We’re Addicted. Except it. By Chastany Beaver

We are constantly glued to our cell phones. Tweeting. Snapping. Posting. IM’ing. We do it all, and we do it all day long. But why? Have you ever thought about why you’re so addicted to that damn square device with a button and a bright screen? Why those social media apps are so irresistible? Why you’re so infatuated with keeping up with the lives of others who you barely know anything about and share yours with? There’s no need to feel ashamed because EVERYONE DOES IT! From the young whippersnappers to the old and grey. We freaking love social media, but why?

 

There’s numerous of occasions of me lying in bed all day with my eyes heavy from being on my phone. Hell, there’s numerous of reasons why I am.  I would literally delete every single social app just to force myself to chill out from the world, it couldn’t be helpful to my health mentally or physically, but several hours lately I couldn’t help but to download them again. The dings and vibrations of notifications just gave me so much joy, even when they weren’t intended for me, but I couldn’t fight the urge or ignore it. It was mind control and somehow still is.awfulgreenguyphone_largewide

According to an article written by QuHarrison Terry, this addiction isn’t by chance a coincidence. In fact, tech companies engineer our addictions to an array of social media platforms. They call it an “echo-chamber” and at the center of this thing is YOU. Terry says, “When you click the Like or Retweet button, you are telling social media algorithms exactly what you want to see more of.” So these engineers design this echo-chamber around the content you love, thus beginning the addiction. It’s really pretty cool. And while some might look at this as a bad thing, oh my god the government is controlling me, it’s really a great thing for businesses and organizations.

 

An article from keepitusable.com states, “our need to be connected and interact with others is universal and unavoidable; hidden behind this social instinct there is the even more powerful necessity of giving sense and meanings to our world.” We also have something called FOMO, a fear of missing out on something socially because “our brains are wired for collaborations, compromise, restraint, comprehending and managing one’s place in shifting-alliances.”

 

Regardless of the situation, if you can’t stand being on your phone, my advice would be to put it down. Go exercise. Walk around the park. Take a nap. But I bet the urge to use Snap chat on the treadmill like DJ Khaled will pop in your head. You’ll have to post a status to Facebook of how lovely the weather is outside. When you wake, the first thing you’ll do is check your phone for notifications. Just except it! We can’t help it. It’s just the new world we live in.

 

References

Terry, Q. (2017, February 07). LinkedIn. Retrieved February 13, 2017, from linkedin.com, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-tech-companies-socially-engineered-your-addiction-terry

 

Psychology of social networks: What makes us addicted? (2015, April 17). Retrieved February 13, 2017, from Uncategorized, http://www.keepitusable.com/blog/?p=2568

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UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism