There’s a reason those who engage with social media are known as ‘users‘.
The euphoric high you get when the number of likes on your latest status breaks the 50+ mark.
The way your heart pounds when a celebrity retweets that photo of your lunch.
The sense of indestructibility that sweeps over you when your Tumblr is featured on the site’s homepage.
And then the dreadful, paralysing, nausea-inducing horror when you realise the tide of your digitised gluttony has receded, abandoning you on the barren shore of (whisper it) no wifi.
If this sounds like you, it might be time to put the smartphone down and rethink your life choices. Here are another few warning signs to look out for if you think you might be an addict.
You start saying ‘LOL’ and hashtagging words in real life
It is not acceptable to regale people with a story by saying ‘Oh Em Gee! Fell over on slippery leaves today, hashtagEMBARRASSING. LOL.’ Especially if you’re talking to an elderly relative. She’ll probably call a priest.
You plan events just to get some fresh photos on your profile
And your guest list comprises those of your friends who have the most Friends, Followers or RePins, ensuring news of the night gets as wide an audience as possible. You know you’ve really got a problem when you hand out the wifi password to guests on arrival, complete with a #KatieIsTheBestHostess suggested hashtag to get you trending.
You address statuses to ‘The World’, pleading for change and understanding.
You’re in pretty deep if you believe the universe and all its myriad wonders follow your Facebook activity while nodding and taking notes. This is the digital equivalent of conversing with a traffic light about the state of the NHS. Who are you talking to? A worryingly common example is: ‘Dear World, Please make people less annoying. Love, Anya’. This irony here shouldn’t be lost on you. Get to rehab, stat.
Much as we all love to keep connected, there’s much more to the internet than instagrams of roast dinners. Shiny smartphones and sleek new laptops from Very are essential staples in our lives, but next time you log in, try getting your news from the Beeb rather then a disjointed twitter feed – it might just be more interesting!