It’s hard to imagine a life without social networks.
I mean, what would we do without access to Facebook and Twitter? How would we go about expressing our feelings, keeping up-to-date with the lives of acquaintances and browsing an entire collection of someone’s photos without being branded as a stalker?
It’s a scary prospect, right?
But have we become so accustomed to social networks that they could now be classified as an addiction?
This blog post attempts to find out whether you are spending too much time utilising social media and not enough time communicating to others using traditional means. Here are 13 signs that Facebook, Twitter et al. have taken over your life.
1. People that hashtag on Facebook annoy you
Ok, ok, so hashtagging on Facebook is now official. But don’t tell us that beforehand it really didn’t get on your nerves!
2. You gave serious thought to creating a Google+ profile
When Google announced that they would be delivering a social network you probably thought one of two things. Either “What? Another social network?” or “Hey, it’s Google, this should be good”. Unfortunately, it isn’t (good).
3. You create a number of different Twitter accounts for different personas and interests
Your preferences and interests are so diverse that you have multiple Twitter accounts – or perhaps an alter ego. In any case, it’s a sure-fire sign that you may becoming a little too obsessive with Twitter.
4. Instagramming a picture of your dinner is perfectly reasonable
Since when did taking a photograph of your dinner become acceptable? Since the dawn of Instagram, apparently. Because that’s all that’s ever on there.
5. You know everything about that person you haven’t seen for 10 years
You’re out and about (for a change) and spot an old school mate. Ah, you haven’t seen them for ages, I wonder what they’re up to?
Wrong. You know where they work, who they’re in a relationship with, how many kids they have, where they’re going on holiday and what they had for tea last night.
6. You browse your news feeds first thing in the morning and last thing at night
Think about it for a second; what is the very first thing you do in the morning and the last at night?
You check (delete as appropriate) Facebook/Twitter/Google+/Instagram/Vine/LinkedIn, don’t you? Of course you do!
7. You change your profile picture more often than you change your pants
Just like keeping up with the latest fashion, having a fresh and unique profile picture has become a priority for you – and, if it’s a week old, it’s too old.
8. You often reminisce about the “good old days” of MySpace and Bebo
While Facebook and Twitter may dominate your priorities these days, you aren’t afraid to admit your affection for social networks of times gone by. MySpace, Bebo and err, FaceParty?
9. Tagging yourself every time you leave the house is a necessity
You feel compelled to convey that you’re having a great time, you’re travelling the world (or visiting the local newsagent, at least) and tag yourself in a specific location. Or indeed, make a comment on how great it is to be where you are right now.
10. Receiving a notification provides you with actual satisfaction
You hate to be out of the spotlight for too long so every time you do receive a social network notification – whether it’s through a smartphone alert or email – you feel a sense of relief and happiness.
Equally, finding that your latest status update has received little or no interaction genuinely disappoints you and you contemplate deleting the update in order to maintain your respectable social network image.
11. “Cleaning-up” your profile becomes a daily routine
Having a social network profile means that you’re constantly exposing yourself to others. As such, it becomes an obligation to untag yourself from unflattering pictures, delete regrettable status updates and remove friends you don’t want to associate with.
12. A new job means you can update your LinkedIn profile
Your LinkedIn profile was looking a little thread bare so your new job comes as a welcome boost. Finally, you have a reason to log on and update that LinkedIn profile that nobody ever looks at.
13. You hate signing up for a new social network – because you become a nobody
Your strength of following means everything to you and starting from scratch on a new platform irritates you. You instantly use another social network profile to advertise your new profile in order to abstain from the momentary culture shock of unpopularity.