Unplug & Recharge//

Are You A Social Media Addict Too?

How to curb your smartphone addiction.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Help Me, I’m addicted!

I wake up in the middle of the night and look for it. The world that it takes me to calls out to me. I miss it, I need it without even realizing that I do. Squinting my eyes which are heavily laden with sleep, I quickly take that magic box in my hand. Resisting the pull in the other direction by sleep, I don’t want to let it go. What if I miss something important? What if I miss something, anything?

Every time I have breakfast or lunch, I keep it by my side. Why I don’t even know how to take a walk without it anymore. While out dining with friends or attending a wedding, I keep looking at it constantly. There is an attraction, so great. I can’t spend more than a few minutes without it. It’s an invisible pull, an addiction. It is a fixation, a weakness. Yes, I’m addicted to my phone and through it to social media. I’m an addict and I need help.

This could be me or even you. It could be any one of us. In fact, I think it is true for most of us. This addiction to our phones, devices and social media has become so common that we hardly even notice it anymore. Hundreds of people in a canteen, eating while browsing their phones is a common sight today. The abnormal seems normal now.

Social Media replays everything that happens in high school corridors.

No holiday today is complete without hundreds of pictures which no one probably sees for the second time. Eating out has to be accompanied by check-ins. There is secretly a constant need for validation from the outside world. Sounds like adolescence revisited, right? This is the truth, yours and mine.

From food to books, is there anything at all that we don’t share online? I do it myself but in moderation perhaps (at least that’s what I’d like to believe like every other addict). But really, have you noticed how we just cannot go anywhere without our phones? We are on it, with it, 24X7.

Yes, I’m addicted to my phone and through it to social media. I’m an addict and I need help.

I was 20 when I got my first mobile phone. Thank God for that. And honestly, I don’t think I missed out on anything for not having cell phones as a teenager. But these days even teenagers have the latest mobile phones. They have unlimited access via the internet. But somewhere the alarming side effects far outweigh the benefits. They miss out on so much being shackled to these devices. But what’s even scarier is that they form a habit of it, a habit hard to let go of.

This addiction to our phones, devices and social media has become so common that we hardly even notice it anymore.

What have we as a society come to? As a millennial myself, I know how strong the lure of social media can be. The constant need to share, the addictive likes and connections, the itch to scroll, to see what that notification is about. There’s a hypnotic bind to all these things, hard to resist for some strange reason. But I also know, all these mean nothing. That world of social media is probably as real as Captain Nemo’s Nautilus.

The constant need for connection only disconnects us further.

A few weeks back after putting M to sleep, S and I were resting in our living room. And then suddenly the silence hit me, he was on his phone while I on mine. He was playing a game while I was splitting my time between my blog and twitter. That’s when I realized how addicted we were. Instead of having a nice conversation, we were both looking at our phones. The machines had finally become our masters.

The world of social media is probably as real as Captain Nemo’s Nautilus.

These past few months I have been consciously trying to reduce my time on and my need for social media, hence the need for my phone. But clearly, I wasn’t doing that good of a job. I am, as it appears, as much a social media addict as one who probably doesn’t even realize it in the first place.

Well, they say, self-realization is the first step to fighting any bad habits. And I already feel disenchanted by the world of social media as it is. Most times I find the people fake and most friendships a lie. And the level to which people stoop to reveal their impudent nature if you don’t agree with what they say, that’s another story altogether. Social Media replays everything that happened in high school corridors. I don’t know if I can handle being on it all the time anymore.

So, I’m going to fight even harder to control this addiction. Are you?

I have successfully avoided being constantly online for a few weeks now. The mean streak that comes out on social media is also to be thanked for it. I’m happy not being constantly connected because there is so much more to life than Facebook, Twitter and the folks who scream through it.

Originally published at www.nabanitadhar.in on January 16, 2017.

Originally published at medium.com

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