How many times each day do you check in to your Facebook, Twitter, send texts, or visit other social media accounts? Five times per day? Ten? More? Do you feel guilty when you haven't updated followers on links, news, or your daily plans? Do you feel frustrated when you're not able to log in and keep up?
Depending on your use, you may just be an addict.
Electronics consumer shopping site Retrevo recently conducted a study to determine social media use and signs of addiction. While the study is not medically certified in any way, the results are telling. According to the study, most people check their Facebook or Twitter accounts a couple times per day, exhibiting "normal" use. However, there are those who are either constantly connected, or exhibit high-use.
According to the informal study, I'm an addict.
Retrevo found, not surprisingly, that high usage was most common for adults under the age of 35. In fact, 27% of Facebook users under the age of 35 claim they check Facebook over 10 times each day. However, Twitter users guilty of checking their accounts more than 10 times daily amounted to 35%. The differences between the 35+ crowd and the under 35 year-old crowd is significantly different, noted by the following illustration.
The "After Sex" column is disturbing. Personally, I'd feel a bit uncomfortable if I'd just finished having sex only to find my partner text-messaging or tweeting others. Is she grading my performance? Texting messages to friends about tomorrow's plans? My instincts tell me that cuddling is out of the question.
However, with the job market in the crapper and many positions requiring at least a working knowledge of social media, it's no surprise that social media has taken a larger role in our daily lives. In January, CNN Money wrote:
Most experts agree that networking is the best way to find a job, and many job searchers are aiming to broaden their network online by using sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Thus, it's not surprising that people are checking-in more often.
Regarding addiction, it's always better to be safe than sorry. According to the Social Media Addicts Association (SMAA), on its website Stop Writing on My Wall, there are five steps to quitting:
1. Admit you have a problem but don't tweet about it.
2. Accept that you don't need upvotes to feel validated.
3. Understand the risks of poking strangers.
4. Repeat after me: "Twitter and alcohol don't mix."
5. Don't go cold turkey! Just delete one friend a day.
6. Easy does it! Just take it one fewer poke at a time.