Before anyone can accuse me of it, I’ll admit it: I’m basically addicted to social media. I always check my Facebook and Twitter on breaks at work, immediately hop on the sites to see what’s happened all day after the nine to five, and sign up for all the popular new social platforms as soon as I hear about them.
From the obvious, aforementioned Facebook and Twitter to Tumblr, Linked In, and smartphone-only social apps, like Instagram, Oink, and Path,
I’m constantly checking my social media accounts to see what is new and what my connects are doing. I realize this is where I have run into a problem and am sure many others have to.
A Time-Consuming, Bad Habit
Needless to say, social networks are in no way short on supply. Because there are so many, and they all offer great, yet different things, staying up to date on what’s happening in each social network has become somewhat time consuming.
What makes this worse, and again I’m sure I’m not the only here, checking and rechecking my social media accounts has become a bad habit. Rather than doing productive things, I’ll realize I somehow ended up on Twitter reading through my Tweet stream for the last fifteen minutes.
Having recently graduated college, I know that Facebook is every student’s favorite study buddy. Behind every Word document sits a browser opened right to the News Feed. And people wonder why they are getting less than spectacular grades. Maybe you should take a break from Facebook.
Always Accessible, Always Need to Share
Compounding the matter is how easily accessible, social media accounts are on smartphones. I no longer have to wait till I get home to update my Facebook status: I can do it from anywhere, no matter where I am.
Herein lies another issue. Not only do I like consuming social content, but I also like to supply it. If I haven’t updated one account for a while, I think that it needs to be done and will start to try to think of what to post. This can also get in the way of day-to-day activities, like conversations and, again, productivity.
For example, just last night someone interrupted their conversation to share a quote on Twitter. Additionally, many people, myself included, will stop what their doing to take a picture and share it on Facebook or Instagram.
It’s no wonder studies have shown that social media has shortened our already short attention spans. When we’ve become so transfixed on sharing bits and pieces of our lives here and there on the internet, it really makes me question how beneficial social sites actually are.
For me, this year marks the start of my plan to cut back on the amount of time I waste on social media and the beginning of focusing my energy on being productive and successful.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are purely of the author!