The following story of a Social Media Addict is fictional … or is it?
I walked into the room and saw many familiar avatars, I mean faces.
A few tweeps, I mean people, looked up and smiled. They immediately looked away and down.
Tap. Tap. Click. Click.
My cell phone vibrated.
I kept walking, trying to determine where to sit.
Buzz…my cell phone vibrated again.
I walked a little farther. Another buzz.
I found a seat next to a guy who was leaning over, propped on his elbows. He shuffled but never looked up at me.
As I sat down, I anxiously pulled out my cell. I had four new text messages!
I looked up and chuckled.
My “friends” had sent me DMs to say:
“Good 2 C U!”
“Hey, sit over by me.”
“Don’t tell these creeps my real name!”
We looked at each other again, nodded and laughed some more. Feverishly we all bent over and started texting.
Few people spoke. The room would have been quiet except for the tapping, clicking and giggling.
“Welcome everyone! Thanks for making it to our first Social Media Anonymous meeting!”
Many were startled as our sponsor greeted us when she entered the room, walking upright, without a cell phone in hand!
“If you want to tell others about our group, use the hashtag #SMA.”
Everyone laughed. A few tweeted it out to Twitter and Facebook immediately. Others sheepishly put their iPhones away.
“My name is @lookadoo. I am a social mediaaholic.”
* * * * * * *
This story is fabricated, but the addiction to social media is real. Many people tweet first thing in the morning, think about tweeting while doing offline activities, text while walking down the street (and even into manholes). Some have admitted to not paying their bills due to loosing track of time and priorities, because so much “free” time is spent on Facebook, StumbleUpon, Digg and … Twitter!
Just Opened! Internet Addiction Treatment Center
The first US treatment center for Internet Addiction recently opened outside of Seattle, WA in August 2009. Yes! The Heavensfield Retreat Center is designed to treat texting, Internet and video game addictions.
I imagine “social media addicts” are welcomed as well! Enrollment for the 45-day recovery program costs around $14,500.
Move over Betty Ford!
Get Control of your Social Media Life
[edited after post]
I wrote this post partially in preparation for my first guest blog post as a Contributor on Search Engine Journal as part of the Social Media Series for Business. “Getting Control of Your Social Media Life” posted on September 15.
I didn’t talk about breaking addiction to texting, social media or the Internet. I discussed principles and productivity tactics that must first be in place to ensure your social media activities, and time spent socializing online, don’t deter from your primary focus.
So, what do you think about Social Media Addiction? Is it real? Will a treatment center help?
The opening of the treatment center sure does give us some social food for thought!