The Unseen Addiction
Not all addictions can easily be spotted within ourselves. When we have an addiction that gets us praise from others instead of the concern and condemnation of other types of addictions, we may not even realize that a problem exists. Addictions can rob us of our time, energy, relationships, health, as well as our happiness. The easiest way for us to know that something is wrong is to ask a couple questions.
How are you feeling in life?
If you are unhappy, how have you been dealing with this unhappiness?
These two simple questions can help you spot a problem. How we handle hardships determine whether we heal or harm ourselves.
Addictions are often the result of pain in our lives that we are trying to numb or cover up. If you have an addiction, recognizing it is the first step in getting help. That’s why alcoholics anonymous meetings often start by saying “Hi my name is __________ and I’m an alcoholic.” Acknowledging the addiction gives you the power to change it. There are many resources available to help with just about any addiction a person may face.
The unseen addiction that many people I know are struggling with can go without being detected and thus remain unseen. People may praise the person with this addiction using phrases like, “they're so ambitious” or “they’re so driven" which reinforces the behavior.
Now let me come clean, "Hi, I'm Kaden and I am a social mediaholic". I speak about this from first-hand experience and because social media is fairly new to us all, in many ways these types of addictions haven’t been fully explored. Social media addictions can take different forms, I would like to address two ways in which the addiction can actually harm the afflicted.
Spending too much time on social media, liking, and viewing content so much that it pulls you further away from living your life turns you from a doer into a viewer. For those with this problem, it may feel like they have been viewing content for a few minutes but hours have passed and nothing of importance has been learned or gained. This may lead a person to feel bad about what they didn't accomplish.
Another problem with constantly viewing "perfect" physics, other peoples trips around the globe, nice homes, and fancy cars is that we might feel our own lives aren't good enough. We may see people who create content for a living and compare ourselves and feel lingering dissatisfaction when we think of our own life.
Some ways to combat overviewing and comparing-
Limit your time on social media.
Unfollow people who post content that makes you feel depressed, let your feelings be your guide.
Follow individuals that uplift you. When you feel good, inspired and motivated then you know that you are following the right people.
The other type of social media addiction I want to address is the superficial over-poster. These people expose so much of their life, usually only to feel a sense importance. They seek validation through likes and comments. These folks are addicted to attention and can never have enough likes, followers, or content posted.
I have felt a lot of pressure to constantly post, to keep up and feel relevant. I posted too much and I became the type of person I hated to compare my life to in the past. Through creating vapid and meaningless content to be noticed, I served no one and became part of the problem. I was following unaware, like so many other people and posting like the crowd I followed.
I'm not saying you can't take and post photos to remember a memory you created or posting to share something with your friends. In fact, I'm not telling anyone how to use social media, I’m just proposing that we assess what we are doing, to see if it’s healthy. Here are a few questions you might want to ponder.
Do you feel a lot of pressure to post?
Where does this come from?
Do you find some of your self-worth tied to the comments and likes you receive?
Do you think of others as you post?
What do you offer the world by what you post and share?
Are there better uses of your time than this?
Who do you neglect when you are on your phone?
We need to ask ourselves “Why?” “Why am I posting this?” Our minds can easily convince us to throw something out there but when we ask “why?” we see the real intention. It’s important that we get clear about our intentions so that our egos don’t lead us to unintentional effects.
How can posting be damaging you might be wondering. We all know that a person always posting provocative images or photos from nights out partying might not get that job they wanted, or the kind of people attracted into their lives that they are hoping for. Even if you don't have scandalous images out there, people are very intuitive and even if you can’t clearly see the reasoning behind your chronic posting, others will draw their own conclusions. Everything is energy and people will be making a judgment based on what you post. If we are firing content away without thinking then in a small way we are wasting peoples time and thus wasting a little part of their lives.
Unfollow the people wasting your life and don’t be the person wasting other people's lives.
Time keeps passing, don’t be distracted. Get clear about what you value and know that every time you like an image or follow a person, in a small way you are casting a vote for them. Your tuning in is telling people there is value behind what they post. If your intention is to build a big following, create content that is valuable to people. When you create quality content, from a positive place a following will naturally come. Happy Posting.