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Comic: The ‘Always On’ Nature Of Mobile And Social Media

Social and mobile…they go together like peanut butter and jelly. But, like anything else, too much of a good thing can be bad for you. The fact that our mobile devices are so portable means they go everywhere with us. And the reduced price of smartphones and data plans means that our social channels tend to go wherever our mobile devices go.

Do we really need our social media and mobile devices to be everywhere we go?

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With our phones, we can now look up local restaurant reviews on Yelp, share photos of unique items we find at stores via Instagram or Facebook and even ask questions to our Twitter followers wherever/whenever we want. But the downsides comes with the addictive nature that comes with blending social and mobile.

A study conducted in February of 2012 by a team at Chicago University’s Booth Business School found that their study participants generally had a more difficult time resisting the need/desire to check their mobile device than resisting smoking or drinking alcohol. Wilhelm Hoffman, who led the study, indicated that:

“With cigarettes and alcohol there are more costs – long-term as well as monetary – and the opportunity may not always be the right one. So, even though giving in to media desires is certainly less consequential, the frequent use may still ‘steal’ a lot of people’s time.”.

And the addictive nature of mobile and social can impact your health, too. Studies have shown that employees are putting in more hours because they continue to check their work email after they go home, resulting in issues that include bad posture, elevated stress and muscle/skeletal problems from using the devices continually.

So, let’s take a break from those tweets, posts, photos and videos for a few. Walk outside, smell the flowers, pet a cat. Take some time to say hello to your co-workers and neighbors and reconnect with the social network you spent so much time building before you ever had a Facebook or Twitter account.