Webometric Thoughts

April 29, 2008

Social Media Disorders

Filed under: addiction,social web — admin @ 8:33 am

There was an interesting blog post at the Online Journalism Blog about social media addicts and some of the associated syndromes:
-Comment Guilt
-RSS Reader Sisyphus Complex
-Twitter Rage
-Twitterhoeia
-Six Degrees of Seperation Syndrome
-Plugin/Update Cofusion
-FOOcamp Anxiety

Whilst ‘RSS Reader Sisyphus Complex’ is my only specifically identified syndrome, I do suffer from variations of some of the others. Specifically:
-Post Guilt – Rather than guilt at not commenting on other people’s blogs, I must admit to publishing a lot of low quality posts.
-Publish Post Rage – The delay between clicking on the ‘publish post’ button and the publishing of the post can feel like hours. This always seems to occur when you have made a mistake and want to change your post.
-F-ing Stupid Computer Confusion – If only my time loss was limited to plugins and updates, on so many occasions everything in the computer world seems to conspire against me. Two days ago I spent 5 hours trying to transfer my Endnote references to CiteULike: they still reside solely on Endnote. Yesterday I spent 2 hours on a browser problem my girlfriend was having: the problem has yet to be resolved.

In defense of Twitterhoeia, and it’s associated cousin bloggerhoeia, sometimes it is the mundane that actually piques the interest of others in the online community. Often I find that the well-thought-out essay sized posts get little response, whereas the mundane posts become a forum for discussion.

Most of the syndromes seem to be driven by a need to be the centre of the world, to know everything and everyone, and be recognised by our peers as such. The online world encourages this narcissism as we are able to put ‘concrete’ figures to so many of our actions: how many friends we have, follows, visitors. First step on the road to recovery: dump the site analytics. It is too late for me, but there may be hope for some of you.

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