There is a reason the word "pervasive" is often used right alongside social media. For many of us, the social channels we use to connect with others for personal or professional reasons are a big part of every day. But how much is too much? How do we know that we might be taking our enthusiasm for social media too far? Here's my slightly exaggerated (but mostly true) list of ten signs that you might just have an unhealthy relationship with social media in your life:
- You receive an audible alert on your phone anytime anything happens. When your mobile device chimes, beeps or chirps anytime someone follows, retweets, shares or comments on something – you are actively sabotaging your own ability to concentrate on anything.
- Your business card says "guru" and you are NOT speaking about spirituality to large groups in India. I know what you're thinking, but I didn't write this one because I'm Indian …
- You use social media terms as verbs. If you have ever said out loud, "I need to instagram that," then this point is about you. The moment you start using social media terms to replace verbs, it's the beginning of the end.
- You believe there is nothing wrong with spllng wrds without vwls. Sure, there's a 140 character limit, but it doesn't mean we need to commit "grammar gaffes" or unlearn everything we know about spelling, does it?
- You answer questions with "you should read my blog post about that." That's like when someone asks you what a word means and you tell them to look it up. Unless you're a high school English teacher, just answer the damn question.
- You check your Klout score, um, ever. I don't think I really need an explanation for this one.
- You are a "mayor" of anything. We all love recognition, but I think deep down if you are disciplined enough to always check into a particular location and do everything that's required to be a "mayor" on Foursquare … you already know you have a problem.
- You use the "like" button to make a statement. You don't always have to send flowers, but your friend just had their first baby … the least you could do is take 3 seconds and write "congratulations" into a comment.
- You use social media as a justification for being unreasonable. Yes, there are people who demand a hotel upgrade or a discount because of their blog readership or Klout score. You know who you are.
- You freaked out for 70 minutes while Twitter went down. Yesterday when Twitter went down, how much of an impact did it have on your life?
If you see yourself in any of these signs above, the antidote is pretty simple … switch off. Leave the phone off and close the laptop – go outside, talk to your kids and just find a moment to enjoy human interaction. After you go and tweet this blog post to all your folllowers, of course.