Remember what the world was like before social media? A simpler time where people actually talked to each other and you had no idea what the hell a Tweet was. Since the launching of the first social media site, Six Degrees, in 1997 the world has gone crazy for this online medium. If you are like most people, engaging in social media is something you do on a regular basis.
Checking out an ex’s Facebook page to see how bad their life sucks, Tweeting out what your breakfast consists of or using Instagram to post a snapshot of your dog dressed up like Drew Carey… we have all done it! When does engaging in social media become unhealthy? If you start to notice some of the following signs, maybe it is time to hang up your social media spurs for a while.
A Night Out = Your Face Buried in a Phone
Who doesn’t love going out for a night on the town with friends. Getting a buzz on adult beverages and making bad decisions has been a pastime of Americans for years. If your night out is basically you checking your social media accounts all night, then it is time to disconnect for a while.
A big part of enjoying your life is forging meaningful relationships with those around you. Building relationships with friends will be difficult when spending all night taking online quizzes to find out what your spirit animal is, rather than engaging your pals in conversation.
Your Productivity Levels are Non-Existent
Whether you are trying to get work done at your job or finish a term paper, focusing on the task at hand is vital. Focusing on these tasks will be impossible if you are checking your social media accounts every five minutes.
The lower your productivity levels get, the higher the risk will be of losing your job. Unless you can find a job posting selfies on Instagram, you need to think about cutting way back on your social media usage. Your boss and your bank account will thank you.
You Check Notifications Even When Driving
First things first. If you are driving and looking at your phone, stop it right now! This is dangerous and you are putting yourself and other motorists at risk. Regardless of who is trying to contact you via social media, no notification is worth risking your life for.
If you find yourself unable to control the urge to check your social media while behind the wheel, you need to unplug immediately. Until you are able to put the social media monster back in the box, you need to put your phone out of reach when driving.
While you will find it hard to unplug from social media at first, it will get easier as time goes by. After a while, you will probably rediscover things you enjoyed before becoming a social media junkie. Once you have kicked the habit, you need to really think about whether or not you want to reintroduce yourself to this form of communication.
Originally published at medium.com