Like many addictions, there are many levels of how addicted you can be. Through my exposure with many people about this issue I have synthesized 4 levels that seem to categorize a majority of the people and where they stand:
Addicted Hard: This is the group that suffers physiological & adverse social effects as a result of their addiction. This means that you have issues such as very poor sleep or social isolation. If these are issues you have then you fall into this category. If your life is more online then offline then you may also fall into this category. I completely understand if you are busy networking or actually using your phone for socially productive behavior then being on your phone all the time isn’t always a bad thing.
Socially Acceptable Addicted: This is like alcohol , many people drink but not everyone is on the level of an alcoholic. Social media is very similar, everybody loves liking each others post or seeing some shocking posts from someone who shouldn’t have. The nature of it allows for other people to share in your addiction easily so it feels like everyone is doing it but I sure you that it’s not as prevalent as you think. Sure everyone has a Facebook account but many people genuinely just use it for keeping in touch with family or following only trusted news sources. You can strike a balance but everyone believes the balance is mindless consumption therefore that is the set up we have.
Utility User: This is the user I touched on briefly at the end of the last level. There are certain users who can use social media highly effectively for the purpose those tools are originally intended for such as messaging or finding valuable & worthwhile content. I believe this is the true ideal that most people can achieve and it’s the level with the most balance. In the course of the journey of this blog I hope to steer people mostly to this level and many future posts will address this level further.
Unplugged: In cases of those who want more freedom and complete control over everything, this level also exists. The only form of social media you truly accept is direct messaging(via phone number or some messenger app) and/or email. I would only advise this for people who generally have the foundation of their life figured out and have already built some stable network of their own. If you are young then I truly believe utility user is the best option for you, it’s important to stay connected when you are just starting life to easily engage new people.
That’s the main ladder(from bottom to top) that will serve as a guide for how to progress through your digital journey in life. If you take no further advice from me then let me leave you with this: Always strike a balance with online & offline activities, it will save you from going totally crazy.
In future posts I hope to address on how one can transition across the levels and move up!
Lots of great posts coming up so check back regularly and make sure you read some previous posts to get caught up!