Media & Device Addiction

I have never been one to think of myself as any kind of addict, certainly not one in regards to substances at least. I have always taken a sense of pride in being able to say no to drugs, drinking, or smoking. That’s not to say that I have never used any of these, I just didn’t feel like I needed it.

Lately, I have been noticing a different kind of addiction, that of my constant use of devices and social medias like Facebook and Instagram. It’s not that I have been posting like a madman or anything but I have found other things that are quite disturbing with my use. I have a constant need to check for updates. It’s the first thing I do before I get out of the bed in the morning and the last thing that I do before going to sleep.

I have done a bit of moderation in regards to my use of my devices and social media, I have removed Facebook and Twitter from my phone. I didn’t really use Twitter anyways but I did feel the need to clear out the notifications from it. I went the whole weekend without Facebook on my phone and I noticed that I was looking at my phone less in the morning and evening as a result. My next step will be to remove Facebook from my tablet too. I have kept Instagram on my phone in only for its capacity as a an app for sharing photographs. I will likely remove it from my tablet though.

Ever since my vacation, I have been feeling like I need to cut away from device use. I have started wearing my smart watch less and less. I am even contemplating selling it since its become almost useless to me. I don’t need to be as analytical about the time I spend being active. I don’t need a little device to make me feel like I am actually working out. I have better things to spend my energy on.

I know that this is a bit of a turn around for me since I was such an advocate of smart devices for so long. It’s not like I am saying that we should all get rid of our smart devices but I just think that I need to pull back on my use. I get so annoyed when people are on their devices during social events that I should be the first to start putting mine away.

I have been tempted to disengage from Facebook altogether because of this addiction but I also use it as a tool to communicate with friends and family. It’s because of this that I have kept the messenger on my phone but removed it from my tablet. To be honest, the Facebook main feed is basically dead, it’s a tool for advertising and the spread of memes and misinformation. Instagram is almost just as bad, I wish that it had never been taken over by Facebook. I feel that Facebook has ruined what instagram was, a social media for sharing photos and that’s it.

One of the reason I started blogging was because I saw how empty my social media posts were. I could see others trying to connect by the use of the written word on their social media but with the lack of space available and the thoughtlessness put into their words, they often come off as rude, insensitive, or misunderstood. I take the time to write out my blogs in advance in a document before I post them. I check them over for context, language, and behavior. It’s kind of like being a self censor. I sometimes miss some important editing when I read over them but I catch them later and update the posts. I am not so worried about typos or grammar as some might be but I do my best to try and get my point across. I find that with the limitations of social media, I don’t spend the time to do that and often I come off as misunderstood, I hate it when that happens.

The one thing I don’t want to see my blog used for is airing out dirty laundry. I had been using it as such during some emotional turbulence that I experienced last year. I have gotten to the point lately where if when I write something that I don’t feel does anyone any good, I delete it. I get the therapy of writing it out and then the additional therapy of then deleting it. It’s like editing your soul and getting rid of the crap that doesn’t need to be there. That’s what I am doing by acknowledging my device and social media addiction and find ways to resolve my use of them.

~Clara D. Munro

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