The Consequences of Social Media Addiction

This post is part of a blogging series by marketing students at the Presidio Graduate School’s MBA program. You can follow along here.

By Tania Varga

Are you one of the 200 million Facebook users or one of 18 million who use Twitter?  How often do you use these social media sites and does your activity sidetrack you from prioritized duties? Interesting enough you are not alone. Many people have expressed their near obsessive usage of these social media outlets. Some people even get to the point of having Facebook cleanses. Do these behaviors imply that people are having a social media addiction? And is this a problem?

Social media outlets such as, Facebook, Digg, Twitter have revolutionized how people get information, connect with people from all over the world and give entrepreneurs, organizations and business the opportunity to reach out to a much larger customer base.   On the other hand, it might just be that social media users have an addiction to easy access news, social networking and shopping.

A survey conducted by Retrevo Gadgetology looks at people’s behavior when updating or checking Facebook and Twitter(“Is Social Media a New Addiction?,” 2010).  Considering these questions; is social media a new addiction? Are people obsessed with their on–line social media outlets? When is it appropriate to check messages on-line? Or simply are marketers getting better at finding out where, when and how you get your information?

Interestingly, all of the above questions have to be determined by the people using these social media outlets and ask if their behavior is interfering with their non-virtual social life.  To reiterate a point made by the survey examined, should we be concerned with the 48% of social media users who have the urge to check their social media outlets in the middle of the night? One final question could be: where do we find a balance in terms of social media and real life interactions?

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