MySpace has had a growing impact on people of all ages. How do people get sucked in? Many refuse to give in for weeks, and then months, but eventually they break down by the pressure of their friends- it’s harmless, right? It’s just a simple web page for social networking. All you have to do is put up some pictures, write about your interests, and maybe keep a small blog for people to read a little bit more about the way you feel. Everybody wants to feel appreciated and noticed by other people. If you’re good, you can have hundreds of online friends within a few weeks! How bad could it be?
The addiction begins…
This is where things go terribly wrong. MySpace feeds that part of us that wants to be accepted and acknowledged; but while it is feeding us candy with one hand, it is sucking out precious nutrients from the back. It’s like pouring water into a bucket with a hole at the bottom. Sure, you have 300 friends on MySpace, but you suddenly realize that the rest of your friends have 500. How can this be? You’re not good enough, you need more. So you spend hours online trying to obtain as many friends as possible. It’s a never ending cycle, because the more time you spend, the more things you find out that you need for your MySpace. These endless hours often end up eating into the time you needed to be spending doing homework, spending time with your family, or even while you’re supposed to be working. It’s an addiction- you get it whenever and however often you can, and because it’s available everywhere there is an internet connection this creates a lot of issues trying to avoid it.
Who are you really?
Due to the mask of the internet, you can pretend to be who you always wanted to be. You can fake your personality and act like you would probably never act in real life. This appeals to us. You begin to talk to people that you normally would never feel comfortable approaching. It’s so much easier to send somebody a message online than trying to talk to a complete stranger on the street. You begin to obsess over finding and keeping your cyber friends- perhaps it’s that cute girl that keeps sending you messages, or that hottie that says he’s completely in love with you. Through this process, you start to find that your real life friends are somewhat dull and boring. Don’t fall into this trap! Just as you may be pretending to be somebody you’re not and telling white lies here and there to make yourself look better, there is a good chance that that 19-year-old cutie is actually a 52-year-old pervert sitting behind a desk just trying to pull your strings.
Save the drama
MySpace seems to be designed to create drama. At the end of every bulletin is an option to “Delete From Friends”, like they expect you to find their bulletin offensive and need to immediately delete this person from your network. But then there is the Top 8, a devilish scheme devised to come in as a wedge between you and anybody who does not hold the #1 spot. Girlfriends, boyfriends, best friends, your long-lost-but-found-on-MySpace friend that you grew up with as a young child, how do you choose who gets to go on your Top 8, and how do you decide an order? No matter what you do, somebody is going to feel hurt that they weren’t placed higher on the list or that they didn’t even make the list at all.
If you allow it to become an addiction, MySpace will ultimately interfere with your life and your ability to interact on a real-world basis. It has the potential to break apart relationships through miscommunication, misunderstandings, obsessiveness, and insensitivity towards the people in your life who really make a difference. It is possible to use MySpace without letting it take over your life!
Here are some tips for breaking away from the MySpace addiction:
1. Make an effort to contact your friends through the phone, or a regular email application- not through MySpace
2. Regulate how much time you spend on MySpace, don’t let yourself spend endless hours with no regard to your responsibilities
3. Let somebody that you trust know about your efforts to get away from MySpace, and find somebody to keep you accountable
If you or a loved one suffers from an addiction, get the help you deserve from a qualified treatment center today.