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Are you a Social Media addict?

by Randall Craig on November 16, 2011

Filed in: Blog, Career Planning, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Social Media

Tagged as: , ,

Have you ever been “captured” by an activity, finding it almost impossible to let go? Marathon runners call it the runner’s high. Smokers call it an addiction. But what is it called when you can’t tear yourself from Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or other social networks?

If it is part of your job, then some would call it your passion: when your work isn’t work, then it isn’t work (it’s fun). But what if you can’t tear yourself away from it in the evenings? On the weekends? Or if you find yourself “checking in” when you’re out with friends, or eating a meal with your family. This too may be an addiction.

Do you control Social Media, or does it control you – test yourself:

  1. Don’t check your smart phone at meals or whenever you are with someone. If you feel the urge to check, or feel guilty you haven’t, then you may be addicted. (Your family, friends, and colleagues will appreciate your full attention.)
  2. Don’t use Social Media for 24 hours each week – at all. In the olden days, this was called the sabbath, where people… rested. If you feel disconnected when you take this day – you may be addicted. (Hint: it’s not a bad thing to use this time to reconnect with those closest to you.)
  3. When you completely disconnect from the world on your vacation, are you still tethered to the social web? Most addicts will find a way to get their fix, either by finding an internet cafe, bringing a laptop, or even worse, bringing a smart phone and accessing Social Media continuously on demand. (Is this you?)

This week’s action plan: ‘Addict’ isn’t a particularly positive word, but sadly, too many of us slip into this mode of dependency, one step at a time. This week, assess your dependency by going cold-turkey whenever you’re with someone else. Or if you’re truly courageous, do it for a 24-hour period.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
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Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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