blogs that I enjoy and think others will too. It is always interesting to hear about, and learn from, the experiences of others too.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. desleyjane says:

          That’s lovely Norah. That’s one of the things I love about blogging – learning from other “real live people”!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Norah says:

            Agreed! πŸ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

  8. A.B Mood says:

    Hmmm, let’s see. I’m a very closed-off person in real life so it reflects on my social media life as well. I don’t do much Facebook (only use it to check out news and entertainment updates and sometimes share some “share-worthy” posts). I don’t have an Instagram. No Google+ (used it once, it went right above my head). Have a Twitter account, never used it. The only place where I do post occasionally is WordPress. You might have noticed my posting frequency isn’t that impressive. It’s because of my closed-off nature, so I have to sometimes push myself to interact with the world. So I don’t think I’m eligible for the Go-Offline challenge πŸ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Hehehe thanks for sharing that with us. I think I’be always been quite open, most people know quite a lot about me. I swore I wouldn’t join Facebook but I was missing out on photos of friends’ children and other things so I joined up a long time ago. Yep Google+ seems strange to me. Just an alternative platform but it doesn’t seem to integrate well with other platforms. I’m tempted to shut it down. I have noticed your posting frequency is less often but that’s ok. You’re sharing what you’re comfortable with and that’s exactly what you need to do. I, for one, always look forward to your posts because I really enjoy your writing style and you always have something interesting to say. Thanks so much for reading this somewhat different post of mine. X

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A.B Mood says:

        Nah I really really loved this post of yours πŸ™‚ It was refreshingly different ^_^ Can I be honest? I feel a LOT intimidated by your immense talent πŸ˜€ It just oozes out from your photography and writing both. Hehe sorry. :3

        Liked by 1 person

        1. desleyjane says:

          You can always be honest with me πŸ™‚
          Well, thank you. I’m going to take that as a huge compliment and let you know that you have made my day. And please don’t feel like you should be intimidated by me! I’m just playing around, seeing what works and usually only posting the good stuff lol. And you know what?? I haven’t been on an airplane in a week and haven’t been able to write anything. What’s up with that?!
          Thanks again, so much. xx

          Liked by 1 person

          1. A.B Mood says:

            Hehe I’m glad I made you smile ^_^ But what I said really was the truth. (You should sometimes post the average stuff too, that way I’ll stop feeling intimidated :P) Just kidding.. πŸ˜‰
            Well I think that’s a good thing that you’re relaxing for a while ^_^ It’s always nice to have some time-off just for yourself πŸ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

            1. desleyjane says:

              Thank you. Yes getting things done at home can be quite therapeutic πŸ˜‰

              Liked by 1 person

  9. disperser says:

    I stopped posting my photos on Pinterest because they don’t have a way of protecting them from being copied. I occasionally go there to add a cartoon or two, but have not gotten “into” it.

    Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ are just places where I post links to the posts on my blog. I think I usually look around Facebook when I am there, but no more than 10-15 minutes or so. Even less on Twitter and G+.

    I waste a lot of time reading blogs. Luckily, I don’t get that much participation on my blog, so answering comments does not take that long.

    I do check my e-mail a lot because I subscribe to a lot of things.

    I did one month of being away from everything but my personal e-mail, and it was not that difficult, but like you, why?

    The internet takes the place of me having to make friends in the real world, and that’s a great thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Hey thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I love hearing everyone’s thoughts on this topic. I hadn’t really thought about posting photos to Pinterest yet but that’s a very good point about protecting them. I’ve actually been thinking about placing my watermark more into the shot instead of just the corner. I spend a lot of time reading blogs too but I don’t think I’m wasting time there πŸ˜‰ I feel like I get a lot out of it, particularly the interactions with Luther blogger’s and readers, such as yourself. And also it’s a creative outlet for me, that’s something that I should haven mentioned in my original post I guess. As a scientist and consultant, there isn’t a whole lot of time inside of work for creativity, at least not the type I’m craving so it’s great to be able to be here to develop and share that.
      Absolutely, why bother being away from it, I think it does enhance my life and I really think it does depend on how you use it and how you interact with people generally. Your last sentence – 😜 I love my friends in “the real world” as well, and I do spend time with them regularly. But I love my friends here in the virtual world too! Thanks again.

      Like

  10. I teeter between love and loathing with social media. Last week, I met with a friend who I hadn’t seen in a while, and was telling her about some difficult decisions I’m having to make, and the whole time she was checking FB!!!! so i’m in the loathing stage right now πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Ack! That’s just poor form on her part. Jeez, Facebook! Yah I think for me it’s here on WP and over on Instagram where I’m virtually happiest πŸ˜‰ The others I could leave behind and I wouldn’t be unhappy. Ugh, I’m still annoyed at your friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. me too, me too, and me too!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. This is a really great, and thought-provoking post! I am addicted in the sense that I follow so many bloggers and struggle to read the daily e-mails. My list has grown shorter due to time, because I could sit and read blogs ALL DAY!! WordPress takes a lot of time, but I enjoy it and have some time now. In two weeks I will resume teaching at the university, so I may have to scale back a hair. Don’t tweet much, FB–a little–not like I used to. I really do not use my smart phone to do any of this. I like instagram but mostly to promote my blog. I use Pinterest as a way to look at ideas for our current room addition and to promote the blog a little. As a 50+ baby boomer, I need a laptop and mouse to navigate most of the time. I do check my blog emails on my tablet which gives me a hint of the post. Then I can decide if I want to continue to read, or save it for for later. I read books voraciously on my kindle. I summarize myself as an old-school techy, whatever that means.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Excellent thanks Terri! I think we are the same level of addiction lol. Except I use the phone for all my reading and replying. Old school techy – love that, and ain’t nothing wrong with that either!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. brittabottle says:

    I love social media because I get to keep up with my friends so easily and it has also allowed me me to find new friends, too…in the form of my fellow bloggers. It’s so nice that I have found such a lovely group on WordPress and I wouldn’t change that for the world.

    That said, sometimes I wish I wasn’t so dependent on my phone. I don’t have data, which I’m actually really thankful for because I fear I’d be on it all the time. That said, when I find myself in a free WiFi zone, I find myself automatically checking for social media updates. I do love my moments away from social media, too, and as the introvert that I am, really crave them, sometimes.

    I think social media is fantastic, but so many people abuse it and rely on it so heavily, and that’s where the problem comes in. There is more to life than our phones and it’s really easy to forget that these days!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Well said Britta. Wow no data, that actually must be a great way to go offline for a while. I find when I’m at home alone, no matter what I’m doing, if that phone makes a noise I have to check it. That’s what I need to stop I think. It doesn’t interfere with anything really, but I know that I shouldn’t need to check it’s often. If there’s someone here or if I’m cooking or doing something else, I tend to wait. But if I’m just watching TV or whatever, I pick it up and check it out. I totally agree with you about finding new friends. That’s the best part! πŸ˜‰

      Like

      1. brittabottle says:

        Sometimes I wish I had data so I could Snapchat or Instagram something fun in the moment when I’m not in a WiFi zone, but most of the time it’s actually really nice.
        Really, though, sometimes I wonder how much I could accomplish in the time I spend each day scrolling through Facebook on my phone. Most of the time it doesn’t interfere with anything…but there are still things I could be doing instead!

        Like

  13. Amy Sampson says:

    I thought I was addicted to social media, but now that I find myself completely overwhelmed with a work schedule that allows for very little “me time” each day, I don’t even think to check my social media sites some days. I am really really really missing my blogging though. If it weren’t for my Caturday and 365 features, I wouldn’t be blogging at all some weeks. My blog reading time has been cut back too. Every second day or so, I scroll through my reader before I go to bed to see what I have missed, but by then, I don’t usually have the brain power to even leave a comment. Thankfully, the worst part of my work backlog [the time sensitive stuff] should be take care of within the next week and I will have a little bit more time for blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Well thank you for taking time out to read and comment. I guess the same happened to me when I went away for long periods of time for work twice this year. I physically didn’t have time to check in so much. I do find myself staying up super late these days reading and replying and I really need to stop doing that. I have the week off this week so I’m checking in way more than usual πŸ˜‰ But yes, for me, blogging is the one I miss if I’m away. Thanks again Amy – I hope you get your backlog done and dusted so that we see more of you soon x.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. lensaddiction says:

    I confess I am addicted to feedback – like you I want to know who has read my post, commented on my post etc ITS ALL ABOUT THE FEEDBACK!!!

    Esp now that after all these years of resistance I am finally on FB because I needed to join to participate with the other Awake students in my Advanced Photoshop course and getting critique and feedback on your images when you are learning is so helpful.

    I do have a bit of an addiction to Twitter but I excuse that in I don’t watch any TV for the sake of it, no news or sport or anything like that, I don’t get news from anywhere except the radio if I happen to be listening at the right time. Twitter fills that gap for me nicely πŸ™‚

    Only a couple of the things on your 12 things article apply to me so thats nice πŸ™‚ Its a thought provoking topic tho, nothing is more annoying than having someone you are spending your quality time with and they have their face plastered to their phone screen!

    Do what I do and physically go to where there is no cell reception – works a treat πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Yes! Some of the best holidays have been on cruises or in isolated locations where there was no reception! It seems there are a number of things popping up these days where there’s no choice but to use FB or the Internet to get something done. I guess it will all go that way eventually. But yes! Feedback and interaction is what I crave!! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lensaddiction says:

        I make a point of going away to isolated places specifically to get away from technology, or more truthfully, somewhere that I have a viable excuse for not doing any WORK while Im on holiday!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. desleyjane says:

          Brilliant πŸ™‚

          Like

  15. pommepal says:

    Had to chuckle as I read your post DJ. I am totally addicted to WP I consider it doing good in this modern world keeping us all connected. I regret not having so much time for reading books, but real time “chatting” is a buzz…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Thanks PP I am with you 100%!!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. It took me some days to read this insightful post and I am glad you reminded me. It is brilliant.
    I have never been addicted to social media, thanks to my hectic work style which never left any free time to have a life, let alone spend the free hours looking at a computer or smartphone screen.
    Actually I would long for offline hours talking to real people, instead of the usual 24×7 e-mail availability, which seemed to be the normal behavior. I wasn’t like that though.
    Changing from being a corporate executive to become a consultant has opened up many possibilities and social media became more present in my life. I haven’t ever been a regular FB user as I am not keen on sharing every second of my private life. I like to go there because it is the best place to know the birthdays of my friends! πŸ˜‰ and other than that, I keep in contact with a few friends, who didn’t use other platforms.
    Pinterest is not of much use yet. I keep forgetting it.
    Twitter is a sort of new source but I don’t check it daily.
    Google+, well, I am there because I have a gmail account for the big, but I don’t use it.
    So, what do I really use frequently? Whatsapp because it is the place to connect with family and friends. Given that I have family abroad, and the time difference involved, I can be checking messages when I should be going to bed, or having breakfast. Confession time! To avoid that, I no longer have my phone at my bedside. It works.
    Blogging takes a lot of my time too. But I do it more often using my laptop. So it creates less of an addiction.
    Am addicted to it? I don’t think so because rationally I decided to stop the threat. But there is a strong potential for that as it is super nice to connect often with those who are so far away from me.
    Sorry for this essay!
    lol xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. desleyjane says:

      Thank you for your essay!! I think this question deserves a long conversation so I’m very happy to read it. I think, ultimately, we are quite similar in our phone-addictions although I haven’t yet removed it from my bedside and I really must. I think I will switch it to flight mode when I’m soaring through snooze-land so as not to see that beckoning glow of the screen when a message comes through. It’s my alarm clock, which is super-necessary if I am to make an 8am flight – eek!! Thanks again for taking time to comment xoxox.

      Like

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