Social media addiction is a real thing, and, unfortunately, more and more people are developing it.

I'm going to start by saying that I could probably be considered a social media addict, so no judgment here! Heck, social media is such a huge part of society, it's really hard not to get hooked. I spend a lot of my day in front of a computer for work already, so I'm kind of doomed. I also consider myself to be an extrovert, which doesn't help my case, since social media is a great way to always be interacting with the people around you. Here are a few signs that you might be addicted to social media:

  • You get excited when you have notifications
  • After you post something, you are constantly checking to see if you have notifications
  • If you don't get the amount of comments or likes on a post that you expected, you feel disappointment
  • You have FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
  • It interrupts your sleep
  • When you have a notification, you have to check it right away
  • You check your social media many times a day or even many times an hour
  • You make checking social media a priority, checking it first thing in the morning or as soon as you get off of work
  • You constantly use it when in the presence of company
  • You feel the need to constantly tell people what you're doing or where you are
  • You use it when you are supposed to be doing something else - working, for example

Those are just some of the basic signs that you're hooked on social media, many of which I can totally relate to. Social media gives you the illusion that you are constantly surrounded by people, which is why people who already feel lonely may feel even lonelier when they use it. The FOMO thing is definitely real, because people have always gone on vacation or to concerts or parties without you, and exes have always started dating someone new, but in the past you didn't have to actually SEE all of it.

If you think you might have a social media problem, a good way to tell for sure is to start keeping track of every time you check it by making a list. If it seems like you are on it a lot more than you thought, maybe start making some rules for yourself. For example, when you're spending time with friends or family, put your phone in your purse or your pocket so you can be fully present. Make a point not to check it at the dinner table or in bed, or even change your alert settings so you don't get a "ding" on your phone every time you get a notification. If you need to, completely delete your app for a little bit and give yourself a much needed break.

As great as social media can be for keeping in touch with people, it can also be harmful if it becomes your whole life. I've found that people are much more nosy, wanting to know every detail of other people's lives without actually caring about those people. And people are much more likely to say horrible things behind the safety of their keyboard than they are face-to-face. How many times have you witnessed strangers arguing with each other on some random post from the local news, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, etc.? Probably a lot.

Basically, I'm all for social media, but in moderation. We have to be able to separate our social media lives from our actual lives, and not let it take the place of human interaction and face-to-face communication. As a fellow social media addict, there are definitely things that I need to work on, but realizing there's a problem is the start to finding a solution. I hope this blog is helpful to at least one other person out there!

[Via Thrillist/Mirror]