Why are we SO hooked on social media?

I have an addiction…and it’s everywhere!

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, Google+, MySpace, YouTube, the list is endless. We just can’t walk away from social networking sites – no matter how hard we try. I have deleted my Facebook app on my iPhone, because it became unhealthy how my mood changed by reading someone’s meaningless status. What am I doing instead? Waiting for my PC to wake up so I can get on Facebook and do exactly what I am trying to avoid – stalk! You can run, but you can’t hide from it…

Firstly, we (the consumers) all love socialising, especially on our own behind a screen. Everyone does it, so we don’t feel like a weirdo, and you can stalk anyone you want without being an actual stalker. Then everyone experiences The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

The Good – A friend puts up the best picture of you (you smile, knowing everyone can see how hot you look).

The Bad – Then a picture appears of you drunkenly licking a random (possibly homeless) man’s earlobe.

The Ugly – and tags your boyfriend by accident.

As these social platforms perform their daily duties, they then decide to target your emotional state by knowing what you like and dislike, and companies devote thousands to leverage this data in order to get you (the consumer) to subconsciously buy products or services from these advertisers.

Calm down! It is not a scam, it’s advertising, and has been happening for years. Ever reflected on why you wanted to see ‘Finding Nemo’ so much, when you are 30 and really should know better?  Let me tell you. You have walked past the same outdoor advertising campaign for the film every day for 5 weeks – with a googly eyed clown fish staring at you, and then you saw similar ads on TV and the last film you saw at the cinema had a trailer for it too… It’s all there in your subconscious. So the social networks are raking it in, creating dream-like offices and recruiting the best developers to keep their sites worthy of our attention. They also have our undivided attention, 24 hours a day. Next time you can’t sleep or are on the bus on the way home – realise what you are doing, because I know what I’m doing… switching between LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter apps on my iPad.

My point? Social networks have us hook, line and sinker – we want to be part of it, rather than be the one that rebels and actually loses out on all the gossip! And if that means making a few sub conscious purchases along the way so be it. They have engaged us through our friends and colleagues and there’s no turning back. If I leave LinkedIn, I am scared of what I might miss. Has any other media done this to us before? TV even has an off switch… but I can’t seem to find the off switch for social.

©Social Media apps on iPhone by Jason Howie

Are you a social media junkie too? Share a comment with Indi below!

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