Social Media is the new heroin

29 Jul

Social Media addiction syringe

Here is a stunning article on the impact all our social media activity is having on our mental and physical health.

Six thoughts really stood out for me:

  • Our social roots are becoming broader but shallower
  • Our social media activity is entrapping us by making us needy for response to whatever we post
  • Our self-presentation is wholly contrived
  • We are becoming increasingly isolated, anti-social and lonely
  • Social media mobile apps are pushing our use of mobile devices to unhealthy levels
  • It is all entirely addictive

I agree with these points but want to counter-weight them with some benefits to the use of the platforms:

  • We are exposed to a vast amount of good thinking (like The Atlantic article for example).
  • If we are so disposed, we can meet many new people. Without social media I would likely never have met new friends like Russel Lolacher, Yukari Peerless, Simon Salt and Amy Severson, among others.
  • We can build our reputations. Although with so much pushing of content, it’s debatable how many people are actually listening.

Of course heroin addicts will go on about how mind-blowing chasing the dragon is, whilst being wholly unable to admit to the degree of the habit or the damage done.

How’s your habit?


5 Responses to “Social Media is the new heroin”

  1. Neil July 31, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    Doug this area of research is fascinating, thank you for posting this. I took a 18 month leave from social media after living and breathing it at a previous job, it was liberating. I’ve had to dive back into the field for work but would honestly prefer to toss my smartphone and social media accounts.

  2. Doug Brown July 31, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    You hit on a key point here Neil, which is the pressure that keeps us in these spaces. For you it’s work, for others it’s a fear of being left behind (which has work applications as well). The world is clearly going this way, so do we hang on or let it pass us by? Are we just mice on a wheel? It’s encouraging to hear that you got off for a while.

    Like all social trends, everyone has to set their own limits. I know mine. At least for now anyway! Thanks for the comment.

  3. iamkarenw August 16, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    Like everything, moderation is key. Social media allows us to tap into our greatest strengths and weakness. Some people are able to showcase their greatest strengths in communication and persona. On the other end, it also defines one’s insecurity and their needs of being wanted. It’s really about taking responsibility and finding a balance.

    I will post a full response on my blog soon. Currently a little tied up with projects but I’m excited about this topic.

    • Doug Brown August 16, 2012 at 9:26 am #

      Thanks Karen. I would agree that finding the balance is what it’s all about … as with most addictive things though, that’s the challenge! Look forward to reading your post about the issue.

  4. aoqkingbeschmesen1982 September 20, 2012 at 2:06 am #

    Reblogged this on Lindsey Bennett Weblog.

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