Thursday, May 23, 2013

Social Mediaholic

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?

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