The Anti-Social Truth about Social Networking


Staying active on social networking sites can be exhausting! There are so many places to network online, and they all require time and attention. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Ning, Foursquare, Flickr, and more are popping up every day.

I have found it difficult to be everywhere at once. Some people become obsessed with updating statuses and checking responses. (Yes, I admit I am guilty of this!) Most people are connected to at least one social networking site on their mobile phones. We tend to always want to be seen and heard by the masses of followers that we have collected.

There are tools that are helpful in managing multiple social sites, and most of them connect to each other in one form or another. Personally, I am a fan of HootSuite, where I can check and update Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook all in one place. Still, there is this underlying pressure to always be visible, always have something relevant to say. This is particularly true for marketers, such as myself, who want to maintain an image of being knowledgeable about social media and to connect with other marketers in sharing information and industry trends.

There are days when I read a lot of articles, blogs, email newsletters and find great information to share. There are days when I am promoting an event that I an attending. Then, there are days when I just want to sit down with a friend – in person- and put all the online networking aside.

Here’s the truth:  I actually feel guilty when I am not online networking. Am I missing a good article that someone is tweeting? Are my friends having a conversation about something that I should be aware of? Is there an event being announced that I would like to attend? Will someone think that I am less knowledgeable about social media if I am not visible every day online? Perhaps I’m paranoid…or perhaps we all feed into each other’s obsession with staying social online. Please forgive me if every once and I while, I choose to be anti-social.

What’s your opinion of social networking? Is it a hassle to be everywhere at once? How do you manage time spent online vs offline?