NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Technology has changed the way we meet people, date and even break up.
And as CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson reported, a New York City woman said it has all led to a modern-day addiction. She learned that staying in touch could actually make people out of touch.
“I’ve always been someone that my friends would comment over and over again, like, ‘Oh, there’s Kim with her phone again. Oh, you’re the most socially, social media-addicted person we’ve ever met,’” said Kim Stolz.
Stolz, 31, is a financial executive who initially gained fame as the first openly lesbian candidate on “America’s Next Top Model” in 2005. She has also been a news correspondent and video jockey for MTV.
And Stolz said habitually checking in on all of her friends and love interests on social media was natural. But to her friends, it seemed more like an addiction.
“I think having my friends say to me, ‘OK, like, let’s go to dinner. But like, can you promise to stay off your phone this time?’” Stolz told CBS News. “It started really making me feel really, like, OK, like the first step is admitting – like, maybe I really do have a problem here.”
Stolz’s parents also noticed she was always attached to her phone.
“I remember seeing her in the pool with her phone. I thought, ‘She’s in the pool with her phone?’” said Carol Stolz. “She was addicted at very young age.”
But hearing from her friends and her parents was not enough to force Kim Stolz to disconnect. She said the wake-up call was getting caught.
“I had had a sort very of flirtatious, maybe not such a loyal conversation with an ex — and then it quickly turned from Facebook chat to G-Chat, and then we were texting,” Stolz said.
The person Stolz was dating at the time saw those texts and immediately broke up with her.
“Being in a relationship and having them say, like: ‘Who are you talking to? Like, you’re always on your phone. Like, are you cheating on me? Like, what’s happening here?’” Stolz said.
That breakup became the basis for Stolz’s new book, “Unfriending My Ex: And Other Things I’ll Never Do.” She writes about her weeklong break from her phone to get real world perspective on her online obsession.
What Stolz learned from her online detox paid off in her relationships.
She moved on from her ex and is now married, and focused on living in the real world.
“It’s kind of become, like, that the world’s on one big reality show and we’re all contestants trying to compete to show whose life is the best,” she said. “I think what’s funny is that we’ve stopped experiencing life for the experience. We now experience life for the post or for the upload.”
Stolz said at one point in her social media detox, she kept imagining her phone was lighting up with new messages. But there was not anything there.
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