Social Disorder Afoot

I have been encouraging my med school husband and his med school cronies to talk about doing research on disorders caused by too much social media.

At work I have been inundated with the stuff. My job as a communications specialists requires me to get my organization’s image out into the public. Social media is the way to do it. That’s where the audience is—especially when you don’t have the budget to buy an ad on Super Bowl Sunday (by the way, Go Chargers!).

So, I have a TweetDeck account, which pulsates on my desktop every minute with updates and alerts. I have a Facebook page to maintain, a YouTube account to manage and an organizational staff to motivate to get on board with the new media and new outreach tools.

The downside of this is my self-diagnosed ADHD brought on by too much input—SMADAH (Social Media Attention Deficit Hyperactivit Disorder). I don’t think my symptoms are rare to social media junkies, either. There are some jitters. And some obsessive compulsive tendencies. There’s the urge to constantly multi-task. And when someone makes a funny comment or tells a strange story, there’s a strong impulse to post it on Facebook.

I feel scatterbrained and on edge. I can’t think coherently. I  need to pull myself away. I need an intervention. I need….to go send out a tweet about that!

Web 3.0

For work I have been perusing blogs and actually clicking on links sent out via Twitter followers, and in general giving the big open-armed embrace to social media.

The more I learn about it, the more I want to know. The more I want to do. The more I want to connect. A strange pathway formed from my relative anti-technology stance merely a year ago.

Of course, a lot of that stemmed from my print journalism background, which embedded in me a duty to preserve the written word in ink, not pixels, and that justice and democracy comes from true journalism, not citizen reporting of events. This could be an entirely new posting altogether, so I won’t go off on that tangent now.

This new exploration of the blogosphere and the Twitter stream, of Facebook pages and YouTube uploads, has connected me with an intangible world that is truly connected more than I am to my next-door neighbors. I know more about what’s going on in some of my Facebook friends’ lives than my co-workers, whom I see every day.

It’s interesting that my career path has led me to exploring social media. As I said, a year ago I would have turned my nose up at the thought of spending half a day at least tuned in to these various sites.

The online world is preparing to move toward Web 3.0, which includes Facebook changes, live stream Google searches and status updates by the trillions. Status updates are the new breaking news. I read something yesterday that predicted in the very near future, we all would be clinging to our smart-phone devices to do nearly everything we needed to accomplish: grocery shopping, bill paying, social connections, media viewing–even using it as a boarding pass.

We are gearing up to live, breathe and work by our handheld devices. Tuned in, rather plugged in, we are going into 2010, with a new OCD toward up-to-the-millisecond postings and updates.

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