I am not a well person. I’m a social mediaholic. I’ve known this for some time, but I can’t seem to do anything about it.
My mediaholic addiction started in the 90s with e-mail, but quickly spread to texting. My thumbs mutated into arched styluses that gyrated back and forth over my Blackberry’s knobby keyboard. Tendonitis forced me to begin using my index fingers, a move that cut my typing speed in half, and in some way, seemed effeminate.
I’ve been addicted to Facebook and LinkedIn for years. I find myself updating my profiles hourly. I reply to senseless posts, sometimes typing and erasing my reply several times as though the content really mattered. Seeking broad acceptance, I LIKE posts that I don’t even read. I even LIKE my own posts, hoping to jumpstart others to follow suit. I have a cellular ringtone that alerts me when I get new Facebook friends or LinkedIn contacts. It seems the need for constant feedback is a primary symptom of the mediaholic.
I swore that I’d never let my addiction spread to Twitter, but it has. It’s been months since I’ve had a thought consisting of more than 140 characters. I speak in hash tags and abbreviations. I have over 4,000 Twitter followers, but I know very few of them. Actually, I don’t know any of them, but I don’t care. I want more. I need more. A false sense of popularity is another indication of my addiction.
And yes, I have a blog. I’m a blogger. Even the sound of the word sounds creepy, conveying images of bodily fluids. I didn’t know what a blog was five years ago, but now I post to mine almost daily, and I monitor my blog stats continually. If my page views dip, I take it personally. I wonder what I’ve done to drive viewers away. Have they gone to someone else? Did I say something wrong? Am I boring? Oversensitivity -- yet another symptom.
As an aspiring author, I recently discovered a new social media site – Goodreads. I’ve joined a dozen groups on this site and I chat with the group members as if they’re interested in me and my books. They’re not of course, but the mediaholic need to belong keeps me coming back. I flood the site with promos of my novels to the point where I’ve been scolded by the group administrators -- the social media equivalents to hall monitors. They don’t stop me, though. I just move to a new group and bombard them with more promos.
I don’t know where all this leads. I’ve tried going through the 12-step recovery process, but I never get past step 3 -- cellular fasting. If my cell phone isn’t in my pocket, I get tremors and list to one side when I walk.
I guess I’ll need to hit bottom before I can begin to recover. I must be nearing that point. By the way, I’m thinking about expanding my Google+ account. And did I mention my novels are half price on Amazon this week?