I ask for Co-Codamol and the pharmacy assistant tells me that I must only take it for three days because this is an addictive drug. They have no worries about the drug; it is social media I am addicted to.
Well am I?
Other than my family and friends, I can list my loves in life, when do they count as addictions?
I love social media, Haruki Murakami novels, red wine, sleep and beautiful Norfolk sunrises, oh and fabulous Norfolk beaches and chilling with my market trader mates, and running with my Twitter pals. Ah no, wait, loves in life and actual addictions are strikingly different, without a doubt.
So what can’t I actually live without? What makes me function on a daily basis?
In the past year I have forged friendships I didn’t know I needed and rediscovered something I had put on the backburner until the day all the everyday tasks left time for, i.e. writing. These things all make me function, happily, and they have, in part come from social media.
Writing and social media are intrinsically linked. To participate in social media I have to write, by interacting with others I have rediscovered my writing skills. My love of writing has, in a way, sneaked in by the back door and re-awakened the desire and now I can’t get through a day without giving something up to the world in the written word, whether it is 140 characters or more.
I reached a point recently where I knew I needed some kind of change in my life. Inter-planetary activity could have been responsible but who knows? The past five years have been spent worrying myself sick about others and suddenly in 2011 I woke up and realised, if I don’t get on with what I want to do, I will be old, blind and addicted to red wine and won’t have achieved what I used to dream of.
This morning I watched BBC Breakfast as I er, ate my breakfast. I got annoyed because they had a discussion on technology and family life. As usual it presented itself as a ‘how social media and smart phone technology are damaging family life and human interaction,’ piece and instead of pointing out the positives, went all out on the negatives.
No, no and no again, you are missing the point. Social media of course has negatives and yes families should sit round a dinner table and interact in many different ways, people should be able to communicate face to face without viewing their mobile every few seconds and be able to chat without the need for checking text messages or Facebook or Twitter.
BUT, take a look at the social media success stories that must far outweigh the negatives, charities have raised millions if not billions of pounds, dollars, euros through social media, business acquaintances have been forged, it is a marketing dream, music has been created, isolated self-employed people have found like-minded souls, events have unfolded live and raw without censorship or journalistic interpretation. The truth has been reported, lives have been saved, dreams have been realised and so on it goes.
No, it’s not all about what we had for breakfast!
If I have an addiction let it be social media, it is really my only one and to my mind it is actually healthy!