Sunday, May 3, 2009

Help! I'm Addicted to Social Media!

I realize the irony of writing about Internet addiction on the Web, and then disseminating that information via Web-based social media sites such as Twitter and, as well as personal e-mail. But, that doesn’t mean I’m addicted!

I’ve come across quite a few articles dealing with the subject in the last week or two, which makes me think, could this really be a problem for some women? Apparently so.

One article I found recently on dealing with social media addiction – the inability to disconnect from sites such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc. — even goes so far as to say that “[r]apid-fire TV news bulletins or getting updates via social-networking tools such as Twitter could numb our sense of morality and make us indifferent to human suffering, scientists say.” Yikes.

While the above statement might seem a tad harsh, I can see how too much time spent following Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore on Twitter might make us want to stay connected a bit longer than is healthy. And I can certainly see how working moms might find it hard to switch “off” once they get home from work, especially if they use social media tools at the office.

Elizabeth Cohen, in "Five Clues That You Are Addicted To Facebook," presents the case of Cynthia Newton (not her real name), a mom that works from home, and who uses Facebook for both professional and personal reasons.

"I'm an addict. I just get lost in Facebook," Newton said. "My daughter gets so PO'd at me, and really it is kind of pathetic. It's not something I'm particularly proud of. I just get so sucked in."

Newton says she spends about 20 hours a week on the social networking site, half the time for work -- she runs an online business -- and half just for fun. She's tried to cut down on her Facebook use but failed.

"I can go a whole day without Facebook," she said. "But I've never made it through an entire weekend. I've thought about going cold turkey, but that would make me so uncomfortable. I know I couldn't do it."

Funny, I was just considering starting a Facebook page – for strictly professional reasons of course. I figure as long as I can make time for dinners, laundry, cleaning, bath time, playing with the kids, etc., I should feel entitled to a few minutes on my favorite sites. Right? Tweet me at and let me know what you think!

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