Are You Addicted to Social Networking?

social media addiction, internet addiction
LOL #imnotaddicted ROTFL #icanquitanytime

A young mother named Alexandra V. Tobias made headlines in October for shaking her baby to death because his cries disrupted her Farmville time.  Internet addiction has become a bona fide public health issue in South Korea and China, but here in the States, stories like Tobias’s are still very rare.  Nonetheless, as we share more of our lives online, it’s time for all of us to ask ourselves: am I addicted to social networking?

The folks at YourTango have done a great job in examining the topic in a really funny way that pays homage to the torrent of After-School Specials and anti-drug commercials we were inundated with as children in the 80’s.  To this day, I still chuckle when I think of the over-the-top anti-drug ad espousing the dangers of marijuana use that ended with the line, “I learned it from watching you, Dad! I learned it from watching you.”

In that same vein, this hilarious tribute to PSAs gone by (written by my friend and fellow comedian Ophira Eisenberg) will make you wonder if your kids will one day say just that – not about smoking pot – but about crafting the perfect Tweet.

YourTango is offering advice to readers on how to break up with Facebook and how not to bring Twitter into your bedroom (I mean, why would you? “Forgot to put the condom on” is a tweet best left for Julian Assange). Yet at the same time, the site is encouraging readers to follow all of the characters from this short film, proving just how difficult it is for us to unplug, even when we know it’s best.

Do you think you spend more time online than you should?  Do you have rules about smartphone use in front of your kids?  I have a rule that I don’t use my phone at all for social media or email when I’m with my daughter, and I’ve only broken it once.  (Impressive, I know!)  I have, however, worked later into the evening than I like more times than I’m happy about, but I try not to take calls in the evening before she goes to bed so that we can spend quality time together.  My daughter gets frustrated watching her teenage cousin continually send texts, so I think she appreciates the boundaries I’ve set for my own phone use.  I’m hoping it sets a good example and rubs off on her.  After all, when she’s a teen, I’ll be the one paying her phone bill!