Social media is a great way to connect with long lost relatives, friends from high school who you haven't seen in years, and even old boyfriends you once lost touch with. It connects the friends from all parts of your life -- college, summer camp, high school, and graduate school -- and puts them all in one place where they can interact with you and with one another.
In short, it's addictive. Facebook is so addictive, in fact, that Your Tango has created a mock after-school special that shows a mom twittering ferociously, ignoring her children to get her "fix," and ultimately causing her family great harm. Of course, the video is a parody and is over-the-top hilarious -- "I just need three more cows, Dan, just three more cows!" -- but in real life, it's not all that funny.
A mom was recently so preoccupied with FarmVille -- one of Facebook's many games -- that she killed her baby so the baby would stop interrupting her game.
And it doesn't even have to be a tragedy to make us stand up and pay attention. The average mom just looking at her wall posts, twittering, or blogging can also feel the pull toward the computer -- and away from her kids -- and it can become a serious problem. The video below is funny, but the problem may not be.
Moms are online all the time and some of the vitriol seen in the comment sections of any online publication proves that. What are our children doing while we're firing off that comment that will prove we're right on a friend's Facebook page? Where are our children while we're taking some writer to task in the comments section of a newspaper article?
What is it about the online world that is so enticing to moms? I get it. I was home with my children for the first 3.5 years of motherhood and I was (and remain) completely enamored with my computer. I was constantly checking email and Facebook. It was partly because I was freelancing a bit, but it was also because it became my lifeline, my way of reaching out into the bigger world than just in my house.
Being online stirs our passion. Even here, think of the many articles (maybe even this one) that have gotten you riled up, enough so that you feel compelled to comment and then comment again and then check back to see who else commented. And this carries itself across the board. Facebook is particularly adept at it since you get emails when someone else comments, drawing you back into the fold. And now with smartphones, it's easier to fight and feud via Twitter and Facebook while you're at the park or grocery shopping or waiting in line at the bank.
The first step is admitting you have a problem. Do you think about your online interactions more than you think about your real life ones? Do you promise yourself just 10 more minutes on the computer and that becomes an hour? When was the last time you read a book or talked on the phone?
Thinking about these things might help you figure out just how much time Facebook/Twitter/blogging is taking and then set limits. It's only funny because it's true.
Do you think you might have an addiction to being online?
Image via YouTube