You hear a familiar tone, as if from far away. As the sound gets louder you become vaguely aware that it’s an alarm. Your alarm. The dream you were having quickly fades from memory. It’s a good thing; you were actually getting it on with cartoon Lois in an episode of Family Guy.

Blindly fumbling around for your iPhone, you reflexively press the home button and open your eyes to rows of apps on a home screen. And so the day begins.

Still lying in a contorted position with one arm half-asleep under your twisted torso, you thumb the Twitter icon. No new followers. Crap! You quickly touch “Notifications.” Still nothing. You know you didn’t become irrelevant overnight, but feel a sudden twinge of anxiety, nevertheless.

Close to panic, you go through the usual routine: Facebook, LinkedIn, calls, messages, and finally resort to email for an attention fix. Your inbox has an auto-confirm from Amazon, a request for just 20 minutes of your time to determine your direct email needs, and a weight-loss ad from Nutrisystem. It’s spam, but good enough.

Deciding that all is well with the world, you get up, turn on the coffee machine, and get ready for the day ahead.

Soaping it up in the shower, you hear the phone’s message tone. Damn. You lean way out and try to grab it, falling halfway out of the tub and nearly hitting your head on the porcelain. Whew, that was close.

The text is from your girlfriend: “Goof morning, sunshine :D,” followed by, “I mean ‘Good morning’ … damn phone.”

You text back, “talk soon … in the chowder.”

She replies, “???”

At work, you just can’t seem to focus on what you’re doing. That hollow feeling from before keeps gnawing at you and making you fidgety. Finally you succumb and hop on Twitter. Lost a follower. Rats. But wait, a notification. Just some idiot liking a post from days ago. Not even a retweet. Bummer.

Searching desperately through your feed for something to share, you find a study that says most of the time people spend online at work they’re actually cyberloafing – screwing around on Facebook and Amazon. Good stuff.

Searching Flickr for an eyeball-catching pic to go with it, you settle on a funky sign that reads, “Quiet. Wasting Time in Progress” and post it with the article. The irony never registers.

Still feeling sort of down, you come across a tweet with an inspirational quote, “Stars can’t shine without darkness.” Good one. But before you can retweet it, you spy the boss approaching out of the corner of your eye. With a practiced click of the mouse, an Excel worksheet fills the screen.

Disaster averted, you glance up at the clock. Noon already? Time to head out for some fast food. But if you order takeout, you can spend more quality time on Facebook. Brimming with expectation, you click on your phone’s Grubhub app, order pizza, and check your news feed.

At no point does it occur to you that you nearly cracked your head open in the shower, came close to getting fired for screwing around when you should have been working, and are actually too addicted to social media to make it to McDonald’s. Just another day in the life of a social media addict.

A version of this originally appeared on 

Image credit Flickr