Social Networking Fatigue: 7 Ways It Will Affect You

social networking fatigueI think I am on about 40 to 50 social networks.  I am not sure of the exact number because I lost count.  And because sometimes I join a website and I don’t even realize it has created a profile for me.  Has this ever happened to you? Did you ever think that the National Stone and Gravel Association could have a social network…they probably do, and if you ordered a gravel driveway recently, you are probably a member.

What is social networking fatigue and how will it affect you and our youth, who are online the most?

1) It Sneaks Up On You

I got fatigued a few months ago, but I didn’t realize it until last week.  How does this happen? In real life when I am tired of someone, I know right away, “please get out of my space.” Social networking fatigue seems to sneak up on you because all of the sudden you realize you hate going on MySpace and Twitter really isn’t that fun.  Then, when you think about it, you realize that you actually have never thought Twitter was fun and have felt obligated to MySpace for the past few months.

2) You Still Can’t Stop

Ok, I hate it, but I still go on everyday.  Hmmmm, lets be real here, four or five times per day…per network.  Now, I have to go on for my blog, but still I definitely check it often and curse it all the way to the homepage.  Literally, here is my morning.

Email. Email. Email. Waffle. I should probably check damn Facebook.  Ugh I hate Facebook, oh the page is loading so slow.  Ugh.  Shouldn’t it remember my login by now, jeez, stupid computer.  Come on, come on. This sucks.  Ok two friend requests, don’t know them, oh well, they look nice.  This is so stupid.  OH MY GOD Jenny posted pictures! Hee hee, lol, so cute, I love her.  I should poke her.  I poked her.  Should I poke Sarah too just in case she sees? Ok, I will poke her too.  I wonder how Sarah is doing in her new job.  I will check her message board.  Oh there is Steve!….

See what I mean? It. Sucks. You. In. (not in a good way)

3) You Live For Special Moments

I love Facebook on my birthday, but on yours, it is just a nuisance.  Good lord, I already called you, will I be a bad friend if I do not write on your wall, poke you and message you too?  You also love social networks when you are posting something for you.  I have a BBQ party coming up at my house, I LOVE social networks, I can invite everyone without having to pick up a phone or lick a stamp.  But, when the “Motivational Leadership Group of Non-Regional Members” invites you to their “Online Webinar for Web 2.0 Networking and Leadership” you are like, this is so tiresome, leave me alone!

4) Everyone Is On A Different Spectrum

How annoying is it when you are thinking about deleting your social networking account and then your best friend from across the street who is in your knitting group, is like “OH MY GOODNESS< I JUST JOINED _____ YOU HAVE TO GET ON TOO!? ARE YOU ON THERE? WILL YOU FRIEND ME? ITS GOING TO BE SO MUCH FUN!” Ya, so much for deleting your account.  Every time I am ready to take a step back from one of my networks, a new friend comes on and wants to ‘network’ with me.

5) The Networks Are Traps

I also think these networks are really smart, it seems to me that every time I get really fatigued and the ‘delete account’ itch comes up, the social network has something new and exciting to offer.  “What! New homepage design coming out, I have to stay on and see that!”  “Oh man, they are adding a comment in the video feature, I can’t miss that.”  I am telling you, Mark Zuckerberg knows when you are about to betray him.

6) It Has Become Obligatory

I also feel like I have to be on there for work.  I mean, I am a professional blogger and consult with companies on social networking, but even at social gatherings, if you are not somewhere where your new seat mate can poke, prod or message you, you are totally uncool.  “Are you on MySpace? No, ok how about LinkedIn? Can you follow me on Twitter? Join my group on Cafemom!”

7) Boredom and Fatigue Mix Well

Social networks are the perfect place to go when you are bored and want to procrastinate.  We are bored and want to procrastinate a lot, therefore we end up wasting tons of time on them.  This brings on even more fatigue.  I often go on my social networks when I am already fatigued from work and need a break.  The problem is, they fatigue me more and there starts the vicious cycle.

8) “But, I don’t want to miss out!”

What if my friends post something ridiculously, awesomely cool and I am not there to see it, I cannot leave!  The feeling of missing out, especially for teens is another way that social networks become obligatory.  Also the constant feeling of needing to know everything, be into everything and stay up to date with everyone is exhausting!

Social networking fatigue will probably be the next hot webinar topic.  I think the most important thing to remember is to

-be aware that it might happen to you (or have already started)
-It comes in waves
-Everyone has it
-You can take a break without having to delete a whole account or miss out on life.

In fact, if you do not take a break, you might miss out on real life.
This Week’s Sponsor:

WeTutor is an online tutoring service for US classroom teachers and K-12 students. We love that they are helping students and think this is a great thing to do with your student over the summer to get them really ready for next year! Our readers are getting a special promo code:

vanpetten

Check it out, or sign-up here!

If you liked this article get more Radical Parenting in our new book: Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded?

Tags: , , , , ,

  • Pingback: MePregnant

  • Hari

    So true, I deleted so many accounts but ended up creating a new one next day (or next hour).

    I was about to abandon facebook account too.. but then I found the mom song reply girl.. and was so happy that I dropped the plan.

    Sometimes I feel that the more “virtual” social life you have.. less is your “real” social life.

  • http://www.wiglingtonandwenks.com online games for kids

    social networking.. I hate to admit that it sucks me in.. but since i stay overseas, i feel like it’s kinda an easy way to connect with friends and family back in my hometown..

  • tammy fuller

    is there a good parental control program you can suggest for computer for when kids are searching.. , I have 2 daughters – one is 9 the other turning 13..
    thank you
    tammy

  • Vanessa Van Petten

    Check out this post:

    http://www.radicalparenting.com/2008/05/17/review-parental-control-software-advice-column/

    it is my review of parental control software

  • http://www.mimogames.com Kids Virtual Worlds

    I love staying connected with my friends though.