Am I social media addict?
Last week as I was leaving the grocery store I was pushing my cart back into the return when I saw a flyer shoved into the bottom of my cart. In big graphic word art form, it shouted to me Are you an addict?
At first I was rather offended. What I did on the couch with my pints of ice cream was my own personal business. After I cracked myself up laughing I noticed in very small italics the rest of the sentence to porn.
After throwing the brochure into the garbage I began asking myself was I an addict? If so what were my addictions? If I was addicted to something was it stealing my time and if so was it part of the reason I had such a
difficult time changing my relationship with food and exercise?
This had been a major excuse with my trainer for the last few months. It went something like this “I would love to work out but you see I have no time!” and all those people on Instagram have jobs that aren’t as stressful as mine. Plus, my personal favorite excuse. I would cook but someone cooked yesterday and didn’t do the dishes and so I have nothing to use. To which he replied “Don’t you live alone?” Touché Mr. Trainer.
Because I have been feeling very explorative (I.E no social life) I decided to do a little experiment. If I truly had no time to eat healthy and exercise where was my time going? After finding a time management sheet on Pinterest I decided to detail my time for three days straight to see where and what I was doing with my time. After printing out the sheet and filling in the blocks of time with work, commute, and other standing social engagements I realized that every night instead of reading or just mediating I was spending up to an hour looking on Facebook and Instagram. It gets worse. I also discovered that first thing in the morning I spent time in the morning on the same social sites. Which raises a troubling question. What on earth did I expect my friends to do during the night from 9 pm to 5:30 am at night? Also if they were getting wild and crazy at night why weren’t they inviting me?
I felt dirty. Why did I care so much what people were doing instead of engaging in the psychical present? Also was this social media addiction making me feel better about myself? It had started so innocent. A simple way to keep in touch without having to actually having to contact the person and say hey what’s new with you? Also it gave me free reign to stalk what was going on in everyone’s lives. Now it had grown to a full on virtual stalking life in which I didn’t engage much on but was constantly aware of everyone else’s comings and doings. (Side note can we all agree it’s really annoying when you run into someone’s Instagram account and its private? Just saying for a friend.) I found myself judgmental and comparing myself to random people that I had never met.
Why was I addicted to this?
Because it gave me a chance to escape my present reality. When you live in depression land as much as I did it was like the juice that fed into the depression. See all those happy shiny people? It’s too bad you can’t be like them because you are so dark and twisty. They lost weight. Why can’t you? I realize as I wrote this last sentence that my brain has watched one too many Grey’s Anatomy episodes. Moving on after doing the whole work on myself bit (here’s the gist. Therapy. Tough love and some pills just to make it interesting) I changed the dialogue.
Which now has brought forth this realization that I have a social media problem not an addiction. It still doesn’t sound right I have been working the last few weeks in changing the habits that are tied with it. Wake up in the morning and instead of grabbing the phone I now grab my running shoes. Bored at work? I go for brief walk. Stuck in an awkward spot? I try to notice what’s going on.
I’m not perfect and I find myself on more than off but hey it’s a start.
Perhaps it’s time to delete some apps.