Social Networking: An Addiction That Seems To Be Getting Worse!
Social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube are fast growing networks that are used in today’s society. Social networks are not just targeted to connect friends and family but to manage the marketing and branding businesses as well where companies that use Facebook effectively have shown an increase in their business by 75 percent. I was shocked when I found out how many Facebook users exist and how many people just can’t get enough. Currently, Facebook has now reached their one billion user mark where 604 million users are mobile users. Further, technology is expanding allowing for countless hours to be spent on social networks via smart phones. Users can update their status, upload pictures, tweet about their day, and watch YouTube videos at the tip of their fingers at any moment.As a result, people have become addicted. Let’s take a look into some social media websites independently!
Facebook is a great resource to keep in touch with friends or family all over the world, allowing for updates on your life or finding out what’s going on in your friend’s life. However, because this application is so straightforward to use, there are many activities and games on Facebook where users begin to develop addictions to this type of social networking. There are an estimated 350 million around the world – have admitted to being addicted. I believe people become addicted to Facebook because they are curious about what is happening in other people’s lives. People are constantly uploading pictures or updating their status. Every single time I log on, my news feed is filled with current events that people are attending or updating their status on what a fantastic night they had furthermore, pictures to prove their point. Facebook also allows you to lurk people’s conversations on their wall. People get an adrenaline rush when they find any juicy gossip on Facebook which further deepens the compulsion. They automatically call their friends and ask them if they saw what someone posted on someone’s wall or if they saw a status and they inquire, ‘I wonder who they’re referring to.’ Facebook fulfills the curiosity factor that breeds on our need-to-know need! Another reason why people become addicted to Facebook is to stalk users they do not like. It becomes more addicting when their privacy settings are disabled and you can go through their albums, display pictures, wall to wall conversations etc. Facebook is your pill to getting better! Through its ability to track conversations, events, whereabouts and so on, Facebook provides a perfect platform for solving jealousy issues through stalking options! I have friends whose relationships failed because Facebook was an issue when a boyfriend or girlfriend liked a picture of the opposite sex, commented on their picture or wrote on an ex’s wall, ‘Happy Birthday.’ Sounds very silly, but it’s more common than one would think. Facebook is extremely accessible not only on your computer but on our smart phones as well making it impossible to go a day without Facebook. Facebook has become a social norm, and people are looked at differently if you are not a Facebook user. I am a Facebook user but I am not addicted and I would have no problem deleting my account at any time.
Another popular social media website is Twitter. Twitter and Facebook share a predominant similarity and that’s updating your status. However, with Twitter updating your status refers to ‘tweets’ or ‘tweeting’. The only difference is when updating a tweet it can only be 140 characters or less. Having a Twitter account it is not a requirement to tweet and there are users that only follow their friends, celebrities, events, groups etc. It astonishes me to see how many people are addicted to Twitter, with many able to dish out up to 50 tweets an hour. I wouldn’t understand what someone can possible tweet so much about, moreover is it necessary to update everyone so frequently on your day? I have friends where they are constantly on their phones! And their social skills are lacking and that’s because social networking websites are taking over some people’s lives. I can understand someone being on their Twitter when they are on the bus, waiting in line etc but to be out with your own circle of friends and not participate in a conversation is where the line is drawn. I do not have a Twitter account, but some people share their tweets via Facebook and I find it very annoying when someone tweets about ‘having a bad day’ or that they ‘ate the juiciest fruit.’ Twitter has now created another social media network called Vine, where you can post a six second video where users can comment afterwards. People initially used Twitter to report their every mundane move throughout the day: Eating lunch, going to the park, catching a movie. It was hard at the time to imagine what more could be done with 140 characters. It turned out, there was quite a lot more to say, and it will be interesting to see what more there is for people to shoot. With Twitter currently having 500 million users, this social network will only increase in members and new applications will be added just like Facebook to encourage more users to join.
I am a Facebook user, but who isn’t? I will go on from time to time and update my status, upload a photo and glance over my news feed. Who knows what the future holds for us, but one thing is for sure, technology is expanding, new social media networks will be created. And I find it a little disturbing to know that there are people that cannot live without social networking. I do not think I am addicted to social networking, but online shopping… well that’s my guilty pleasure!