Social Media Overload. Do You Have It?


Social Media.

Or, Social Networking, if you prefer that term.

It’s everywhere, duh!  Twitter, Facebook, blogs, LinkedIn, MySpace (well, still kinda there), and dozens of others.

(Image from Mallorie Rosenbluth's blog. Click image to visit)

Seems like everyone is using it.  And, often, overusing it.  Apparently some young adults can’t go 20 minutes without using social apps… or withdrawal sets in.

Many older people are just as bad. Of course, when the seniors (or the US President) are Tweeting, perhaps its a sign that we need a new paradigm.. cuz how can it be cool if everyone is doing it?

I’ve read several news articles lately that say about 1/3 of people feel “overwhelmed” by the constant barrage of tweets, updates, emails, blog feeds, news updates, and so forth.

Do you find it invading your life to an unwelcome degree? Or are you already an addict?

I’m going to go admit something that many people will not: Social media, for me, is mostly a waste of time. About 2% is gold, or at least silver or bronze quality. The rest is trumped by the dog turds on the lawn of my apartment building.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a hater! I love technology. I love apps. I love angst-driven musicians (oops, aside). I love innovation. But I’m not afraid to admit it:  I am not a social media whore. I have tried most all of them, and found them less than satisfying. No, I don’t need therapy.

I am also not a fan of reality TV shows or other inane chatter that does not improve my own life. Call me selfish, but I also don’t care about the details of your visit to your cute gay dermatologist, your boyfriend’s snoring, or your ferret’s bowel habits. Nor would I impose the boring details of my personal life on quasi-friends, much less blast that crapola out to the entire planet. For the most part, Facebook is about as entertaining to me as those ugly (and primitive) personal websites at Geocities that everyone just “had” to have back in the 1990s.

I have a Twitter account (I check it twice weekly or so), and a Facebook account (maybe twice a month). I hear you laughing!

I have some military spouses and soldiers that I keep in contact with via Facebook, but that’s the only real reason I have it. I block all games, gifts, apps, and other annoyances there. If I want to know the intimate details of your life, I’ll come move in with you. Or worse, attempt to date you. At least then I might get a real meal once in a while, instead of virtual beers and flowers! And I’m still peeved that Facebook kicked Ener Hax off, for not being “real!”

Twitter I find a bit more useful, mainly because I appreciate the brevity of 140 character messages! And I can easily follow members who have similar interests, or un-follow them without offending them. And occasionally there’s some real news there that affects me.

But I also have a dozen personal and work-related email addresses (although I can check them all at once, via Thunderbird).  And I have lots of  websites to keep up with, and a few awesome blogs (especially

I refuse to let all the social messages eat into more than a few minutes of the 16 or so hours a day that I’m awake. I don’t use any social media at work. I have banned all social media apps from my phone. I am in control (or so I like to think!).

Of course, some of you kinda sorta do need Facebook and company. It helps promote your blog, helps get out word about your new Etsy stuff, or helps put a few dollars in your pocket in this recession. Or maybe it’s the only easy way to keep in touch with a good friend who lives a continent or two away. That’s awesome, and I applaud you :)

But for most of us, too often, social media is often just another form of couch potato-ism, right?).  It’s right up there with funny kitten videos on YouTube.

Hmmm, just where on Maslow’s heirarchy of needs does Facebook and its kin fit in?

I can understand the “need” to feel updated or current (especially when it comes to shoe fashion). But social media doesn’t feed, clothe, or shelter you. Maybe it makes you feel part of society, or closer to your friends or grandma. Maybe it’s a way to discover an awesome new band, or get a coupon to your favorite restaurant, or orgainze a reunion.

But is all the so-called “information” (95+% of which is pure drivel) slowly driving you insane?

If you are feeling overwhelmed, ask yourself a few questions:

  1.  How many different types of social media sites/content do I really need? (probably zero, but I’ll allow you one or two).
  2.  Why did I sign up for a particular site/app? Because I needed/wanted to, or simply because some bozo invited me?
  3.  How many times a day do I really need to check in? For that matter, why every day?
  4.  Does my job/work/relationship depend on me being well-versed in social media? (ok, some jobs do, I know).
  5.  Have I had a friendship/relationship hurt or destroyed due to a social media faux pas ?
  6.  Are social media apps taking time away from more appropriate means of human interaction?
  7.  Is social media working for me,  or am I a slave to it?
  8. Do I spend more time on [insert name of social app] than I do interacting with my real family?
  9. Would my reality collapse if I spent less time updating my “status” and posting trivial stuff?
  10. Should I limit my access, or limit the amount of time I spend on Facebook/Twitter, etc?

Zombified by Social Media? (image from the movie 'Zombieland')

I could ask lots more questions like those, but I simply want you to realize that it’s okay if you take a few hours off. Heck, take a whole week. I dare you. If your friends don’t understand, maybe they aren’t your friends.. or maybe their brains have been zombified by social media.

It’s okay to cancel your membership on (or simply ignore) media sites you no longer want or need (although doing so on Facebook is quite a challenge). It’s okay to pare down your friends list on any site (including Second Life!). Real life will continue. It’s okay to not use every device in your arsenal to access every possible social media all day long!

Will Facebook (the current king of social media) reign supreme forever?

People’s attentions are fickle, and we are always looking for TheNextBigCoolThing.
When was the last time you logged into your MySpace account? Mmm hmmm.

Will the new Google+  — with its video chat hangouts and cool “circles” you can put people into — finally dethrone all others, becoming the One Ring to Rule Them All?  Time will tell.

Do you have any good tips for managing social media ? Or a plan that keeps you from going crazy? Do you place limits on your time tweeting/posting/updating, or are you already hopelessly addicted? Do share, if you wish. We can all use some good tips, or a good laugh!

For example, you can create Lists in Twitter to make it more manageable:

Or you can block/hide all or some of Facebook’s apps:

There are also lots of apps that automate/centralize your social media streams, but make sure you are cutting out clutter, or getting it all organized, and not just creating a barrage of more fluff!

Every minute you shave off checking your social apps is a minute that you can enjoy in the real world. Where there are beaches, family, flowers, dogs, and really cool stuff to see and do (and no batteries or 4G network required).

Social media, when overdone, reminds me of those tourists  who are constantly hidden behind a camera or camcorder, attempting to capture every moment, trivial or not.  I’d rather have actual memories of the real thing.

Gotta run… I’m walking over to my neighbor’s house. To talk to her face to face.  Now that is being social.

And I won’t even tweet about it.

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written by DreamWalker

July 19th, 2011 at 11:49 am

12 comments to 'Social Media Overload. Do You Have It?'

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  1. Wonderful, I agree 110%

    Its not easy to admit but yes im starting to feel overloaded. And im cutting down (I hope!)

    Thanks for good advices =)


    19 Jul 11 at 3:53 pm

  2. I had MySpace while I went on a bit of a hitchhiking journey a few years ago, but that’s about it. I get all the social networking I need when I visit InWorldz, OSGrid, SL, and my local pub :-D

    Sarge Misfit

    19 Jul 11 at 4:34 pm

  3. Couldn’t agree more. I don’t do the whole social networking thing. I have a twitter account (and follow facebook pages) to keep up with news bits from upcoming game studios since I tend to get more up-to-date information that way. But that’s about it. I tried the other social sites, but I didn’t feel the connection so I stopped/cancelled it.

    The biggest social medium I like is none other than Blogs. They can be very constructive, such as yours Ener *wink*, to find good input on software, hardware, etc. Blogs tend to give a more personal experience or in-depth look on specifics of things. Plus, they provide user additional user feedback on the topic from other users commenting.


    19 Jul 11 at 6:07 pm

  4. I probably spend too much time looking at them but aren’t really using them so much for the social aspect. It’s the flow of information, mostly from people that I don’t know personally, that I like the most. Information about subject areas that I’m either professionally or personally interested in.

    Twitter is probably a little more useful in that area but I don’t really like having to always open links to get information. That’s the downside of the tweet length limit of course.

    For some reason, I don’t find as much information on Facebook.

    In my short exposure to Google+, I like it the best. It doesn’t have the game clutter, at least not yet. The circle concept can be used to easily classify the information flows or streams.

    The Google+ Hangouts and Huddles, even though they have cute social names, could have some real collaborative value.

    Of course for Google+, as happened with Facebook, Avatar identities aren’t really welcome it seems.

    Micheil Merlin

    19 Jul 11 at 8:26 pm

  5. And to be clear, I’m not commenting on the usefulness of the information. Admittedly, most of it is probably more of entertainment value than anything. I’m not likely to use it to advance humanity or achieve any other lofty goals with.

    Micheil Merlin

    19 Jul 11 at 8:30 pm

  6. I agree with Micheil that Google+ definitely has potential, but I am annoyed by the draconian policy of making as much info as possible public unless you do some opting out (just like with Facebook).

    Let’s face it, Facebook & Google+ and many other social networks just don’t like avatars. Is it because they consider us “fake” beings?

    No, it’s because social networks make money from targeted advertising, and from selling your demographic profile (age, sex, recent websites visited, etc.) to other companies (so THEY can sell you more stuff). That sort of thing supports all these “free” sites we use.

    And it’s hard to get an accurate, useful data on most avatars, or at least not the kind that advertisers find useful. Most of us are apparently less than 5 years old, and don’t fit in any magic targeted group like “18-33 year old women who like pop music” or “seniors over 55 with a retirement account”

    It’s not that I have anything juicy to hide. It’s just that I am already sick of the down-your-throat advertising tactics that envelop us already (movies, apps, tv, radio, magazines, billboards, banner ads, pop-ups, skywriting, etc).

    In fact, most advertisements do nothing but ensure that I will _never_ buy a product from that company, because the ads are insulting, loud, and often misleading (i.e., too much fine print that they get you with).

    At least in SL & OpenSim you have some degree of privacy (in the form of separation from RL).

    There truly ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Except maybe for Ener’s ! lol

  7. social media whore, hehe


    20 Jul 11 at 4:18 am

  8. Despite being in working professionally in the computer industry for over 20 years, I never really got into social media.

    I have a Twitter account, but I never use it. I have a Facebook account, but visit it very infrequently. I have a Google+ account, and I do like it because it’s not commercial and filled with marketing ploys, but it’s really the first service I’ve spent any real time with.

    But then, my real circle of real-life friends is small, and we tend to keep in touch in person offline.

    Jim Barr

    20 Jul 11 at 10:35 am

  9. me? socal media? waz dat? like southern california?

    oh, social media? i don’t have time for that nonsense, i’m way too busy with my small twitter account =D

    Ener Hax

    20 Jul 11 at 6:48 pm

  10. i dont get any benefits from social whatevers. maybe i have been at this too long, but i would rather have 4 friends that i can dealt with. i am fairly disappointed with me.


    20 Jul 11 at 8:55 pm

  11. aww, don’t be disappointed – count me as one of your dearest fakey friends who does care about you

    i only know you via our online banter, but i know you enough to say that you have added positively to my real life =)

    Ener Hax

    20 Jul 11 at 9:01 pm

  12. i had a fakey friend that he and i had many online adventures for 10 years. in fact a “bard” wrote about the night some nobles were beaten by the black knight. the way the story was that when my friend was beaten by the black knight i said i would avenge him. and i got kill.

    the way i remember it, i got on and found a battle brewing. since i regular fought the black knight because of his loot, i naturally went and fought him. but he didnt look right and i was dead. so the next round, i went to the tarven and was drinking a nice cup of coffee or something, when koas (the fakey friend) came in, got kill, and then the black knight came after me and killed me again.

    now that was a real fakey friend. unlike my real life friend that never did anything except for us take long lunches.


    22 Jul 11 at 10:32 am

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