DO WE NEED TO CURB OUR SOCIAL MEDIA ADDICTION?

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Whether we’re tweeting what we’re eating for dinner or Facebooking our finest purchase, there’s little doubt that we’ve become a nation of social media addicts, constantly on the hunt for our next fix.

Aimlessly scrolling through our iPhones in a queue or texting on a commute to work is the norm, as we strive to stay up to date with our connections when we get a spare moment. Our thirst for the ‘here and now’ has grown so much that the world’s first case of ‘WhatsAppitis’ has come to light today.

According to a Spanish doctor, one avid user of the instant messenger, What’s App, developed pain in both wrists after six hours of replying to messages. The condition follows ‘Blackberry thumb’, ‘Wii elbow’ and ‘Nintendoitis’.

With this in mind, the news also raises questions about whether people know when and where to switch off and put our phones away. Just this week, Labour MP Diane Abbott caused uproar when she seemingly live tweeted from the funeral of veteran politician, Tony Benn.

As she waited for the service to start in Westminster on Thursday, Diane sent a string of messages to her 63,000 followers, prompting accusations of being ‘tacky’ and ‘disrespectful’. Her spokesman was swift to respond that the Hackney MP only tweeted prior to the beginning of the service, but it appears that the damage had already been done.

The apparent blunder follows Barack Obama’s now famous selfie with David Cameron at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service last year – whether it was a mark of the utmost respect for the world leader or the height of bad etiquette, was an issue debated for weeks.

So, is there a time and place for our affair with social media? Or should we embrace our addiction and keep tapping and tweeting away? For fear of ‘Facebook Fever’ or ‘Pinterestrophy’ developing, maybe we should all know when to just switch off the blue screen and – dare we say it – have a face-to-face chat?