By: Travis E. Blythe
Is it possible, could there be such a thing? With all of the other type of rehabs becoming so popular these days, I.E. celebrity rehab, sex rehab (ala Tiger Woods) and video game rehab, is Social Media rehab far behind? I know most of you missed that last statement because you are still thinking about video game rehab. But that one is actually serious, in a story I heard on sports talk radio last week, a former pro football player Quinn Pitcock quit football with the Indianapolis Colts because he was depressed and was addicted to video games. I think I won’t be going to work either because my PS3 is calling me 24/7!
Social media is all the rage now days, you may not even know or be aware that you are caught up in it but it started years ago with Myspace and now Facebook and Twitter have seized control of our lives. Does anyone remember when the only thing on our phone was a phone? I may be dating myself here but does anyone remember having to wait to get home to check an answering machine? Well our phones have it all now a days and if it doesn’t, then there is an app for that.
With that being said, we seem to spend every living minute on our phones doing something, either checking email, sending texts, checking Facebook, sending tweets, watching videos, Etc. When are we going to find time to actually enjoy real life? They didn’t call it a “crackberry” for nothing you know. Social Media rehab is coming to a town near you soon. I am not sure what is sadder, that as adults we cannot put down the cell phone because we just have to play our “words with friends” or that we are actually putting these devices in the hands of 10-11 years old children. Really what does a 10 year old need an iPhone for? Did you take away the PS3 and substitute it with a smart phone or are they utilizing them both at the same time? If you try to tell me that a child at that age needs a phone to have for emergencies then you are ridiculous in my opinion. We both know the child is going to be texting and playing games on that phone. Whatever happened to the pay phone that I had to use to call my dad to get me from practice?
Sorry, got a little off topic there for a second, but really those kids are going to need social media rehab by the time they are 18! So tell me if this is your daily life. You roll up to Best Buy and before you are out of the car you check in on Foursquare, send a tweet, and post to Facebook all at the same time. Then some of you even go to Gowalla, Loopt, or Whrrl and do the same. You leave the store and run over to Chipotle to grab a burrito bowl and you do the whole process over again. This time you even add a comment on Yelp to tell the world about how yummy it is. The whole time you are doing this, you are walking extremely slow and your significant other is yelling at you to “put that phone away” or “hurry up!” I know you have all been there too. Now we also have texting and driving, hell I bet some of you tweet, check Facebook, and email while you drive as well. And here I thought the woman putting on makeup while driving was dangerous. I watched a couple the other night at dinner and they never spoke to each other. They had to be around 21 or 22, and all they did was sit there, eat, drink and text. How is that fun? I wondered if they were texting each other?
I can understand if it is your job to sit in front of your computer all day and work in social media, but for those of you who utilize hootsuite or tweetdeck, have all of your social media outlets loaded up and just monitor it all day commenting on everything, don’t you have a job? If your blocked at work from facebook, don’t you think there is a reason? No it is not so that you can just do it on your phone. Maybe they actually want you to be productive!
Yes it is soon going to be time for all of us to head off to Social Media rehab. A place where they take away your phone, your iPad and your laptop. They make you actually have to communicate to live real people and do an activity without the technology guiding you. You have to actually play Foursquare with a real ball, read a real book or write an actual letter with a pencil and paper. Oh my gosh, imagine that?
Yes I am guilty of all of the above; it is difficult but I am trying to put my phone down after 7pm at night and on the weekends. I did stop tweeting on the weekends (mostly) but now it is September and fantasy football is beginning. So now I can watch football, text, tweet, FB, and play interactive fantasy football on Sundays, oh man that just sounded like I need help.
What a crazy world we are living in, all this technology to stay social and keep up constantly with what everyone is doing. Yes rehab is just around the corner, even if it is just a holiday weekend!