Facebook-o-holic! Are you one? Is social networking a necessary evil? Read to find out if you are a Social Network Addict.
Don’t you find it strange how these days, each time you make a new acquaintance, the one question you are invariably asked is whether or not you are on Facebook! And if you are on, you usually end up connecting to and communicating with the person online. Why just Facebook, many of us also diligently follow tweets of our favorite celebrities or our politicians, people we never thought we could gain access to. Times have changed and so has the way we communicate with people.
In the last few decades, the internet and its tools have reduced the world to “global village”. Social networks constitute a powerful internet tool that lets you not just talk to or message people electronically but also put up glimpses of your life for everyone on cyberspace to see. Social networks are awesome, if you look at them in a way. They have brought us in contact with friends from school we may have otherwise forgotten, they allow us to see pictures of friends who live in a different part of the world and they also allow us to plan events, publish notes and express opinions, all this on one platform.
But then again, that is just one side of the coin. While social networking helps you connect and share, it can endanger your privacy and also comes with its own set of security risks. More than anything else, social networking can become an addiction.
Why we use social networks
The first thing a person would say is to keep in touch with the multitude of people whom you have known from the past and whom you know in the present. It interests all of us to know what they are doing and the pleasure of being able to comment on it is very intriguing. With Facebook exposing us to so many brand pages, it is not easier to bump into people who have similar interests as yours.
By bridging communication hurdles and bringing people closer to each other, most of these social networks become very captivating. They are fun to use, too. No wonder they are so addictive.
“Deadlines are tough, but at least they keep you off Facebook” read a message being circulated online a few weeks ago. Everybody likes checking their profile from time to time. But how do you know you are a social network addict? If people around you are complaining that you are communicating more over the internet than in your real world, it is time to assess the time you spend in your “virtual” world. The following are a few pointers that can help you check whether or not you are letting your online avatar dominate your offline or real one:
- Your near and dear ones are talking about you being online too often.
- You get stressed when an ‘add request’ you send to someone is not accepted.
- You have hundreds of “friends” you hardly know or talk to, but follow their updates and receive comments from them.
- You are late for a meet or to office because you were checking your updates, fighting in Mafia Wars or chatting.
- You are still thinking about the last thing you or your friend posted, even when you are offline.
- You are frequently checking your Facebook page from your mobile or tweeting frequently through SMS.
- You postpone chores, skip meals or let your food get cold because you online.
- In case your internet server is down for some reason, you feel cut-off, agitated and anxious.
- You are glued to the system for long hours (even though you are not doing anything productive).
- Your activity on a social network is interfering with your job performance, sleep, time with family and daily routine.
Social networking today can be seen as a necessary evil. We all want to stay in touch with people and not everyone sends mails or writes letters because keeping in touch is just easier over networking sites. As such, one is expected to have a Facebook account. But while it’s nice and fun to interact over social networks, it is very important to guard your privacy and limit the amount of time you dedicate to it.
Stay tuned for more on how to get over the addiction in the next article.