Social Network Fixation Syndrome

Nancy Collier, LCSW, a therapist writing for Psychology Today online, states, “People often ask me how I think human beings are changing as a result of our addiction to technology. The fact is we are changing in innumerable ways but perhaps none more profound than in our relationship with ourselves, that is, how we experience our own company. It is paradoxical really.  On the one hand, we believe that every cinnamon latte we consume is extraordinary and meaningful to others.  We share every thought and feeling, imagining the world as our doting mother, celebrating every itch we scratch.  And yet, despite our sense of self-importance, we, simultaneously, have lost touch with an internally generated sense of self-worth or meaning.”

The point is well stated because it doesn’t make the usual, stale claim that “technology is bad because it makes us selfish.” Indeed, smartphones — nothing more than pocket computers — make us less connected from ourselves, not more. Does technology make us stop enjoying our own company? No, because technology cannot “make” us do anything. It’s what we do as individuals that counts.

So what are the alternatives to social media? Taking a walk, perhaps. Living consciously in the present. Being self-reflective – even mindful; self-aware. Experiencing every moment fully. Thinking about the problems of the day and attempting to find solutions by introspecting with yourself. Maybe even losing yourself in a good book. All are better than spending hours peering at a glowing screen that does nothing more than chronicle what everyone else is doing.

Of course, some social media can be productive; informing you of new ideas, new topics to consider or quality advice to help you understand the world. But it becomes compulsive when there’s no desire to put the phone down and move on to something else. One of the symptoms of that compulsion could be anxiety over situations one would rather not think about. That’s where running away from yourself comes in. And this lack of real-time consciousness can lead to excessive behaviors such as alcohol or drug abuse. This anxious “running away from oneself” did not begin with computers and technology. Nor did it start because of social media. Social media and technology merely provide the excuse. The real question is, “What am I running from, and why do I think running from it will solve anything?” At that point you can try limiting your time on social media and diversifying your activities – maybe even taking that walk referenced above.

Neurotic and psychologically unhealthy people are excessively concerned with what others are doing. Social media provides a means for focusing on this obsession. One thing I’ve learned over the years is just how obsessed many people are with being “normal.” By normal they do not mean reasonable or rationally adaptive; they mean in the majority;  the center of the statistical “normal curve.” And not because it’s necessarily better, but simply because it’s in the middle. As a lady once put it to me some years ago, “Dr. Hurd, why wouldn’t I ask you what’s normal? Those of us living out here want to be part of the pack.” Being part of the pack may be fine in certain contexts, but if it’s an end in itself, it opens the door to a whole range of addictive or unhealthy behaviors. And social media fixation is only the latest.

Being comfortable with yourself means being comfortable with your own mind — indeed, with your very soul. Once you’re at peace with yourself, there’s no need to run to see what everyone else is doing. Social media has its place just like anything else, but there’s no need to fixate on “the pack.” It simply doesn’t matter.

Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1, and see “Michael Hurd” on MeWe.

The post Social Media Fixation Syndrome appeared first on Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D. | Living Resources Center.

Related posts

Trump’s 2020 attack strategy: Smear Biden over mental fitness By Eric Bradner, Ryan Nobles and Dan Merica, CNN President Donald Trump and his allies have zeroed-in on an attack against Joe Biden, going after the presumptive Democratic governmental nominee’s mental physical fitness in a coordinated effort using smears and innuendo to paint him as ill-quipped to be President of the United States. Trump for months has questioned the mental skill of the opponent he calls “Drowsy Joe.” Trump last week described Biden as “a sleepy person in a basement of a home,” and he has actually repeatedly recommended that Biden did not personally write declarations issued by his project criticizing Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. His project and the Republican National Committee have progressively focused its attacks on Biden’s tendency for on-camera verbal stumbles in recent weeks, as it looks for to define Biden after he emerged triumphant from the Democratic primary. One example came previously this month, when Trump’s campaign launched an ad comparing Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, which closed with the line: “At least Bernie remembers his positions.” The attacks are an early demonstration of how Trump will utilize the full Republican politician Celebration apparatus to run a scorched-earth campaign based upon personal insults and unwarranted insinuations– a heightened variation of his playbook from 2016, when Trump and his allies, without proof, called into question Hillary Clinton’s health. They have actually become a daily occurrence from Trump’s campaign, assistants and Republican allies throughout every medium possible– on social media, in campaign e-mail blasts and videos and on Trump-aligned media companies like Fox News. Biden’s advisers and Democratic allies mention that Trump is guilty of many of the same verbal tics he is attacking Biden over, and often lies and embraces conspiracy theories. As one Biden ally put it: “Has Trump taken his own guidance and downed a gallon of bleach yet?” The attacks weaponize Biden’s propensity to stumble over words, utilize the wrong word or interrupt himself in the middle of long answers by stating, “anyhow,” and altering course. To fans of a former vice president who in December 2018 called himself a “gaffe maker,” those long-time spoken tics have always belonged to Biden’s public persona. They are made more forgivable to his advocates by Biden’s openness about conquering a stutter. Aside from periodic jousts amongst assistants on Twitter, Biden’s project has mostly neglected the Trump project’s attacks. Biden-world’s view is that the political and media landscape has actually shifted because 2016, when every Trump attack on a rival was treated as novel and took command of the project narrative on social media and cable news. His consultants pointed to Trump’s stopped working efforts to guide the political discussion in the 2017 Virginia governor’s race, when he and his GOP allies cautioned of the MS-13 gang, in addition to the 2018 midterms, when Trump’s message concentrated on caravans of refugees approaching the US-Mexico border. ” The misapprehension that whatever Trump wishes to speak about is inherently efficient and that he gets to act as the media’s at-large task editor has actually been closed,” a Biden consultant said. As Biden has adapted to marketing in the age of coronavirus– knocked off the campaign path and rather transmitting occasions and interviews from a transformed rec room in his basement in Delaware– Trump’s project is seizing on every on-camera miscue, with conservative Trump allies such as Fox News host Sean Hannity then magnifying them. ” His sharpness, or absence thereof is on screen every day, every time he talks,” Trump project spokesperson Tim Murtaugh informed CNN in response to concerns about the technique. “His failure to keep a train of thought going is obvious.” Biden frequently looks down at his notes, which Trump’s allies have actually mischaracterized as Biden dropping off to sleep. Trump’s boy Eric Trump tweeted a seven-second video from Biden’s online broadcast with Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, along with the hashtag “#SleepyJoe.”. Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign supervisor, said Trump “always projects his biggest weakens on his challenger in an attempt to deflect criticism from himself.”. ” What is very clear is the White Home thinks his presidency will be evaluated on how properly he is managing coronavirus, so it makes ideal sense that he is now attempting to accuse his challenger of incompetence, which is ridiculous.”. The attacks resemble how Trump’s campaign pursued Clinton in 2016, Mook noted. Trump and his campaign frequently cast the former secretary of state as sick or unhealthy, a technique that was further elevated after Clinton stumbled after a September 11 occasion in New York due to concealed pneumonia. ” I simply see a pattern regularly from 2016 all the way through now, which is, he attempts to predict his most significant issues onto his opponents so he gives the media a false equivalence to attempt to muddy the water,” Mook stated. “Part of the factor he was so obsessed with calling Hillary Clinton dishonest is because he is probably the most deceitful individual to win the White Home.”. Biden advisers argue that Trump’s efforts to caricature Biden won’t overcome the same qualities that insulated him in the Democratic primary: After 5 decades in the public eye and eight years as President Barack Obama’s No. 2, voters feel like they know him. Biden frequently expresses distaste for attacks on his rivals’ character. His aides say that by questioning Biden’s mental capability, the President is guiding the project toward concerns of character and fitness. ” This is asinine to tee up– since it’s 10,000 times even worse for him,” a Biden adviser stated. As an example of how easily Trump could be parodied, Biden’s assistants indicated a video from The Daily Show in which Fox News hosts and analysts’ comments about Biden’s mental skill were interspersed with videos of Trump’s own verbal flubs. Biden spokesman Andrew Bates tweeted The Daily Program’s video, which has been seen 3.6 million times on Twitter, on March 25, in action to Trump spokesperson Matt Wolking tweeting: “When is the last time Joe Biden was lucid?”. ” Triggering voters to assess prospects’ mental states is a devastating proposal for Donald Trump, so we’re never going to prevent him from going there,” Bates said. – CNNPolitics.

Authentication failed. No user with this email address found. This content was originally published here.