Social Media Addiction Is the New Norm: How to Create Better Sharing Experiences

Friday - 3 January 2014

The clip above is taken from Charlene deGuzman’s video, I Forgot My Phone, which shows how intimate occasions and social events are ruined by society’s addiction to phones.

Recently, eBay issued a study that illustrated just how addicted some people are to their smartphones. The findings demonstrate that “phubbing” — choosing to look at a phone instead of engaging with the surrounding people/environment — can damage relationships and even break laws (texting while driving).

Some people — older generations, especially — shake their heads at phone users’ lack of manners, but Brian Solis acknowledges that society’s “addiction” to the Internet and social media is now the new norm.

In This So-Called Digital Life; Re-Evaluating the Value of Time Spent in Social Networks, Solis admits that mobile technology has changed him. His thought piece is especially interesting because instead of criticizing constant connectivity as an “addiction,” Solis believes people can reevaluate the value system of online engagement in social networks.

Social media and society’s addiction to it isn’t going anywhere; so for a better social media experience, we must re-train ourselves in how we use social media, not how often.

Many social media users post content to feel accepted or gain attention. Solis observes the five reasons users update their social media accounts, calling it the 5 V’s of the social engagement value system:

1. Vision. To learn something or be inspired.

2. Validation. To be accepted or justified.

3. Vindication. To feel correct or cleared.

4. Vulnerability. To express their openness.

5. Vanity. To express popularity or importance.

With every message or social media post sent, Solis urges users to seek something in return other than attention, jealousy and “likes” from friends.

Social media and everyone’s sharing experience will increase in valueif more users were to post, say, an educational article instead of a selfie.

Solis also urges users to take advantage of Thinkup, a new startup that connects your social media accounts and summarizes your time spent on it. The goal: to help users learn more about their connections and how they use their time on social media.

Apps like Thinkup can improve social media users’ sharing experiences.

For example, it might highlight content from a year ago that’s worth resharing, or summarize similar post types (quotes, perhaps) and alert you whether your friends and followers like these types of content.

The result: more insightful content that your network wants to see.

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2 thoughts on “Social Media Addiction Is the New Norm: How to Create Better Sharing Experiences

  1. Pingback: Are we addicted? | Social Media

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