Communication Addiction

I’m addicted to communication.

Communication—email, texts, social media—serves me professionally as a fundraiser and personally as a writer and blogger. Still, I realize my need to interact with others can lead to unhealthy habits.

My Son: The Most Important

Like perimeter shopping in the grocery store, I’m learning to choose the freshest ideas and communicate in the healthiest ways rather than binging on media and consuming every bit of information offered.

Let’s suffice it so say I’m no stranger to addiction or affairs. In the last two years, I’ve quit smoking, stopped drinking, and made a great deal of progress on getting rid of toxic people in my life. My most recent effort to exercise my will power over my desire is to take sugar out of my diet.

Some people may not struggle with addiction, and there are those who intuitively know how to draw the line between a normal behavior and an obsessive habit. I, obviously, am not one of those people.

As soon as I wake up, the appeal of communication lures me.

Still under the covers, I roll over and check Facebook. (This is, after all, how I get all the big news: Osama’s death, Obama’s visit to Roanoke, the tragedy in Colorado…)

I try to ignore the temptation as I sit at breakfast with my son. I struggle against the urge to break my own rule of no phones at the table and glimpse into my work email inbox, oftentimes a futile effort.

I’ve set the no-brainer limit of not texting while driving, but I almost always plan to call someone on my way to and from work. No matter how unnecessary, I crave the conversation.

I walk into work knowing what’s been going on for the first 20 minutes of the day, because I broke down and checked my email on the walk from the car to the building. If I post something on Facebook, I can barely put my phone down before my hand itches to pick it up and see if there are new notifications. The day I post a new blog entry, I binge on the comments and feedback I receive.

I sometimes feel like I have to overshare online and stay plugged in 24/7. I wake up every day vowing to keep it in check, but once I’ve over-indulged, I need to detox before I can return to a healthy balance.

Like any affair or addiction, having a world of information under your fingertips seems exhilarating.

In a world as overly connected as ours, the temptation to imbibe on information and stimulation is great. The problem arises when partaking invades other, more important areas of my life, or causes me anxiety or stress.

To battle the addiction to communication, I set phone-free zones—like the dining room table and bedtime for my son.

I remind myself I’m the one in control of how much I do or do not post or share or like.

I take hiatuses from Facebook when going through difficult times in my life, and lean instead on flesh and blood friends and family.

I consider this a manageable addiction, and I am happy to say that I would like to now go check my Facebook page.

Thanks to Nary Ordinary Business Services for publishing this as a guest blog. There’s tons of good stuff there about setting boundaries, gaining confidence and being a stronger person.

2 Responses to “Communication Addiction”
  1. juliatomiak says:

    Ruth, I sometimes suffer from the same habits! I think social media lures us in because it’s so immediately gratifying. I agree with the need to set boundaries and breaks. We don’t want our kids to remember us staring at our phones but rather listening to them!

    • Julia, it’s so true. And, even as I’m conscious of it, I still find myself turning on and tuning in more than I should, especially when something big is going on. I try hard to limit screen time. We don’t even have cable and I keep movies at a minimum. But, I’m not teaching him anything if I’m glued to my phone all the time.

      Thanks for reading!

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