Social media addiction is real: My story

OR: “EC&I 831 – Social Media & Open Education” pre-class impressions.

I am addicted to learning, and information overstimulates my brain.

After many years using the Internet to feed my addiction, I decided it was time to change. I took two weeks off in June 2016, and I established only one rule for those days: zero technology. Flowers, tomato trees, paper books, craft materials, and photographs were my new companions. I felt at peace. The urge to turn my computer on before washing my face in the morning and the ridiculous habit of pressing the “F” key to open Facebook, when I should open Microsoft Word to write a paper, were no longer part of my new routine.

Currently, I can say that I have a healthy relationship with digital information.

A week ago, I received Dr. Couros‘ email saying that blogging and posting on Twitter are assignments: real assignments. Yeah, it was hard to believe as you can see from my first post on Twitter using the course hashtag:

What I meant was: Seriously?! 

I was afraid that my addiction would come back, and instead of pressing “F”, I would start pressing “T” every time I needed a computer for working or studying.

twitter social media cartoon_0
Cartoon by Brad Fitzpatrick

It is not new to me that there are great things on Twitter, but not using it was just a personal option. Since I am a very disciplined student, I spent some time (too much time?) after our first class thinking about my profile on Twitter and trying new hashtags related to my job, such as #leadership#highered, and #studentaffairs. I am not addicted to Twitter (yet), but my brain really enjoyed the new activity:

The dream is a true story. So is the fear of social media relapse.

As an educator working in a higher education setting and advising millennial students on a daily basis, I registered on this course to learn how to integrate technology into my practices more deliberately and creatively.

After reviewing the principles of the Digital Detox class I took last year, before I became a “Facebook user in recovery”, and watching a new (to me) interview with one of my favourite speakers about social media addiction, I realized that it is possible to have a healthy relationship with social media and fully enjoy my EC&I 831 course! :D

Tell me in the comments:

How is your relationship with social media? Am I the only one facing a love-hate relationship with it?

The link for comments is below the title. Thank you for asking me about this, Colleen :)


9 thoughts on “Social media addiction is real: My story

  1. Hi Jaque,

    Thanks for the great post! I am impressed at how good you are at embedding videos, hyperlinking and at how developed your profile is already. You have challenged me to learn more about how to do all of those things in my first blog post. I may be tweeting at you for advice!

    I appreciate your honesty about social media. I also took a break from social media for some time earlier on this year. It was also to eliminate some of the distractions that it can be and to give myself some mental clarity. I don’t know if it provided mental clarity but it did open up more time. Most importantly, I was being conscious of how I used it which is why it was important to me.

    As I commented on Kara’s blog, (how do i hyper link in comments? do you know?) I want to model a healthy relationship with technology for my children. I am still working to find a balance.

    What I do like about the Twitter account that I created (again, how do I link it in comments? anyone know?) is that I have created it with the intention of creating a Personal Learning Network for this class. As such, the people that I am following are for personal and professional development and I am not getting dragged into spending too much time on celebrity gossip, pressuring parenting articles or albums of other people’s fabulous vacations. I think that this is a good example of utilizing technology to learn and not for mindless scrolling (although I do that too sometimes).

    Thanks for being honest and look forward to reading more of your blogs!


    1. Hi Colleen, I also really enjoy the free time I have when I avoid digital distractions. This is why I was a little bit resistant when I knew we have to post and tweet on a weekly basis.
      Since I really enjoy blogging, I created a schedule that will help me blog and tweet at specific times during the week. Yesterday I was feeling a little bit behind since I noticed that some people already made comments on each other’s blog posts. Again, to maintain a healthy relationship with technology, I had to tell myself that I was not behind since I had scheduled Saturdays for visiting other blogs. It is hard, but I believe this is part of developing our (new) digital identity.
      Thanks for your comment! :D

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jaque! This is Dani from #ECI831. :) Loved this post! I also have a love/hate relationship with social media. I love it because it connects me with the world around me – brings my loved ones who live far away, closer and those that I admire who I may never get to meet, closer. HOWEVER, it has the potential to be a total time waster and I find myself sliding down every rabbit hole when I should be studying, planning, preparing, etc. That and as an elementary school teacher my concerns with the social media world are growing and growing…I see how social media can hurt kids and how if not taught how to use it responsibly, it can be disastrous. I guess what it comes down to, and I will include myself in this, is it’s all about properly educating people on how to be good digital citizens – how to be respectful, responsible, smart and careful. Also, how to distinguish between “real” and “fake” news and information.

    I think we are very lucky to live in an “instant” world for many reasons. It has changed how we share information and has given us the opportunity to think and act globally because we now know what is going on in our world.

    Thanks again for this post! It certainly got me thinking.
    Take care.


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