"We are all in this humans race together and it's our job to make sure we all cross the finish line as one."

Monday, April 30, 2012

Exile On Social Media Street

Sybil had 16 personalities in her head.
Toni Collette has 6 on the show “United States of Tara”.
Ted Bundy claimed to have a few sharing his mental dining room table.
I have close to 4,000 by choice.

So, it was a no brainer when it was time to tune out all the voices I had collected in Social Media and hit the tasty red “STOP” button that freezes the world so I can get off for a while.

It had been a very busy few weeks. Works was insane. Personal life was willy-nilly. My “household tasks” to social media were escalating. My responsibility to myself was gone. Something had to give. It was time to propel myself into a self imposed Social Media Exile. I was notorious for doing it. I had even blogged about it several times. But something was different this time. There was a ground swell of others who had heard the same strange melody in their minds as well. It sounded vaguely like Streisand’s and Summer’s duet, “Enough is Enough”. Others were tuning out as well. 3 people I knew personally had deactivated their Twitter. 4 said “talk to the hand” to Facebook. 1 finally said good-bye to MySpace (I swear!).

Now, I could sit here and give you one or two expert quotes on social media burn out, the signs, the solutions, the dramatic weepy tales of lost followers. I won’t. You have heard it all 729 times and half of you reading this have blogged on your own experiences with it. All I will say is


I was posting once maybe twice a day on Facebook. I was “liking” things on friends pages just so they would remember who I was (pathetic). I was clicking every single “Follow Friday” suggested person sent my way even if I had nothing at all to discuss with them. I had never had the urge to chat about the behavioral patterns of Redwood Mites however I was friending people who studied them. (Seriously).


It was time to take a break. How did I do? Fair to moderate. I peeked into Facebook but did not respond except once or twice to time sensitive item or to address one of the friends directly who I had mentioned walked away from Twitter so I sent them a personal message that I wrote off as “email” to convince myself it was not utilizing social media (#fail). End run on sentence.

If people wanted to find me, they could call or text. Texting is not social media by the way so don’t cry “cheater” and banish me to the gulag.

So, I encourage you to step back. Take a break before it breaks you. Or, just learn to manage it better than I did for a spell there. It’s an addiction. A social one but an addiction none the less unless kept in check.

Oh, and here are some great articles by great people on this great subject! 


  1. Thanks for sharing Ty man, must be even harder when part of this is your occupation. We will be here waiting for you and rest assured your impact while missed is NOT forgotten.
    Be Well

    1. Thanks Joe! You are a force sir! A force of amazing good! Glad to call you friend :)

  2. Funny, I was going to reach out to you and ask how you *poof* know, shut it down. It's not easy, is it? There are no real answers. What works for some, may not work for others. I went away once, for about 30 days. Came back feeling better for being gone, more balanced. But I started falling into the same addictive patterns as I did before, so I shut down my twitter! I reactivated it this morning to check followers (everyone's gone) it's set back to 0. Made me a bit sad, but it had to be.

    I sure am glad we are connected on FB, I enjoy our friendship!

    All my best, John

    1. Ditto on that! Social Media can be Social Good :) You and I know that well :-)

  3. This post comes along at a time where I am starting to actively notice the cracks in social media usage and users. I expect the Great Social Media Depression medical discovery any day soon because more and more bloggers and social media users are openly declaring how unhappy they are, but are still doing what is making them unhappy.

    I took a decision today to keep blogging and writing - because I love to blog and write - but to actively give myself permission not to respond to every interaction that comes my way. Some person thinks I'm a twat but has nothing else enlightening to say? I don't need to respond to that and there is no law which says I have to. If that makes me a twat, so be it, but I wouldn't give airtime to every twat that comes my way offline so why feel compelled to do it online?

    I am not addicted to social media and it's acceptance, but I am addicted to writing and self-expression and if the noise of social media gets too much, I am happy to fulfil that self-expression offline and in the dark if need be.

    A timely and thoughtful post. Thank you.

    1. Well said! And obviously this name calling bloke is just hungry for attention. If he was truly and engaging person and understood how Social Media works, he would understand too that sometimes, we can not get back to everyone.

      One thing I walk away with from this is like you were saying, "i love to write". I will continue to do so. I will continue to put my content out there via the media outlets afforded me. I will continue to engage and enjoy the friendships I have online. BUT I will do so as I am comfortable doing. If those that are my friends truly hold dear that title, then they will be there as I will be for them.

      I love the power and great things Social Media can do. I also fear what it can make us become if we allow it. Thanks for writing!