Do you ever find yourself checking your phone every ten seconds to see if you have a new notification? Or maybe you sneak a peek at your social profiles while you’re on the clock because you need the change of stimulus every five minutes. If so, then it’s time for an “internet intervention.”
(Photo Credit: cletch/Flickr)
Technology has revolutionized the way that we live and conduct business by making it cheaper, easier, faster, and more convenient to do just about anything. The internet alone has completely changed the way we connect with each other, and the widespread adoption of social media has made communication faster than ever. According to this infographic from Visual.ly user woahannie, we have become a nation of addicts and the internet is the main culprit. There is even a diagnosis for this obsession, “internet addiction disorder” and it is identified by the following symptoms
- Preoccupation with internet/gaming
- Withdrawal symptoms without internet
- Loss of other interests
- Unsuccessful attempts to control use
- Use of internet to improve mood
Some studies show that Twitter may be harder to resist than cigarettes, sex, sleep, caffeine, and alcohol. Now that’s some serious stuff, people! But, why is the internet (or social media) so addictive? Here’s what the infographic had to say:
The Draw – The satisfaction of “temporary companionship” and the “instant gratification of connectedness” that the internet provides.
The Hook – The brief satisfaction lures the user back, causing a dependency to develop over time.
The Withdrawal – Happens when “the satisfaction” is taken away and the “high is gone,” causing a “sense of disconnectedness, distorted sense of time, and lower sense of self-worth.”
The Dissatisfaction – This stage comes after withdrawal and will, usually, lead the user back to the internet for his or her “fix,” which continues the vicious cycle of internet distractions.
The internet and social media can be very useful in developing and enhancing a professional’s career. However, if abused, this vice could cause you to lose your job. The inevitable side effects of overusing the internet are lower productivity because of constant distractions, loss of motivation because you just want to be online, and a shorter attention span from the immediate satisfaction you’re used to online. If you see these bad habits developing, then it’s time for an internet intervention and to switch your priorities to align with your long-term career objectives.
Lastly, if you’re still not convinced that the internet is slowly chipping away at your future, the infographic also points out that the average attention span has gone from twelve seconds in 2000 down to eight seconds in 2012, which is one second less than the attention span of a goldfish. Come on, people! Sign off and get some work done for a change … you might just see that actually doing work makes your boss like you a bit more. Oh, the possibilities.
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Have you noticed that your career has been negatively affected because of your internet/social media addiction? If so, share your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments section below.
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