Social Media Mistakes

Social media connects us, but it can also be isolating. Here's how to stop social media-ing and rejoin the real world.

Richie Frieman
5-minute read
Episode #290

There’s an epidemic sweeping the globe…and I’m not talking about the petition to deport Justin Bieber from the United States. I’m talking about the overuse of social media to the point where we have lost all control of ourselves. I call this “social media-ing” – the overuse of social media..

Social media-ing is when people over-obsess about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social app that turns people into zombies who will follow the glowing light of their iPhones into deep, dark depths of isolation. And isolating others is exactly what you do when your life on social media replaces your actual, real, physical social life

So, before you tap-tap-tap your way into a social media-ing coma and disregard the world as it passes you by in real time, check out my top three quick and dirty tips on improper social media-ing.

Tip #1: Tune In

Let me first say I’m a huge fan of social media. I'm on the Modern Manners Facebook and Twitter accounts every day. I think it’s the single greatest form of communication there is, hands down. You can talk, send pictures and videos, and connect with millions of people from across the globe in seconds. That, my friends, is amazing.

However, the issue with social media is when you over indulge in your digital world to the point that you avoid the real world outside your smartphone. And yes, even though social media is a reflection of what is going on at this moment, you can’t be in the “real” moment if your face is glued to your iPhone screen. That's when you get the phenomenon of people who can be social and engaged with others on social media, but have trouble interacting in person? This is what happens when you overuse social media.

As I’ve said many times before, I’m not trying to make introverts into extroverts. I’m not trying to force people to be gregarious and the life of the party, if that;s outside their comfort zone. But I am advocating for actual one-on-one engagement with other live humans. Social media-ing can ruin the way people interact because it allows us to be something we are not. I say this as a pro and a con. When you are social media-ing more than you are socializing, you can lose the key qualities that make a good friend, a productive employee, and a reliable family member. 

So take a break from tweeting, chatting, or regramming, and simply talk to another person. Shocker, I know.

Tip #2: W.W.S.M. (Walking While Social Media-ing)

Along with the overwhelming epidemic of too much social media-ing, a subcategory of this disease is called W.W.S.M. (Walking While Social Media-ing). We’ve all seen this happen. Someone is walking down the hall in your office and then whamo! - they walk right into you and either knock you over, or knock something out of your hand.

This happened to me the other day, A colleague was W.W.S.M., and he rammed a turkey sandwich into my chest. Mustard and all. Now, I get that you’re good at multi-tasking or have something super urgent to post on Instagram (like a before picture of your delicious turkey sandwich), but there is a time and place for everything. Let's face it, you’re not that busy. You can probably wait until you get to your desk to upload the photo. And now my shirt is stained.