We remember making a MySpace as if it were yesterday. It was 2006 and the Internet was taken over by the social network, overtaking Google as the most visited website that very year. Years later, the once giant of all things social was challenged by an up and coming website called Facebook. It really is a tale of David vs Goliath and typically David won. Soon enough pretty much everybody made the switch and MySpace was left battered and bruised by Facebook, especially after the website was sold for $580 million in July 2005.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re not getting sentimental over MySpace – it was good whilst it lasted but that’s the risk of the internet. Now, in modern day society, we can freely operate Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest all from one device – our mobile phones. The fact that society has gone from struggling to keep one platform relevant to now daily updating several platforms is both worrying and miraculous at the same time. So whilst society replaces its communication skills with those of social network logins, we delve in to discover whether you’ve a social media addict or not.
1. Ever deleted a picture of yourself because you didn’t receive enough “likes”?
Ah, I’m sure most of us have been here. This is a classic case of social rejection, something which makes us question if we’re actually good looking enough to post a picture of our faces online. Am I ugly? Was that the wrong filter to use? Did I have something in my teeth? Actually, it’s normally none of those. Questioning your own worth because you don’t feel you received enough likes on a picture that was posted online doesn’t mean anything – it just means people didn’t press the like button. Yet, you still worry yourself into a state of panic and swiftly delete the photo after 15 minutes of no likes, hoping the Internet didn’t pick up on your photo that now looks as if it never existed.
2. Frequently contemplating the significance of a like? Well…
Many years ago, the courtship ritual was always laid out: If you fancied someone, you asked them out on a date. If they said no, that was that and you asked the next person who took your fancy. As the world has evolved into a spider web of social network, word travels faster than light. People are constantly worried about being rejected and it then being exposed on the internet to their permanent embarrassment. A series of likes on your photos from the same person now screams 3 things. One is that it could be your Aunt Betty who thinks you’re the most fascinating person ever and you’re biggest fan, often posting questions aimed at your Mother on your Facebook wall. Next it could be someone who’s crushing on you and placing ‘subtle’ hints by liking every single thing that you post or it’s quite simply a sociopath. Now, the last option is a bit far fetched, but take note that you really shouldn’t consider the significance of likes.
3. You’re yet to meet someone in person yet you know everything about them, even their favourite shade of orange.
Cyberstalking is a daily activity for many, regardless of how strange it is to spend your time learning things about other people’s lives. Turning into a MI5-like agent by uncovering everything there is to uncover about someone may be seen as a skill but don’t put it down on your resume.
4. You regularly “talk” to people.
Now by “talking” we don’t mean actually conversing with people in person, chatting away happily about little things like the weather and your loves and hates, we mean “talking” in the sense of lazily texting each other weekly, asking how the other person is, replying good and leaving it there. If you find yourself regularly “talking” to people on social media, then things aren’t looking good…
5. Your phone is an extra appendage.
As we’re in the 21st century, smartphones have become a common gadget to see in the hand of many worldwide. People often seem to love their gadgets more than their family and friends (well, until the next version comes out and they happily pay the £500+ price tag to stay relevant). A phone with WiFi capabilities is as compulsory as it’s the connection to the outside world that many people need. When you’re out in public, you may want to get an update on how great someone’s Starbucks looks on Instagram, what’s happening in the news around the world and you can even watch TV from your smartphone. If you were to fall into an abyss, at least you could Instagram yourself on the way down. Smartphones are the new Swiss Army knife, armed with all kinds of apps to connect you to everyone on the internet.