Social Networking Burnout?

Social Networking Burnout?As I recently announced my own information diet, I’ve started to notice a few other people pulling back on their activities in similar spaces, particularly in social media.

One of the people that I follow closely on Twitter, Phil Baumann is taking a break – referring to it as a “Brain defrag.”  His new Twitter avatar reflects his position as a self-described twitterholic.

Others, including hospital social media watcher Ed Bennett have indicated an interest in following suit (although Ed has already fallen off the wagon, it seems).

And it’s not just Twitter.  Bestselling author Timothy Ferriss has declared Facebook bankruptcy and shares a template for you to do the same.

I’ve seen musings in the past that amount to social media fatigue.  I’ve also read a number of accounts of people who have backed down on their social media usage, particularly amongst college students as they enter the working world.

This feels different to me, somehow.  These are professionals who use social media for business and for self promotion – not simply as a social outlet.  They use it in this way and it’s gotten out of their control.

None of them have suggested that any of this doesn’t have the value that they’d thought it had in the past.  Nor have any indicated an interest in not returning to social media.

So my question is – Can you regain balance in social media usage without taking a cold-turkey break to reset its role in your life?  On the other hand, do we have a growing problem with social media addiction, in which case, there may be some people who can’t tweet just once?

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Ben Dillon

About Ben Dillon

Ben’s a big picture type of guy. He loves sharing new ideas in digital marketing, keeping a watchful eye on healthcare industry trends and seeing how it all intersects. A sought-after speaker, writer, blogger and current SHSMD board member, Ben’s an influential voice in healthcare marketing, helping organizations across the country embrace online strategies to engage health consumers. Combine his industry savvy with his background in software development and you can see why he’s also an important member of Geonetric’s software team, ensuring our content management system stays a step ahead of market needs. Ben holds a master’s degree in eBusiness and strategic management from the University of Iowa and a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan. When he’s not traveling and evangelizing, Ben enjoys cooking with his family and playing the Big House with the University of Michigan Alumni marching band.

3 thoughts on “Social Networking Burnout?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Social Networking Burnout? – GeoVoices -- Topsy.com

  2. Don’t you love that Twitter cigarette pack? 🙂

    Based on my experience, I’d say there are two primary categories with respect to Internet use: addiction and productivity.

    I suspect 2010 may be the year in which more attention to “Internet Addiction” (which was coined as a joke by Ivan Goldberg – http://bit.ly/Qy4kp ) will receive a more balanced assessment. Everybody has their own thresholds and proclivities towards addiction. I’m not sure if the word “addiction” is the most adequate – nonetheless, if you think about what’s involved in social media: stimulation of various parts of the brain (intellectual, humor, visual, social interaction), dopamine receptors, reward systems, etc., it’s easy to see the potential.

    For me, the issue became a matter of constant hyperconnectivity: too many notifications, emails, direct messages on Twitter, blog monitoring and maintaining, etc.

    I think this is something businesses will have to consider when getting up to speed with respect to social media: ensuring that employees don’t get sucked into bad habits. My view is that businesses aught to encourage employees to use these media appropriately but also be prepared to handle issues that arise maturely.

    Good post, Ben.

    Phil

  3. The cigarette package is priceless. As for hyperconnectivity – they don’t call them “Crackberries” for nothing.

    Thanks for the thoughtful insights and, of course, welcome back.

    Ben

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