What is digital addiction?
Digital addiction is seeing something beautiful and quantifying it by how many “likes” it will get you. Digital addiction is refreshing your mini-feed until your thumb calluses. Digital addiction is opening up your social media app when you have no phone service. Digital addiction is the new norm.
SIGNS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ADDICTION:
1. MINDLESS/DISTRACTED EATING:
You cannot eat without Snapstagraming your food to your followers. You and your lover are hardly seated before your phone comes out. You place it face down on the table, because face up is “rude.” After having your eyes dart to it, like moths to a flame, you pick it up just in time to give your appetizer a photo shoot.
2. OBSESSIVE PHONE CHECKING:
Your phone is the last thing you see at night and the first thing you see in the morning. You check it before you’re even fully awake. And why wouldn’t you? You need to count your retweets from yesterday’s witty remark (shockingly fewer than expected). You need to see the acclaim your baby’s pictures are awarded (only to find a child of the same age already proficient at the piano and fluent in Chinese and Spanish). You need to (begrudgingly) check your emails. Hyper-connectivity, amirite?
3. ALWAYS UPDATING FACEBOOK STATUS:
Your friends have caught you updating with a funny Facebook status in the middle of a serious conversation. “No, yes, I know Trump will only support DACA in exchange for funding for his wall, but—wait, what are you– why peach and eggplant emojis?”
4. TAKING YOUR PHONE TO THE TOILET/BATHROOM:
You have forgotten what it was like to go to the bathroom without your phone. To be fair, though, when else are you going to look at memes or swipe Tinder (obviously not in public)? You know the drill, swipe, tap, scroll, wipe.
5. SOCIAL MEDIA LIKES AND SELF ESTEEM:
A new week rolls around and someone asks you how your weekend was… as if they didn’t see your 3 different Burning Man instagrams, your eponymous Facebook album, and deluge of snaps? What an ungrateful follo- I mean, friend. (note to self: unfollow Steve).
6. ADDICTED TO LIKES ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
You “like” all of your own content. Yes, I know. Self-love and a sense of self-worth are great. But, nothing screams auto-fellatio more than you liking your status on your forward thinking opinion of equal pay.
7. CHECK-INS ADDICTION:
You feel such a compulsion to “check-in” to every place you go that you even consider “checking-in” to the restroom. Of course, you don’t check in until you’ve liked your own status on how Facebook is unfairly monitoring its users.
8. FACEBOOK OBSESSION:
You feel the need to post a Facebook status lamenting the untimely death of a celebrity that you know about from his Wikipedia page that you just checked.
9. EFFECT OF SOCIAL MEDIA SLANG:
You speak in keyboard shorthand sarcastically, but also seriously. “LOL! That’s hilarious!” “OMG, like, the hashtag struggle bus has arrived. LOL!”
Digital addiction isn’t all hashtags and LOLs, however. The results are in and Instagram has the highest risk of damaging the mental health of our youth. This survey of 1,479 young adults ranging from 14 to 24 years in age, found that the social media was a place to be a positive space for expressing and identifying the self, but conversely and concurrently negatively impacted body image, sleep habits, and anxiety levels.