Posted: February 11, 2011 by Jay Rasean in Kasual

In this new age, smaller, faster, phones, 2000 songs on a device small enough to be misplaced in the depths of your seemingly deep pockets (if you’re like me) and the surging disappearance of cash ushering in the power of plastic. So much progress has occurred that even 80’s babies like myself are able to reminisce* of a simpler time, like that of our parents. I have caught myself saying “Remember cassette tapes and using your pinkie finger to fix them when they came undone” and I’ve even heard some adults my age say “I remember when nobody I kneweven had the Internet!” which brings me to my focus.

The Internet has made its way from scarcity and obscurity, to being just a thumb tap away. With the information superhighway constantly on the rise, social networking is at the forefront. The creation of social sites such as Myspace, Facebook and more recently Twitter, just to name a few, have open the flood gates to a new addictive form of social interaction. This addictive nature helps to blur the lines of reality with the idea of a virtual world that is becoming more and more easily accessible i.e Facebook mobile, twitter mobile etc.

Today’s culture is identified as obsessed with instant gratification and artificial social interaction, blogs, and other social networks etc.

“Social networks collapse the difference between culture and practical life”-Idris Mootee, CEO and chief strategist of IDEA COUTURE INC.

Mootee further discusses a trend centralized on the idea that users of social sites are losing track of reality and are instead embracing our current Internet influenced culture as it stands. Mootee also goes on to claim that this new wave of social interaction is becoming clinically addictive, He calls this, Internet Addiction disorder (IAD). IAD outlines several instances of the previously mentioned blurring of reality lines as well as heightened necessity to be in constant connection with a specific social site. Mootee also lists several warning signs which can be displayed in his Blog, Are You Suffering From Facebook Addiction?

Facebook seems to be the leader in innovation of ways for site users to interact. They have created various new methods of interaction adding an new unhealthy level of prying . These new advancements although welcome by many users, has many qualities of stalking. Awhile back, Facebook implemented something called “status updates”. The updates allow any particular site user to alert other users of what they are currently doing. Something as mundane as “I’m walking the dog” can be a common status update.

Advanced situations involving a more addicted person can lead to more extravagant status updates, which also become more frequent. I’ve witnessed some users give a ‘play by play’ of the route in which they were traveling, completer with starting points destinations. With today’s turbulent, unsure times disposing such pertinent information can be dangerous, you never know who may be paying attention.

The virtual world that these addicted users engulf themselves in seems to to alienate those of which still have a grasp on reality. No one fancies hearing they have a problem and need help, even with something as small as constantly letting someone know what you’re up to. There are few reasons to explain the origin of a social site addiction, boredom, aspiration for stardom even loneliness . The comparisons of Facebook or Myspace addicts and drug addicts are justified. Ultimately like every addiction downfalls are consistently costly. Addicts lose friends, sense of well being, and find themselves heading down a spiraling path to destruction.

Much like a drug addiction, excessive abuse and denial come into play, but an upside to being addicted to Facebook rather than cocaine is there is no physical attributes. Rehabilitation for social site addicts….go out side, remove the mobile applications from your phone just a suggestion… A primary step. If that doesn’t work, an actual rehab clinic? Maybe the Tom Anderson (creator of Myspace) rehab clinic?*W)


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