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10 Signs You Are You Addicted To Social Media

It was years ago and my children would spend hours either on MySpace or instant messaging and I wondered why they would want to spend so much time on the computer communicating on social 10 Symptons and Signs Of Social Media Obsession and Addictionmedia channels. Five years ago the term ‘Social Media Marketing” hadn’t even been invented yet but now our obsession with social media has moved on to include business social media activites as well as personal use. So now we can justify the time spent on social media as a business activity just to salve our conscience.

To put a few activities into perspective let’s check in on our social media and digital activities for signs of  addiction and obsession by asking some pertinent questions.

Do you have following symptoms?

  1. When you leave your iPhone behind at home do you feel a sense of loss and isolation becasue you can’t check your Facebook or Twitter updates while out and about
  2. You check your Facebook account 20 times a day
  3. If you don’t receive a comment on your latest blog post within 12 hours you have suicidal thoughts
  4. You go away for a weekend without your laptop and your suffer severe heart palpitations?
  5. You have more social media icons on you iPhone than productivity apps?
  6. You stood in line for an Apple iPad for 24 hours just so you could update your Facebook on a bigger screen while on the move
  7. You have more online friends than you have in real life
  8. You Tweet on your mobile while walking
  9. You log on to Facebook before you have brushed your teeth in the morning
  10. You check your Facebook or Twitter updates ‘after’ going to bed

There are also some revealing  graphics from Retrevo who comissioned a study of 1,000 online individuals to provide an insight into our digital proclivities.

The first provides some comparison between 3 types of users, under 25’s, over 25’s and iPhone users on Twitter and Facebook check ins.

Do you check/update Twitter, Facebook first thing in the morning?

10 Symptons Of Social Media Obsession and Addiction

The other graphic on digital addiction that I found rather revealing was “Can you be interrupted for an online message anytime?” which provides some revealing inclinations.

10 Symptons and Signs Of Social Media Obsession and Addiction

On the question who is the most social media obsessed country in the world in terms of time spent on average per month, that dubious award belongs to the Australians with the UK second, Italy third, the USA  in fourth place and Spain holding down fifth spot.

10 signs you are addicted to social media

Graphic courtesy of Nielsen Online Social Media report 2010

So what is your social media obsessions that have your partner or friends considering booking you into a specialist social media addiction clinic?

But before you answer that…take the poll!

[polldaddy poll=3385301]

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • How hilarious is this? Excellent–thanks for the fun of it. I don’t think we can just count in SoMedia, though. My hair girl just this morning about had a cow because my cell phone rang and I didn’t answer it. She just couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t want to connect with the person texting/calling me. I was thinking because we were in the middle of a conversation and she had scissors snipping at my neck, but apparently that was lost on her.

    • OMG! So funny! I’m surprised she didn’t answer it for you. I will share with my stylist when I see her this week.
      And thanks for the article Jeff! I love the stats on interrupted during sex! Still laughing.

  • Guilty of more than 50% of the 10 listed! Eesh. But, in my own defense, this speaks volumes to the transparency and connectivity of the world we live in today. It’s far better to be social and connected than live a life of mystery.

    I vaguely remember a time when I didn’t even want a cell phone because I didn’t want people to reach me any time they desired. Now, I’ve got stacks of social networks on the home page of my Blackberry. And I’ve just started using Foursquare and seeing why it’s so appealing and fun.

    If someone needs to commit me for my social media use, so be it. Just as long as I can update my status while confined to a straight jacket. 🙂

  • Great post. I love the charts and graphs, they really help to visualize the issue. I found this funny because my post this morning was almost on this exact same issue (http://wp.me/pTCZM-58). Seems like we both had the same inspiration bug today.

    Thanks for the great post, I look forward to them every day.

  • Great post. I have just recently started using some social media. I can understand why they can become addictive. Ironically, I am not a great fan of the cell phone. I use it only for emergencies and/or necessities–I won’t answer it if I am doing something else. My friends, however, act like the cell phone is an extension of their arm. It’s everywhere they go. They definitely have symptoms Nos. 1 and 2.

  • As I open this blog to read, my cat is almost sitting on top of the key board….is this the first sign?

  • Hello, my name is Ashley, and I am a social media addict. Before I do anything in the morning – even turn on the lights- I grab my laptop at the side of my bed (because I had to check my Facebook and Twitter before I could fall asleep) and I check to see what kind of activity happened while I was sleeping! Great post!

  • Guilty as charged! Well, the thing is, SM can also be fun while you work! On the plus side, I think it is great to be able to enjoy the things you do. On the negative, it does turn you into a hermit!

  • KC

    Great post! I have six symptoms – which isn’t so bad, I suppose. I think you can remove item #7, though.

    Your “friends” online are really composed of *both* “real” friends and colleagues/associates. So really, everyone would check that off their list!

  • Thankfully only number 7 applies to me. I don’t own and ipad or indeed even a phone with an internet connection. On the whole I find Facebook hugely overrated and fairly trivial, inane and dull. It’s fine for keeping in touch with friends and family, but hey, that’s what the phone and personal visits are for if truth be told. I think many people are in danger of suffering from a lot of the above, and that is kind of sad, because I think long term for future generations, whilst technology is great, it will be very much at the expense of actual face to face communication – you know, actually talking to people? Remember that? I honestly believe we;re already starting to see that, with a lot of Gen Yers shouting about how great they are with technology but, when it comes to good old fashioned social interaction skills, a lot of them are found wanting.

  • Zoe

    I’ve not joined the iPad following yet so don’t fit that one. I don’t quite see the point of them…I have a laptop, a phone….what is it for??

  • Logout of Facebook? Why? lol. Open a window and it stays open all day!

    Guess I’m not that bad. I get my tweet feed through pidgen and it is configured to only deliver them every half hour. My smartphone doesn’t have any sm apps.

    Foursquare and fellows, yikes. I’m still not addicted to the phone as an extension of my arm, why should I need to be available 24×7 The hermit kingdom is soooo nice 😀

  • How about signs your child is sick of your social media addiction? I could definitely count plucking EACH and EVERY key off my laptop as the #1 sign my 3yo is tired of my online work. And yes, I almost needed medical attention when I found out what he had done.

  • Great post. People check their social media accounts during sex? That’s strange and funny!

  • No iPhone here, I’ve got the HTC EVO, BUT… Yes, I still check my Twitter before I’m even done yawning when I wake up ; ) My Tweeps are important to me ~!! As far as the “Can you be interrupted/take a phone call when… question”… I being a well trained, highly refined business development professional, I simply take every call anyways.

    #Perpetually #Amplified #Potent #Gratitude Jeff~!!

  • Nessclick

    Seven out of ten!! And that’s probably only because I don’t yet have an Iphone!! (my samsung has twitter & fb so all ok, just a tad out of date in the apps world). Nice to hear it all laid out and to find reading on it, I knew I was a social media addict but then questioned it becuase I’m not in to foursquare and don’t have a blogg, etc. But as for facebook & twitter?? Very first thing I do every singly day, (before I’m out of bed) and the very last thing at night… Sigh.

  • We were told that the average american was watching 5.5 hrs of television a day. At least social media is interactive, often-reciprocal, and relationship-based. To me, that seems like progress.

    { twitter = @danenow }

  • Anonymous

    I love your top 10 list, classic! I fall into about 8 of them if you replace iPhone with Driod or “smartphone”. Check out my blog on internet addiction >> http://bit.ly/VoxOxInternetAddiction

  • Mercado Irene

    i am glad that i am not yet an addict to this social media thing. i only visit facebook and twitter when i get home from work.

  • Ditto, Dane. Def more constructive and growth-bent of an addiction than television, soft drinks and hanging out at the mall.

  • Yes, I am (8 out of 10)

  • Rockerfaerie

    Ouch. 6/10.

  • Prnaranjo

    Sorry, do not have time for surveys….I am checking Twitter and my Facebook…

  • Drsharryn

    Oops! Chill pill required here!

  • Is this all you got from Jeff’s article?

  • It would be interesting to compare the results of this poll every 6 months going forward. I noticed there are comments from a year ago. It would be cool to see if the results are trending upward toward more SM addictive behaviors as time goes by.

    I have 8 of these symptoms. Being in the Social Commerce industry, I believe it’s unavoidable. I must not be doing enough if I don’t have all of them. 🙂 Now I’m trying to think how to get all 10 and maybe a few more.

    This was a fun article Jeff.

    Steve Kavetsky
    AgooBiz.com // The Social Commerce Network
    “WE work greater than me”
    Twitter: @AgooBiz

  • Happy to say I’m not addicted.

  • Jim Katzaman

    You might want to add Twitter chats to addition signs. You could pave the way with a 12-step program for those.

  • Whew…dodged that bullet! When I saw the headline I figured I was doomed but only two apply to me. Yesssssssss!