When it comes to addictions, some say one can be addicted to anything. When it comes to being an addict, I’m asked regularly in my practice as a Psychotherapist with a certification in addiction counseling, “Am I an addict?” My answer to that question is ALWAYS, “If you have problems because of your use (of a substance or activity), you are most likely an “addict.” What does that mean?
Well, not to condone any illegal, immoral or unhealthy habits, but if one suffers from any legal, occupational, social, medical, educational or familial consequences of substances or behaviors such as arrests, loss of a job, problems with a partner or spouse, failing classes, high blood pressure, liver damage, loss of friends or family connections you do have a problem or “addiction” to whatever activity is causing these consequences. In other words, you are doing it or them too much!
This article addresses the reality or myth of Social Media Addiction. Can the explosion of “likes, trending, sharing, posting, tweeting and hash tagging” be addicting? Are people facing consequences for their over-use of social media and finding themselves “in trouble” for HAVING to be online excessively to fill a desire of need and inclusion? Or is social media simply a way to entertain ourselves and have fun? The research and findings will astound you.
Let’s look at some of the negative consequences of social media overuse:
- Marital infidelity caused by looking up former loves and engaging in private messages. (By the way, studies from 2012 report that 2 out of 3 divorces were directly related to Facebook).
- Car accidents caused by sending updates or tweets to these sites while driving.
- Students wasting time updating Facebook instead of studying or taking notes while in class.
- Wasted time while trying to keep up with the constant stream of posts, comments and photos received.
- The development of a false sense of popularity by adding as many ‘friends’ as possible or quantity vs. quality.
- Tendency toward egotistical obsession with the self-hype and constant stream of notifications of one’s whereabouts or exploits.
These are just a few of the consequences of social media addiction. We must also consider that our creation of a false world of friends distracts us from the REAL WORLD of PEOPLE and relationships! Our self-esteem and perceived sense of purpose in this world is quickly becoming dependent on how many “likes” we get for our “selfies,” posts, pictures and statuses from “people” we don’t even know as PEOPLE! This shift in social need and acceptance is literally killing people! Children commit suicide over lack of “likes” and acceptance on social media!
We also fight our personal wars with exes, family members, fellow colleagues, fellow students and others via posts on various social media sites! What are we doing?! This “selfie” world we are living in now is drastically changing REAL LIFE RELATIONSHIPS in an extremely bad way! Why?
Well, the “feel good” chemical in our brains, dopamine, becomes elevated during social media use. One gets high from the egocentricity of social media, especially on Facebook and Twitter. On these sites, 80 percent of all discussion is “about us!” Face-to-face interaction we talk about ourselves about 30 to 40 percent of the time. We get “hooked” because WE are all our own favorite subject! For every “like” we get, our belief in our own wonderfulness rises! Conversely, the lack of “likes” can cause us to become sad and depressed. This is madness.
As with addictions to substances and alcohol, we become reliant and dependent on them because they somehow artificially “fix” our needs and problems and deplete our own ability to cope, deal and manage with our lives and relationships and truly solve what is wrong with us. The more we “use,” the more we “lose” in our true abilities! Such is the case with social media. The more we rely on it to “socialize” the less we are truly able to “socialize” in real life! One can easily become enamored with posting selfies and posts that feed our needs to feel good about ourselves determined by every “like” that gets clicked on them, but when it comes to reality, that does not exist in such a way.
In another detrimental way, social media encourages passive aggressive behavior, meanness, personal wars with each other and various other forms of “getting back at, even with, or punishing” others we hold vendettas against. It’s just so much easier than confronting people in real life! This is just another way to dehumanize ourselves, and feed our “needs” via social media. Suicides have resulted from this type of behavior, stalking is easy, and infidelity due to social media has been the MAIN REASON for divorces in America over the past five years.
When we sacrifice our human abilities to interact with each other, c-o-m-m-u-n-i-c-a-t-e IN PERSON, and attempt to fill our needs for approval, validation, love and revenge on a computer, we have a huge social problem or disease which I expose in-depth in my new book, “Socialcide: How America is Loving Itself to Death.”
Although the proverbial “jury” is still out on any reliable PROOF of social media addiction, addiction treatment centers are offering in and out-patient programs for the same. We must all ask ourselves if we are:
- Spending too much time on social media sites
- Finding ourselves choosing to use our time online more than in the real world
- Missing work, school or family time because of a need to “know what’s happening” or “who is saying what” on our social media sites
- Having marital problems because of diverted time from our loved one spent online instead
- Preoccupied with social media “gossip” or issues we have become involved with
- Becoming angry or envious of others who “post” about their wonderful lives which leave us feeling less than adequate
- Stalking or snooping on people we know, ex-lovers, family members, “friends,” or others
- Looking at our cell phones for “updates” while we are driving, with others, at work or otherwise in inappropriate situations
I am convinced that as a society, we are becoming addicted to social media, and it is manifesting itself in our inability to truly communicate with each other. If social media is not just a fun, occasional “pass time” thing that we can enjoy but rather a way to feed our human needs, fight our battles, cheat on our spouses, stalk or get even, we need to stop using it immediately!
We need to start getting off-line and into the WORLD again! Humans were created to socialize and BE WITH OTHER HUMANS, not rely on “friends” we have never met in-person to make us feel good or validate our sense of value or purpose in this world. In my opinion, there will be no computers or electronics to communicate in the afterlife. Therefore, we should return to learning how to enjoy our lives, ourselves and friends the human way, deal with our issues and problems or needs in non-electronic ways and be the PEOPLE we were born to be.
Socialcide: How America Is Loving Itself to Death
Leo J. Battenhausen
Faith Books and More Publishing
3255 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, Suite 250, Suwanee, GA 30024
9781939761279, $29.95, http://www.faithbooksandmore.com
“The unhappiest people in this world, are those who care the most about what other people think” – C. JoyBell C.
It doesn’t take much to be swept away by the tides of change, ever sweeping across the collective conscience of our nation. It doesn’t require your wilful participation, it only demands you to suspend your thought and go with the flow. But not all free flowing particles are alike, some are different from others, some are stubborn and inquisitive and dare question the absurdity that threatens to sweep them all away to annihilation. And when important questions are raised, intelligent answers are sure to follow.
Author Leo J. Battenhausen’s book Socialcide: How America Is Loving Itself To Death is a psycho-spiritual exploration into the ills that seem to plague the modern day American society. The author talks about the Me generation of today that seem to have forgotten even the basic social etiquettes and morals which were a part of everyday living for the previous generation. He claims Socialcide is destroying the basic fabric of our society one moral value at a time. Balancing his own theories and hypothesis with scientific facts and studies, he not only lists the various problems but also the means to overcome these before it’s too late.
The book has a wonderful foreword by John Kelly who amongst other things is also an author and the co-star in the Discovery Channel show ‘Dark Minds’. And once you get past the various introductions, you will be greeted by small and precise chapters delivering exactly what their titles denote and they do so in an extremely professional manner as well. In the book the author presents numerous real life examples of loner people, who may have been self sufficient and mighty hiding behind their online personas but when they ventured out into the open, their inability to cope with reality and their insufficient emotional responses often resulted in horrific outbursts of violence. The author also make an argument for coming out of our shells and communicating face to face and making a sincere effort to get to know our neighbourhoods and community better.
A lot of readers will be shocked to learn that the latest edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Diseases has removed Narcissistic Personality Disorder from its list because it’s too commonplace to call it as a disease anymore. The author presents hard evidence linking the evolution of narcissistic individuals, sociopaths and psychopaths in our society with the increasing cases of depression, drug addiction, marital problems, violent crimes, financial mess and other forms of abuse. And in a society that gets too scared or awkward discussing religion publicly, the author who is a professional psychologist too has shown tremendous courage in bringing religion and spirituality into a discussion about the ills facing our society.
The author also makes many valid points like how nowadays it’s easier to get the youth to organise a flash mob dance than have them come together to do some actual good for the society. The author lists 1978 as the year which probably heralded the beginning of the Socialcide era with the introduction of cell phones, video games that could be played in homes and the birth of the test tube baby.
For the many light bulbs that are sure to go off in your head at the end of every chapter, I wholeheartedly recommend this book and suggest everyone to grab a copy at the earliest.
Whatever Happened to the Zodiac Killer?
Katherin B. Fitzpatrick
2301 Lucien Way, Suite 415, Maitland, FL 32751
Originally posted on MindMender's Blog:
Hey All! Hope you’re all doing well! While I’m trying to mend my illness…I thought I’d let you know about my radio dates for this week! Have a lot going on!
Tomorrow, at 6:05pm (EST) I’ll be on Denver, Colorado’s KLZ Radio with Jimmy Sengenberger. Stream in at http://www.klz560radio.com
Thursday, I’m back at “home base” of Relevant Radio’s “Morning Air Show” with Host John Harper. NY/NJ folks can hear us at 1430 AM or stream in at http://www.relevantradio.com and choosing “LISTEN NOW” Show time is 9:30am EST!
And…just a “Heads Up!” My new show with partner John Kelly, co-star of ID Channel’s “DARK MINDS” will be broadcast NEXT Wednesday, Jan. 28th at 8pm EST on http://www.TalkZone.com! VERY EXCITED about ALL OF THESE…
View original 8 more words
Hey All! Hope you’re all doing well! While I’m trying to mend my illness…I thought I’d let you know about my radio dates for this week! Have a lot going on!
Tomorrow, at 6:05pm (EST) I’ll be on Denver, Colorado’s KLZ Radio with Jimmy Sengenberger. Stream in at www.klz560radio.com
Thursday, I’m back at “home base” of Relevant Radio’s “Morning Air Show” with Host John Harper. NY/NJ folks can hear us at 1430 AM or stream in at www.relevantradio.com and choosing “LISTEN NOW” Show time is 9:30am EST!
And…just a “Heads Up!” My new show with partner John Kelly, co-star of ID Channel’s “DARK MINDS” will be broadcast NEXT Wednesday, Jan. 28th at 8pm EST on www.TalkZone.com! VERY EXCITED about ALL OF THESE APPEARANCES!!!
Stay in touch for reminders and updates!!!
Alfred Lord Tennyson said once, “It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all,” yet these words do little if anything to help one feel better after being on the losing end of the romantic partnership. The truth is, in most relationships, one person is going to be hurt when it ends. Unfortunately, that cannot be avoided. However, the broken heart can mend! That is the good news, but it takes a true desire to make it so and each and every one of us are worth that desire!
Broken hearts can come from many different sources besides an ended relationship. Being fired, laid-off, losing a friend, estranged familial relationships, loss of a pet, a forced move to a new residence, and countless more I am sure!
I am offering 10 techniques that will help anyone who has lost their “true love” and hopefully drive you far from the repetitive self-questioning, self-abusing and self-destruction many of us are haunted by after being broken-up with or suffering from a loss in our lives. If you truly commit yourself to following these suggestions, you will heal stronger, more positive and far more ready for living single or with a new partner one day! Remember! It is hard to start them, but far harder to not!
(For the sake of this piece, please feel free to replace or supplement any loss you may have encountered and need help with in overcoming, not only a romantic one.)
1: Acceptance. It happened. He or she ended what you had together. If he or she does not want to share their life with you anymore, there is no use in negotiating, hoping for their feelings to change, or “fixing” whatever went wrong. You are better than that and no one person makes us who we are! Stop denying, plotting or planning any form of retaliation.
2: Mourn the Loss. As with any loss in our lives, we need to mourn and grieve in order to heal properly. Cry, take time off, speak to supportive friends and family and accept the love and concern that exists around you. Wakes and funerals are not for the deceased, they are more for the living who NEED to see and believe their loved one is gone and this is true in relationships as well.
3: Clean House. Remove any and all reminders of your former lover from your living and working areas. Pictures, gifts, clothes anything that may be hanging or lying around that will bring about sad memories and remind you of “loss” instead of “change.”
4: Replace the Thought of Loss with Change. That’s right! A change has occurred in your life. One you were probably not expecting, but happened nonetheless. This is the nature of life. The only two things we can be guaranteed in this life are death and change. So, rather than view this loss as “death,” see it for what it truly is a CHANGE, and changes can be very exciting if we keep them in their proper perspective.
5: Get Busy. Now that you have some extra time, it may be ideal timing to join a gym, book club, volunteer at an animal shelter or with children, join a church or take a class. Whatever your interests are, there is always something to do! This is a great way to connect with new, like-minded people, feel good about yourself and exercise your body and/or brain in new circumstances. In my book, “Defeating Depression: The Calm and Sense Way to Find Happiness and Satisfaction” I encourage people to GET INVOLVED WITH OTHERS as THE BEST WAY TO FEEL GOOD!
6: Reinvent Yourself. There’s nothing like a new hairstyle and some new fashion styles to help us feel good! Take some risks! You are worth it!! Along these lines, think more too about new concepts or ideas that may help you fulfill your true and inner-potential. Explore what roads attract you and take a ride!
7: Stay Focused Forward. There is a very important reason that our car’s windshield is larger than its rear-view mirror. What lies ahead requires far more attention than what we have left behind. We have absolutely no control of where have been, what we have done or who we were once with, but the great news is we DO have MUCH MORE POWER in choosing what is to come next in our lives! Plan accordingly and with excitement!
8: Don’t Drink Society’s Kool-Aid. Perhaps this “Command” is the most important. Why? Because the media and advertising have been “telling” us who we should be, what we should do, like, eat, drink, drive, act as if, and live like for hundreds of years! Think especially about holiday advertising…Picture-perfect couples and families, living in beautiful homes enriched with over-flowing love and devotion for one another with happy family-activities, smiles and appreciation! You know the stuff that “dreams are made of” and that is PRECISELY THE POINT! Society lives on DREAMS that are fed to us constantly and consistently all day, every day! Highway signs, radio commercials, catalogs, television shows and commercials, magazines, movies, and so on! Advertisers KNOW the more frequently and often we see the same thing that stimulates all of our primary senses, (sight and sound), the more we will believe we want what they are selling! However, what they are “selling” is not REALITY! Very important to be aware of this one!!!
9: Give Yourself a Break. This “Command” is a conglomeration of the previous 8, meaning that while you are following all of the other “Commandments” and strengthening yourself and life around you, relish in time alone! This is truly necessary to properly heal any loss in life, especially a relationship ending. It is normal to fear that we may be “alone for the rest of our lives” after a love is lost, but that does not mean we should rush into any NEW relationship in order to protect ourselves. If your car suddenly “dies” on you, sure, you need to hurry up and get a new one, however, when we are speaking of relationships, we are NOT speaking about things that must be replaced immediately to survive! Learn to know, understand, support, love and appreciate YOU and spending time with YOURSELF! Question any fears or pressure you may be experiencing as to why being on your own for a while is such a scary thing. Remember, change in life is guaranteed and we never know when we will meet Mr. or Ms. Right again! The point though is being able to stand firmly on your own two feet well-before seeking any new relationship!
10: Familiarize Yourself With the Steps of Loss. This is a simple concept that once embraced will lead us through the process of many types of losses. At first you will feel SAD. If you are fired, “dumped” by a lover or otherwise faced by the end of someone or something in your life unexpectedly, the natural reaction involves sadness. That is okay. This period of sadness allows us to grieve our loss and process its reality in order to accept it (“Command” #1). Be sad, but be on watch for Step Number Two, MAD. Once our emotions of shock and surprise have been effectively dealt with, we normally move into anger. “That son of a *&^^$ dumped ME?!” or “I’ve worked here for X number of years, and THIS IS HOW THEY TREAT ME??!!!” Anger, or MAD is a pivotal point of moving on! It is in this step where we gain STRENGTH and MOTIVATION to move on!!! This is true in many situations! So be and get angry! Why? Because “Mad” is the diving board into the third and final step of GLAD! When we have successfully felt all we needed to feel in order to realize our loss, and internalized the reality of the loss, we can become “Glad” it is over, because somewhere in the loss lies a reason! It is then we can feel safe, confident and undefeated in moving on in our lives!
So we move from SAD to MAD then GLAD following loss.
Be mindful of fluctuating between these Steps though. We MAY go from SAD to MAD and back again, and that is fine but the goal is to get to GLAD as a destination! If you find yourself “stuck” in Sad or Mad for prolonged periods of time, perhaps some form of help from a therapist would be a good idea. However, my challenge to anyone is to make this happen on your own! It CAN be done, and if you fully and truly believe in yourself being a wonderful, deserving person because of who you are, you already contain the strength and capability to accept unexpected loss if and when it comes, and survive it with positive results!
Listen. America, WE HAVE A PROBLEM! REALLY! After France suffered its worst terrorist attacks in over 60 years, America’s President FIRST doesn’t show up for a march of protest for such atrocities, THEN he sends James Taylor there (2 weeks later!) to play his guitar and sing “You’ve Got a Friend” to the French! Some of those lyrics says, “When you’re down and troubled, and need a helping hand. And nothing, nothing is going right. Close your eyes and think of me. And soon I will be there. To brighten up, even your darkest nights.”
HAS THIS GOVERNMENT LOST ITS MIND???!!!! How INSULTING can we be to France after such horror filled their streets with the blood of INNOCENT PEOPLE??? “When the sky, above you, is dark and full of clouds. And that old north wind begins to blow. Keep your head together, and call my name out loud…..” Are we truly a Nation of MORONS??? I am certain the world continues to believe so! How could they not? This is inexcusable and simply STUPID! MILLIONS WENT TO THE STREETS OF PARIS TO PROTEST AND SHOW SUPPORT and America sends some low-level ambassador who no one knows, but that is not the scary part.
The scary part is while this administration has TWO MORE YEARS TO GO….YES! TWO MORE YEARS, who KNOWS what we are in for?! Russia’s economy is ONE LEVEL ABOVE “JUNK” and now would be a PERFECT time for them to take advantage of a once-great nation, respected, feared and desired by the ENTIRE WORLD! Don’t think it cannot happen! ANYTHING can happen!
Once upon a time we fought side-by-side with the French in order to free people from evil and control! The Revolutionary War and World War II come immediately to mind! America may not have become the country it is (or was) without France’s help, and we repaid their support by fighting the Nazis WITH them in World War II! Now, when they NEED US AGAIN, we send a message that says, “You can call out my name…..I’ll come running, to see you again….” TWO WEEKS AFTER THE FACT! (Can someone pass me another marshmallow to roast over these burning bodies?)
I know that is HARSH, but it is REAL! WHEN the HELL are Americans going to WAKE UP, stop feeding their apathetic, self-serving nature, and TRY TO MAKE CHANGE, and I MEAN REAL CHANGE! Not the garbage we were media-fed in 2006! Just as SOCIETY is today, so is our government, no one is accountable or responsible. We Americans should be scared and I mean SCARED!!! But, we aren’t. Nope. “Not my problem! Take a selfie!”
I am convinced the state of the once-great nation of America is and has been under-siege for many years! Mind control is real, social manipulation is real, and the ultimate dumbing-down of America is real too! There is a very real and sinister “back-story” to all of this, and I am trying to uncover it! We CAN’T ALL BE THIS IGNORANT! (or can we?)
When killings and merciless killings in the “name of” ANYONE are happening in our front yards, MAYBE then we will pay attention, but the better part of me doubts it. What will we do THEN???
Well, with our present government, we can be assured that “Ain’t it good to know, that you’ve got a friend? When people can be so cold? They’ll hurt you, and desert you. They’ll TAKE YOUR SOUL if you let them, but DON’T YOU LET THEM.” What a joke, disgrace, embarrassment and injustice. Where have our MINDS went Americans?????