With all due respect to Zero Mostel, a funny thing happened on the way to social media.
From my Mac to my iPhone to my iPad, I’ve got notifications coming out the ears.
It’s not just Mail or Reminders, either. It’s all those damned social networks that we’ve been persuaded are so important. Facebook. Twitter. Google+, and a dozen others which all have one thing in common. Noise and notifications. All of them are vying for the limited amount of time I’ve been given to live out each day.
Yes, friends, Facebook Fatique is a real disease, and chances are good that if you own a Mac, iPhone, or iPad, you’re afflicted. It must be a real affliction because there’s a real definition.
The condition of being bored with Facebook. Loss of interest and lack of participation in the Facebook social networking website, especially by someone who used to use it regularly.
The exact same symptoms occur with regular use of Twitter (either reading or tweeting), Google+, and variations are know to afflict heavy email users, and those who browse the web.
You know the problem, right? It’s those notifications of a wall posting, or a new tweet from someone we follow but can’t really get to know in 140 characters so why bother?
I can’t put the blame for the cringe I feel every time Notification Center pops up on my Mac, or iPhone, or iPad. We’re humans who feel an inherent need to be needed and connected, and Apple is just giving us the tools, the ways, the means, but not the time.
Social media is also addictive. We all wonder for whom the bell tolls, so there’s an urgency to respond with a like or a poke or a reply tweet, not to mention all the email forwarding that goes on ad nauseam.
I look at it this way. Facebook wants my eyeballs on their apps so they can make money. Facebook, Twitter, Google et al do not really care what I think, how tired I am, or that I have more important things to do than check the wall, tweets, or their ads.
They’re taking my time, not saving me time, or making time, or even making me more money so I could hire someone to watch social media for me. They take, but give nothing of value in return.
I’d go on with a more in depth perspective on all the ills fomented by social media, but I’m behind in my email.