In the July 16th edition of Newseek magazine, Tony Dokoupil discussed the rising problem of social media/internet addiction and the variety of disorders and issues that can arise from being too connected. He cited studies from around the world, told some horrific stories of psychoses, and discussed how all this connectivity is affecting people’s interpersonal relationships.
In a word: we are always online and this could exacerbate problems or create new ones.
He did a fantastic job of continually stating that it has not been agreed upon which came first – the addiction or the mental issues. Do people with a propensity for compulsive disorders/addictions react more strongly to the tool of online connections? Perhaps.
But I wan to discuss how this affects my blogging. Because I have noticed an increase in my anxiety and stress since I dove deeper into social media and blogging. I felt compulsions to always check Facebook, twitter and e-mail, even when not during my office hours. The biggest anxiety that I feel, is the fear of missing out.
If I am not actively engaging in all the social media platforms and increasing my pageviews, I will miss a paying job. I will be passed over for someone that is better than me.
Online influence is very competitive. Everyone wants to go viral. We all want to be on the popular board on Pinterest, get a huge surge of traffic from StumbleUpon. We want to be on lists, invited to private parties and brand trips. If we step back, our influence will shrink. Our Klout score will go down, our Alexa will go up. Someone else will get the gig.
Those are my fears, laid right out on the table. I wonder how many other bloggers feel the same way? Is our nation addicted to smartphones and social media?
I would love to hear your thoughts! I made a little vlog to get the discussion going, please share your reaction with me!