Are you addicted to Social Media ?

The usage of social media is widespread. Furthermore, excessive usage of social media might harm your personal brand, job hunt, and career. This blog article might help you assess if your usage of social media is problematic and provides solutions for change.

I must admit.

I suffer from a sickness.

It prevents me from getting a good night’s sleep.

It makes getting up and out of bed in the mornings more difficult.

It takes my attention away from the social joys and physical exchanges of the day.

But it isn’t just me. It’s very likely you as well.

And, without a doubt, this sickness is rapidly spreading to others.

I notice that with folks in automobiles next to me at stop lights.

And I see it in academic corridors and suburban streets where students and others stroll zombie-like with heads down and senses off, unaware of their surroundings.

Of course, if you haven’t figured, I’m referring to SMA.

Yes, such a thing exists.

Zuckerberg, Dorsey, Page, Silbermann, Systrom, Hurley, Spiegel, Mullenweg, McCue, and others are to blame.

These digital titans are both facilitators and perpetrators of the affliction known as Social Media Addiction.

A Simple Test for Addiction to Social Media

Consider the following test, which I adapted from a previous blog post:

1) Do you check your social media accounts first thing in the morning?

2) Do you check social media more frequently than you check email during the day?

3) Do your social sharing habits revolve around selfies?

4) Have you ever checked Twitter while driving (or stopped at a red light)?

5) Do you find it difficult to spend 24 hours without checking Facebook?

6) Do people routinely request that you put down your phone and chat, sleep, eat, or pay attention?

7) Have you ever walked into something or someone while glancing down at your smartphone’s social media?

If you responded yes to the bulk of the above questions, social media is your virtual drug.

Why is Social Media Addiction a Problem?

Surprisingly, the most detrimental consequences of SMA on your personal brand are likely to be physical rather than digital.

First impressions are unprofessional

Personal branding and how people see you apply to both your online and offline social habits.

Burying your head in your mobile device, whether as a first or recurrent impression, is readily viewed as anti-social by others.

In addition, it is insulting.

In addition, it was unprofessional.

It conveys the clear message that your digital life is more essential than your physical existence.

Whether you’re surrounded by friends, family, coworkers, or strangers, it conveys the message « don’t bother me », that this digital disruption is more important than you.

A digital divertissement

Despite efforts to alleviate our fear of missing out (FOMO) on all of the great things that are rapidly posted on social media, research indicates that we are genuinely missing out on our physical environment and surrounds.

According to recent academic study, students use digital devices for non-learning activities such as texting and social networking for up to 20% of their class time. As a result, these pupils admit to not paying attention and missing lessons.

Apply similar conclusions to other experiences that are lost as a result of a lack of self-control with social media use: attempted talks with friends and family, opportunities to meet new people and form connections, or the simple pleasure of absorbing your immediate surroundings.

Sleep deprivation

Aside from anecdotal evidence, there is data to support the idea that excessive social media usage is robbing us of sleep.

There are two types of sleep deprivation. One, the time spent on social media before night takes away from the time we could have spent sleeping. Second, the displays of these mobile gadgets that we use before going to bed generate a blue light that delays the production of the melatonin hormone. The absence of this hormone, which causes us to sleep, instead causes us to be drowsy later and encourages ongoing, potentially excessive, use of social media.

This lack of sleep might manifest itself the next day as tardiness, decreased attentiveness, efficiency, creativity, and production.

Too much information (TMI) is shared

Old habits fade slowly. New habits do as well.

Excessive social media use might distort our impressions of our « personal life » and what we share with friends and family against our « professional life » and what we share with professionals (professional connections, career stakeholders, current and future employers and colleagues).

Indeed, Career Builder research exposes the dangers of such online practices. More than 2000 recruiters found inappropriate photos, 40% found drinking or drug use, 34% found speaking poorly of previous company or fellow employees, 30% found poor communication skills, and 29% found discriminatory comments about race, religion, or gender in their search for employment candidates.

Social Media Addiction: What to do about it?

While some have done so and many have considered it, abandoning social media is unlikely to be the best answer.

Instead, attempt to establish greater control over your social media activities by keeping the correct mindset in mind when managing and regulating your personal brand.

Concentrate on a few social media networks

You don’t have to give up social media completely.

You also don’t have to take unduly drastic measures to eliminate your loud Facebook Feed or Twitter Home Stream by deleting the majority of your contacts.

Instead, concentrate on one or two social media channels. Choose your favorites. Choose one for professional and one for personal usage.

Also, limit your time spent on social media.

It is preferable to be a master of one skill rather than a novice of several.

Remove the digital distractions

Disable notifications.

Is it really necessary to receive an alert every time a tweet is retweeted? Or when a new email is received? Or when a Facebook buddy leaves a comment?

Simply said, over usage of alerts might disrupt your flow. While I am not referring to oxygen or saliva flow, I am referring to creative flow. Creative flow is analogous to a runner’s high or a state of intense focus. This is where time seems to stand still and creativity and productivity soar.

If you haven’t lately experienced this psychological flow, you should go to the computer and smart device settings for all of your social networking sites, applications, and tools right now. Then, disable all notifications.

Turn off the notifications on your smartwatch as well. Nada. Zilch. None.

Remove all electronic gadgets from the bedroom

Yes, sleep loss is one of the most severe and striking symptoms of SMA.

Even when you turn off your alerts, the sounds of your favorite digital sirens are always tempting you into the blue lights of insomnia.

Even if Apple has a cure for this with its next update, which includes Night Shift, smart devices will continue to steal your precious rest time.

As a result, the ideal option is to relocate these not always clever devices to another area, or at least out of reach of the temptation of « one more thing. »

I know what you’re thinking: « but I need my alarm clock. » « I need to check my Internet of Things (IoT) », for example.

You do not.

Instead, increase the level of the alarm so that you can hear it from across the room or another room. Get yourself a dog. Alternatively, invest in a genuine sleeper’s analog clock.

Don’t allow your smart devices make you appear stupid

After you’ve prohibited smart gadgets from the bedroom, go all out in the dining area, conference room, and classroom.

Another example: while walking.

Yes, just as you should never pass a water fountain without drinking, or take the elevator when there are stairs, you should not walk while examining your smart gadget for your own good.

When social media and other digital media become mobile, it can reduce attention spans, limit psychological flow for thinking and creativity, and dumb down your reaction to people and their perception of you.

Stop experimenting with FOMO (fear of missing out).

« I need to flip through a few more pages in my Flipboard just in case something in the news has happened in the last five minutes. »

« I have a few more folders in my Feedly that I need to check so that I can be among the first to social share the good stuff. »

« I need one more minute in my Twitter Home stream just in case there is another dancing cat or farting panda video. »

You do not.

The world can move on without you being aware of every detail.

Keep a few things to yourself

The more we socialize, the more we want for acceptance. The more we yearn for acceptance, the more we socialize. We spend our social lives in a do-loop, a merry-go-round of mayhem, all driven by our addiction to social media and demand for attention, recognition, or acclaim.

Don’t allow your narcissism on social media go wild.

We switch on notifications and turn off privacy at some point in our social sharing lives, and our entire lives become an open book of tremendous transparency.

Yes, social media gurus advise us to be authentic, real, and ourselves. However, even then, we need use filters.

It is not beneficial for your personal brand, job hunt, or career to literally let it all hang out.

This is not a good thing in this day and age, when anybody can readily search for and maybe uncover the true, unconstrained, and uncooked you.

Personal branding requires controls and filters, and it should describe the « best of you » rather than the « whole you. »

The Key Point

Social media enriches our lives by providing us with entertainment, news, career-enhancing learning, social connections, and commercial prospects.

Social media floods our life with negativity: diversions, worries, insomnia, and short attention spans.

And social media fills our lives with the ugly: lack of privacy, over-sharing, haters, and awful personal brand conduct.

We may sleep deeply, learn passionately, create freely, and enjoy the advantageous mashups of a digital and analog life worth living if we can limit our social media use to largely good.

These are my ideas, and they are now yours.

What tips do you have for monitoring and controlling your usage of social media for personal branding, job hunting, and career advancement? Please leave a remark below.

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About the Author: Paul

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