Let's go back 15 years, what if you told someone that there will be this thing called an iPhone, a device where you can send pictures wirelessly, look up just about anything on this super highway known as the world Wide Web. They would call you crazy, yet here we are with it and we spend most of our time scrolling on some sort of social media platform, having fake conversations or watching some kind of cat video. Some of us start our day by picking up the phone and looking to see if what we posted the night before got so many likes or comments. Only after that is when we can start the day.
Heck when we go to the bathroom, sit down, when we reach for our phone and say “ahh shit, forgot my phone”.
I've caught myself while waiting in line, waiting for an elevator, sitting at office desk - and yes, on the toilet - reaching for my phone, clicking on the app of choice and just scrolling.
Like a cigarette, I had to have my fix, my thumb needed some action.
I thought I had it under control as I did not bring my phone into the bedroom, and after work my phone was plugged away charging for the next day the only way I would grab it was to answer a phone call. But since no one really calls anyone anymore its safe to say my phone was never touched after 7pm on a weekday. Since my phone was not in the bedroom I was able to get so many other things done, I would kiss my partner when I woke up, make my bed, get changed, do shower routine, then I would head up stairs get breakfast ready and then grab my phone and sit at table to eat my breakfast, like having the morning paper right? Apparently not, as I had a choice for what to look for and 9x out of 10 it was scrolling through Facebook. I had no idea what was going on in my city, I was not learning anything that would benefit me in my day. Wasn't learning how to evolve my business, did not learn anything that could benefit me in some way, so really why am I sitting there not learning anything, literally staying the same.
I have recently hated the term “I saw that on Facebook” I started to think why are we even here? Why are we face to face when really I knew everything that has happened with this persons life, or they know everything about me. Have I really posted my entire life? Is my life truly defined by my status on the Facebook? HELL NO! So I started to post less, and I would not say to someone else, I saw that on Facebook as I know that there is probably more to the story then 140 characters on the screen, and then I would do this thing called having a conversation with another human being, not waiting for my turn to talk, actually engaging in a certain topic with another human being face to face.
“Don’t trust someone who takes forever to respond to you when they are constantly on their phone” This term grinds my gears, you have to stop and think, there is Facebook, messanger, twitter, IG, emails, Linkedin, snap chat, txt, and this thing called voicemails.. We have so many different ways to get in touch with someone and a simple 5 min phone call takes about 45 mins via texting, as a business owner this thing called a phone can be a huge distraction when really 10 years ago there was only emails, office phone and house phone, if you called someone you would leave a VM or a message and not get pissed off if they didn't respond to you right away. Now we get “???” “Hello” “…” Now how am I suppose to run business in todays day in age with out social media? Its a direct line of communication to my clientele. But am I strong enough to handle it? Am I responsible enough to handle this kind power? Am I using the technology for the right reasons? To evolve my business or instant gratification? Am I spending my day just chatting with people? Or am I growing my business? So can you trust someone who is not heir phone and who takes forever to respond yo your “Hi hows it going question”? Hell ya you can just trust that the person is busy and when they have the time, they will most definitely dedicate some to you.
According to a 2012 study posted on the National Institutes of Health website, "Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) ruins lives by causing neurological complications, psychological disturbances, and social problems." It is still not officially listed as a psychiatric disorder in the bible of psychiatric disease, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), though the more narrowly defined Internet Gaming Addiction was added in May 2013.
Other subtypes of Internet addiction -- such as social media addiction -- have not been studied enough to receive their own clinical definitions or treatment recommendations. But some of the research on Internet addiction in general may shed light on my observations about social media.
Psychiatrist and neuroscience researcher Sean Luo of Columbia University told CBS News studies have shown that "3.7 to 13 percent of U.S. and 10 percent of South Korean Internet users express some symptoms of of inappropriate Internet use." He estimates that at least 1 percent of Internet users worldwide need treatment.
Symptoms for Internet addiction can be similar to addiction to anything else, and fall into two types of behaviors: an ever increasing need to engage with the object of the addiction, and a bad feeling when not getting enough of it. Luo says an Internet user worried that their online use is getting out of control should seek a professional evaluation. "It is not so much the particular behaviors" that lead to a diagnosis of inappropriate Internet use or addiction, he said, but "the severity, the functional status of the patient" and whether their behaviors "interfere with school, work, or social activities."
According to several recent brain imaging studies, severely effected Internet addicts show structural and functional brain abnormalities similar to those found in people with substance abuse problems. Other research has shown that Internet addiction frequently coexists with anxiety, depression, or an addiction to other things like alcohol or drugs.
Don't you just love it when you’re having a conversation with someone and they look down at their phone, or when you are having a meeting with colleagues and they look at their phone? Dude, my time, your time, is the greatest gift you can give someone because it's something you can never get back. If you can’t give me or I can’t give someone my full attention and time, why are we even here? Legit put the phone down, give your thumb a break, and respect my time.
I quit smoking cigarettes, and have no interest in ever smoking again, I quit heavy drinking and now feel confident to have a drink in social aspects. All that was easy, but social media? That's the true test. I want to get to a point where like alcohol I have it under control, I can say no, I can through a day and not have to post or scroll. Spend more time reading, researching and when I am with friends never have to say “I saw that on Facebook”.
So see you later Facebook, our social media platforms will be handled by someone else, until I feel confident that I can handle the responsibilities that come with social media.
Blogging thoughts from OCRA Team