Created by Oatmeal
Thank god this number is so low. I thought it would be more in the range of 100%. Not that a quiz result on a humorous website is an exact reflection of how addicted to social networking sites I am. But still.
I spend about an hour each day, in 10 minute increments, on Facebook. Conservatively speaking. Because there are days when I check it so often – along with my email and Twitter accounts – that I’m not sure what I’m expecting to happen. It’s like I’m a bird who has learned to peck at a lever for a pellet. I couldn’t have a more dopamine-driven reaction to checking my Facebook page. After years on the site, I have a Pavlovian response to the little red number telling me how many new items are on my page.
Like everyone else these days, I am 10 parts mystified to 9 parts embarrassed to 5 parts worried about my online activity. Am I online too much? Would I have written 10 books by now if I weren’t? Maybe. Though I think I remember procrastination BEFORE the internet came along. Hard to imagine, I know, but it involved magazines, cleaning, cooking, and my record collection. I am dubious, too, about all the doomsday accounts of how sites like Twitter and Facebook are making it harder for us to concentrate on one task, make connections offline, etc. Maybe I’m both too old and too young to understand these common laments. I’m old enough that I didn’t grow up with cell phones, computers, etc. – but young enough that I don’t think that teenagers are destined to go to hell in a handbasket for growing up with them.
At any rate, I am more addicted to Facebook than to my Twitter account. Probably because I see Twitter as a really big conference where I pick up news, neat articles, a little bit of gossip, and network. Facebook is like high school, and thus I’m more emotionally attached to what happens there. When someone de-friends me, I notice. On the other hand, when someone stops following me on Twitter, I shrug and tweet again.
As an anthropologist who is beginning to study human interactions on and through social media and information generated and circulated using new technologies, I think all of this navel-gazing we are doing about our online lives is fascinating. Self included. Stay tuned. As we become more adept at harnessing the power of the web, we’ll have more fears and joys and reflective moments. I’ll be sharing mine on Facebook, clearly.
Created by Oatmeal