Hello, my name is Erica and I’m a social media addict.
The Chicago University published a study at the beginning of the year when they discovered that self-control while using social media is hampered much like and even more so than with other common addictions including alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking addictions. Having social media in hand, literally, thanks to iPhones and PDA’s has significantly worsened the addiction. I suppose, I am living proof of that! My iPhone is packed with social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WordPress and three separate email accounts. However, in my defense, these platforms are for me, much like the car that you drive to work. They are my transportation, my voice and how I “get to work”.
And, if I need to have my hands around social media at all times, just imagine what it’s like for a journalist as opposed to this blogger. Yesterday, Craig Kanalley wrote for the Huffington Post about The Problem With the Media’s Social Media Addiction. He said,
Fact is, if you’re a journalist, and you don’t use Twitter or Facebook, you’re a rare breed these days.
Absolutely! However, he also wrote that activities like cramming news into 140 characters or less, are taking away Journalism as we know it and how it’s always been. Kanalley further noted that the phenomenon is gaining traction and has reached a record high. Proof in point? He cites the record breaking volume of tweets during the last Presidential Debate. I can attest that while Journalists were tweeting nearly every line of the debate, bloggers and average citizens were tweeting not only what was being said but also their very raw, unedited actions to the debates. Here’s something to chew on. If Twitter represents the general population, can its data give us an inkling about who will win the election this year? Maybe.
Limiting the use of social media may not be the answer, but individuals and journalists alike will need to remember that not everything is written in 140 characters or less. And, if you are having dinner with family while you are reading this, perhaps you need to rethink your own use of social media. There is truly a time and a place for everything, including checking in and checking up on social media platforms.