As I surf the internet to find articles to reference for my research paper (which by the way, is due Wednesday!! ARGGGG!), I come across a strange acronym. The words SMAD appear across the screen, and I had to give it a second look. I am perplexed at this strange word. What the heck is a SMAD, and why does it materialize after I type the words “social media” in the Google search box? I immediately click on the article and there it appears in BIG, BOLD letters….Social Media Anxiety Disorder. Social Media WHAT? OMG! Ok, now I am beginning to get anxious as I read about the symptoms that are clear indicators that I may be suffering from a mental disorder because of my habitual use of Facebook, twitter, Instagram. Uh, snapshot anybody?
I panic and I run into my co-worker’s office and with alarming concern say, “Hey, guess what?! I exclaim. She replies, “What?” “I have Social Media Anxiety Disorder!” She gives me a look like I’m crazy, and we begin to laugh out loud from the fact of the new discovery I just made about myself! Little did she realize that I am laughing at her too because I am not the only one with this disorder girlfriend! LOL. Ok, now on to some serious business, so what is Social Media Anxiety Disorder, and what does it have to do with me, you and the rest of the world?
Apparently, according to an article by Julie Spira, author of “The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Manners on the Web,” lists 5 symptoms that are warning signs you may have SMAD. One worth mentioning is #3, “If your cell phone is with you at the dining table and everyone is texting while they’re eating and no one is saying a word, you might have SMAD.” In other words, if you feel anxious, nervous, or any other type of emotion from SNS you pretty much have been diagnosed friend! How many of you are out with your with your friends either having dinner or just spending time together and they pull out their cell phone to check out the latest Facebook post or Twitter feeds? I remember having a conversation with a dear friend of mine about her habit of checking her device when were hanging out. ” UH, HELLO, not to sound selfish, but is it too much to ask for you to just detach yourself from Instagram for just one moment!” I was like a child jumping around trying to get her attention because I wanted to play! I was hungry for human contact, if that wasn’t the case, I would have stayed home and spent the rest of my evening on my phone! Face to face contact is so vital to our existence. Imagine a world where you never see anybody, all senses are lost due to the fact we can’t tear our faces away from our electronics! Sounds like straight out of a Sci-fy movie!
We live in the “Age of information” where everything is available to us at the click, click of a button. Indeed, with the introduction of smartphones and portable laptops that can fit in our bags, we will never miss out on one moment. We have to remain plugged in at all times. We can’t afford to lose out on one given cyber moment! Heaven forbid! Chances are while your out for a stroll or standing in line at the supermarket, you will notice people on their phones as they surf the internet and check out the latest posts on Facebook. Are we too “absorbed” to even look up and take notice of the person next you? Listen sweetheart, you might have just missed your chance on meeting Prince Charming all because you were so caught up by the latest Facebook post of your Mother’s, sister’s, brother’s, cousin’s, wife who just posted a nasty comment about your Mother’s, aunt’s, daughter’s, niece’s, son. PHEW! It’s hard to keep up with all the latest and greatest but STOP, and just slowly back away from the device before anyone else gets hurt!
How about taking the time to “stop and smell the roses” or just “care enough to send the very best.” Believe me, the cyber world will always be there, let’s just hope that it doesn’t make you miss out on some of life’s unplugged moments.