Social media addiction…Hmmm.
Most people would instinctively believe that the amount of time spent engaging in social media use would directly affect the user’s dependency. I don’t believe that to be the case. The influence that social media has on the end-user is far greater than the amount of time logged in.
I’m two steps away from being addicted to social media. Although I have a Twitter account, I find myself engaged in Facebook and the Harmony Central forums more than any other thing on the internet. The two sites take care of different needs. Facebook allows me to engage in the interests that consume me including sports, politics and music. Harmony Central fulfills my musical needs.
The reason that social media addiction is not strictly about the time spent on its pages is because of its grasp on the person when they’re NOT on the site. The article that we read for this week’s assignment said it perfectly—students feel as if they are missing out on something when they’re offline. And that’s exactly how I feel. Although I read and watch the news, engage in perfectly healthy discussions in person and can live without my phone, I feel as if there’s a response to a post or a topic that needs my opinion. As I sit typing this blog post I’ve actually checked my Facebook and Harmony Central accounts twice.
The most obvious issue I see with the connected generation and the use of social media is the loss of critical thinking. People re-post and re-quote things that they don’t know to be true. People form opinions on major news stories and political topics based on what a cartoon or image portrays. It seems that the people that fact check things are very few and the people that recycle the garbage that they find on social media sites hold on to and defend the ideology that they’ve formed from these images.
The one thing that is certain is that social media is here to stay and will only become more mainstream than it already is. Hopefully users will learn to deal with the connectivity responsibly.