Social Media Addiction

April 28, 2010  |  Social Media for Students

Sometimes you’ve just got to have it.  Chocolate comes to mind.  Or for some people, drinking or gambling or sex.  ADDICTION.  You probably heard about a recent study by the University of Maryland suggesting that students on campus there are addicted to Social Media.  Giving up their iPhones, laptops, Blackberries and their internet connection for 24 hours was enough to induce withdrawl symptoms much like those of a drug addict.  Are you kidding me???  Apparently not. (More…)

After the experiment, students blogged about their experience and admitted they were “totally addicted” to Social Media.   But what the researchers actually determined was that the students weren’t really addicted to Social Media at all… They were addicted to technological interaction with their friends.  One student claimed that despite the fact he went to classes with thousands of other kids every day, the fact that he couldn’t reach out to them via technology was “almost unbearable”.

News flash!  Society has a problem here… A BIG ONE.  This latest generation is developing all kinds of texting and Facebooking and Tweeting skills, but few of the skills so necessary for truly making their way in the world:  TALKING SKILLS.  Kids today would rather text a message than pick up the phone or knock on your front door.  Is it just me… or is that truly insane?

Addiction is for chocoholics, alcoholics, gamblers and sexaholics… NOT for University students who are just a little too devoted to their smart phones.  What’s next?  Social Media Addicts Anonymous?  Stay tuned…

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  1. It’s a little scary, isn’t it Marianna? They actually feel entitled to their gizmos and toys… ENTITLED!!! And if you explain that they need to learn to concentrate without the latest pop song blasting in their ears, they look at you like you’ve lost your mind. If they can’t write an exam in high school without an iPod, what on earth is going to happen to them in College or University? It’s a serious question that needs to be addressed. Great comment!

  2. As an invigilator in the UK I am the only adult who has the power to remove iphones, mp3 players and ipods from students. It is a legal requirement that students give up these items before sitting an exam. Many of them are aghast that they have to be physically separated from their gadgets.
    I can see a time when we’ll all be plugged in 24/7.

  3. Yes, Mr. Grumpy… er… Mr. Spock… you are right ;-)
    I can smell a Boomer from a mile away. In this case, a few miles away. Even though I suspect you enjoy your iPhone toys as much as the next guy, you GET IT.

    I predict a social backlash reminiscent of the debut of “The Waltons” during the disco age. Maybe, just maybe at some point, the Boomers and all their children, too, will throw up their hands in disgust, flush their Blackberries and iPhones, and ACT on their nostalgic yearnings for real face-to-face contact. (Okay – that’s taking it a bit far. At the very least, maybe they’ll turn their buzzing little gizmos OFF for half an hour without hyperventilating.)

    Just imagine.
    Could be they’ll start talking to each other the way we did back in the day… Across a table over a great dinner that is not straight out of a box, but straight out of a recipe book instead. You remember books. Paper thingies with pages.

    We will not make a brief appearance on Facebook to tell our friends that our dog has died only to ignore our Facebook friends for the rest of the year. Instead, we will pick up the phone once in awhile and TALK to them as if they are truly important to us – which they should be.

    We will not interrupt face-to-face conversations to answer our phone. That’s just rude. Trouble is, nobody knows what “rude” is anymore.

    Our children will not closet themselves in their room in front of a computer screen for days on end at the expense of their health.

    I could go on. And on. And on.

    At this point, it’s all just a beautiful dream.
    But maybe someday, things really will be different.

    Let’s get word to the monkeys… Send them a Tweet, eh?

  4. We used to write letters to one another. Paper, pen, thoughts. Then, the marvel of the ages came into being…the telly-phone. No more would be have to sit by candle light dipping our feathers into ink and scrawling across parchment until our hands were cramped and stained…we could just speak. It was truly a miracle to behold. New technology…new communication. Years pass. Phones stay boring until…TADA, the mobile phone! Now we can be ANYWHERE (can you hear me now?) and speak…and someone will get our message. So, what do we so with this NEW marvel of audio technology? Reduce it to an electronic piece of parchment. Why? Because EMAIL happened in the midst of all this audio evolution. A means of communication that would allow us to instantly be done with what we had to say, put it on the receiver’s shoulders, and then not have to respond until we felt like it (unlike the immediacy of the phone). So I suppose it boils down to, I want to talk to you…I just don’t want to have to listen to you, until I feel like it. We are not so much addicted to our phones as we are to the idea of broadcasting out the constant stream of mental garbage that flows across our frontal lobes. Get it out…get it gone…ahhh…that’s better, now it’s quiet in MY head. Monkeys with Star Trek communicators…are still just monkeys.

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