We’re All Junkies (Save Yourself From Social Media Addiction Before It’s Too Late)
“Social media has become one of the most powerful drugs ever created. So many are dominated by it. Too many compromise their character and integrity for it.”
What if I told you that I had a drug that could make you instantly feel good…
BUT like all drugs, this one comes with side effects.
Including: anxiety, depression, suicide…
Would you still want it?
You’d probably feel like those side effects won’t apply to you, right?
That’s usually what we do when doctors put us on new meds.
Well, what if I told you that a guaranteed side effect of this drug was that it was going to suck up all your time and make you do nothing but stare at the palm of your hand?
You’d stare at your hand while people were talking to you and you wouldn’t hear a word they said…
You’d stare at your hand as you crashed into cars…
You’d stare at your hand as you walked into poles, walls, and in the middle of the street, likely to get hit by a car.
Again, these side effects are guaranteed.
You would be terrified of it, right?
Sadly, enough you’re probably already addicted to this drug.
Much of our society is, and I used to be…
But here I am, a recovering junkie, telling you my story, and praying that I don’t relapse like Demi Lovato.
I’ve met a few drug addicts and alcoholics in my day.
So if you say you’re not addicted and are in denial, I’d completely understand.
I wouldn’t believe you. But I would understand.
That’s simply what addicts do.
They live in denial.
But your actions would prove different.
Yesterday I went to eat at a local restaurant and — while I was there waiting for my bill — I noticed that literally everyone in the restaurant was looking at their phone.
From the customers to the hostesses. No one was talking to anybody.
All were addicts…junkies… of this drug called social media.
It should really be called “anti” social media because what I saw in the restaurant was anything but social.
“I can’t believe this used to be me.”
That was me… Posting my entire vacations instead of experiencing them…
Disengaged at dinners with my girlfriend and family.
She’d say, “Do you seriously have to have that thing with you at dinner?”
“Wait, let me just finish writing this post.” A.k.a “Wait, just one more hit baby.”
And for what?
A few likes from people I didn’t even know.
“We all want to be liked but now we all want to be liked by 16 million. Some of us will do anything to be liked. We used to do anything to be liked by the person in front of you. Now it’s to be liked by 16 million people you don’t know.” — Denzel Washington
I started to change when I began to notice little stupid things I would do.
My girlfriend would ask me to do something like marinate the meat for dinner.
In the process of getting ready to do it, I would get distracted by my phone, and eventually forget to finish marinating it.
She would get home from work and we would have nothing to eat.
I’d then have to go out and pick up something for us.
Not only did it cost me precious time but now it was costing me money.
But there was one day when I realized how serious the problem had become…
I was backing my car out of the parking garage, while texting and literally hit the car parked behind me.
“You so stupid you got hit by a parked car.”
You ever heard that joke?
Well how about, “You so stupid you hit a parked car”?
Yup that was me.
Luckily there was no damage to either car — minus some minor paint that got scratched off my back bumper — so there weren’t really any consequences.
But for me it was a major wake up call.
Ironically the next day, YouTube suggested this video to me:
Talk about an eye opener.
It’s like the universe was talking to me.
“If you don’t think you’re addicted, try to turn it off for a week.” — Denzel Washington
The first step to sobriety is becoming aware and admitting you have a problem.
The next step is to do something about it.
I downloaded an app to my phone called RealizD which was created specifically for monitoring your iPhone usage at all times.
My favorite part of the app was the “Screen-Free Challenge”.
This would allow to me challenge myself and see how long I could go without using my phone.
I set the screen-free challenge for 30 minutes and I began.
3 minutes and 38 seconds later I failed… Shocking, right?
I reset the timer…
6 minutes and 12 seconds later I failed again.
I kept failing and failing.
It was the hardest thing to understand because I knew I was actively participating in the challenge but my mind just didn’t care. It needed it’s fix.
I kept picking up my phone to check messages, Instagram, and Facebook.
I even found myself making excuses… like a true addict:
“I had to message that person back so it’s okay.”
It was the equivalent of leaving a bottle of alcohol in the presence of an alcoholic and expecting them not to drink it.
The next cool thing about the app is it tells you how much you use your device on a daily and weekly basis.
I was able to see that I was spending upwards of 6–8 hours a day on my mobile device.
“I have an online business” was my excuse to justify my addiction.
But who was I kidding? What type of work was I getting done on my phone?
Addicts always make excuses for why they can’t stop.
Parental Restrictions On Myself
When I was on vacation in Lake Tahoe with my girlfriend and her family, I noticed that her aunt would put restrictions on her daughter’s iPad so that she could only be on certain apps for a select period of time.
This was a great idea.
I decided to do the same thing for myself.
I figured this would be easier than trying to stop cold turkey (which rarely works when trying to kick bad habits).
So each day I would lower the amount of time I could use my cell phone and the social media apps.
But unlike the screen-free challenge, I couldn’t just stop the challenge when I wanted.
My apps were really locked.
Slowly but surely I became less connected.
My addiction decreased.
I no longer felt lost when I wasn’t using my phone.
In fact, I felt more alive than ever.
Not to mention I had a ton of extra time.
I was wasting minimum 6 hours a day on my phone.
You see, often times we complain of not having enough time to do the important things but in reality, we do.
The time is just being occupied by things that are unimportant, like how many likes we get on a post.
So what do I do with all this extra time?
Well for starters I’ve been much more creative and productive.
I find it way easier to write articles, sales copy, plan, film, and edit videos.
I’ve been able to quadruple the amount of books I read per month.
Oh and guess what, my online business hasn’t taken any hit. Who knew?
Now don’t get me wrong…
I still do log in to social media from time to time.
But it’s not to see who likes my pics.
It’s not to read everyone’s status every second hoping I don’t miss out on anything.
Instead, it’s to connect with friends and family through messenger.
I simply log on to see if I have any messages.
If not then I immediately log off.
Now I can say I have a healthy relationship with social media and my cell phone (if there exists such a thing).
I’m no longer a zombie walking through the streets with my face in my palm.
Oh and in case you were wondering…
I haven’t hit anymore parked cars 🙂
The first time I watched that video above and heard Denzel say try to go a week without your cell phone, I said HELL NO that’s impossible…
My response is a little different now.
Thanks so much for stopping by and reading.
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