Are You Addicted to Being on Twitter?
by Joanne Troppello
Are you one of the 330 million monthly active users on Twitter or one of the 1.3 billion people who’ve created an account there? If you answered yes to that question, read on to find out if you are addicted with this social media platform.
No, I am not a clinical psychologist or medical professional. I cannot diagnose your Twitter obsession for real. However, I have been obsessed and I know the symptoms!
The Natural Reward-Based Process
In a Psychology Today article, Dr. Judson Brewer shared reasons why people get addicted to Twitter. Check out his reasoning why “Twitter has hacked our brains” and why we enjoy the natural reward-based process of this social media platform.
Trigger – The trigger is when we think of something witty to share
Behavior – The behavior is when we tweet that witty or interesting thought
Reward – The reward is when we receive likes or retweets
According to Dr. Brewer, this learned behavior is reinforced the longer we spend time on this—and other social media platforms. As we get ‘rewarded’ for our ‘behavior’, this “causes a dopamine rush”.
This organic endorphin causes happiness, even though it is short-lived. That’s why through this learned behavior, we want to continue to follow the triggers and behaviors on Twitter and hope to receive a reward. It can become an addictive cycle.
Additionally, Dr. Brewer warns that there is a “dark side to Twitter” that can have negative side effects to this natural reward-based process. Anytime someone on Twitter reacts negatively to our tweets or we get trolled by another user—we want to lash out.
The cycle is similar with negative interactions. However, we receive the reward in “self-righteous vindication” and “approval” from other users who agree that we definitely got back at the offender.
20 Signs You Are Addicted to Twitter
1. You have started to check your Twitter notifications before even checking emails.
2. You catch yourself at work wondering what your Twitter friends are doing.
3. Then you take another ‘break’ to go online to see what those friends are doing.
4. You bring your phone with you to the bathroom so you can read the Twitter feed.
5. If you tweet something witty, you check every five minutes to see if you got any retweets or likes.
6. You can’t watch your favorite series finale without ‘live tweeting’ with fans and cast members.
7. You don’t mind watching said finale live—even though you’ll have to watch commercials, just so you can ‘live tweet’ about it.
8. You spend more time on Twitter than any other social media platform and think that Facebook is not so exciting anymore.
9. You are part of a ‘political team’ and have participated in train rides on Twitter.
10. Your Twitter friends play roles in your dreams instead of your real-life friends.
11. You start to think of Twitter as real life and feel like you’re missing out if you are not constantly scrolling through the news feed.
12. Instead of trying to think of something witty to say in a real life conversation with friends, you are obsessed with thinking up your next great tweet.
13. Rather than contacting a company via phone or email to place a complaint, you call them out on their Twitter account.
14. You and your significant other talk about Twitter and what’s happening there.
15. When you’re on vacation, you can’t wait to tweet photos because you think your ‘followers’ are just dying to see what you’re doing—even if they’re really not.
16. You have to tweet your photos of your latest creations when trying new recipes.
17. You’re out to dinner with your significant other and you’re too busy tweeting and not focused on spending time together.
18. You cannot believe it when you talk to people in real life who have no idea what Twitter is.
19. You tried to take a Twitter break or stop using this platform completely and you had withdrawal symptoms after just twelve hours.
20. If it wasn’t shared on Twitter, then you don’t believe that it really happened.
So, after reading through this list of 20 signs that you may be addicted to Twitter, do any relate to you? Are you addicted to Twitter and is there any way you’re going to quit this platform?
It’s sad, but I am addicted to this platform. I started using Twitter to promote my books and website. Then I got sucked into the black hole that is the Twitterverse. Thankfully, I have been able to start spending less time on Twitter, with God’s help.
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is a published author of 3 inspirational fiction novels and the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Mustard Seed Sentinel. She has experience as a freelance writer in topics such as marketing, retail marketing, health and wellness, SEO and social media, travel and lifestyle, website content, recommendations for apps, and content for blogs. Visit her Amazon Author Page for more information regarding her books. Connect on Twitter. Read more about Mustard Seed Sentinel here.