Feeling Overwhelmed by Social Media? You're Not Alone

Last Updated Feb 28, 2010 10:11 PM EST

social media gadget overloadWhen I was a fulltime executive, I never would have found time for social media and all the communications gadgets everyone's eyes, ears, and thumbs seem to be glued to these days. I used to work like 50-60 hour weeks, not to mention all the travel. The rare times I was home and not working or sleeping, I had things to do, fun to have, and relationships to maintain -- like my marriage.

Now I work a lot less but my time is still somehow consumed - with what, I don't know - and the lure of social media and communications gadgets loom like an ever-growing mountain of unmet expectations. So I wonder: how the heck does anyone have time for all this stuff and is your business life "more" or "less" fulfilling and productive now than it was pre-social media?

For me, the answers are "I don't" and "less" and "less." Bigtime.
The other day, a good friend - sort of a geeky gadget guy - gave me a hard time because I didn't respond to his text message. When I finally did reply, the dialog went like this:

Him: Do you know how to read text messages on your free crappy phone?

Me: Hey, I paid a ton for this crappy phone!

Him: Wow am I your first text?

Me: Don't be an idiot.

I must be the only guy in Silicon Valley who doesn't have a smartphone. What's weird is I want one, but I'm afraid that it'll just eat up more of my time and, even more weird, leave me feeling guilty that I'm not getting more out of it. And that's really the story of my whole social networking life these days.

I originally got on Twitter to post my blog. People retweet my stuff all the time, which is great, and when I get a minute I engage in a little dialog, which is also fun, but that's all I have time for, which leaves me feeling like I'm letting my followers down. Not to mention how many hundreds of followers I lost because I'm a boring tweeter.

I'm on LinkedIn, like everyone else, but it's never done me any good. People want to link to me, but I have no idea why. They probably imagine I have this huge network, but nothing could be further from the truth. I've joined a group or two, but the discussions are more like fishing expeditions than anything really useful.

And Facebook for business? Come on now. My Facebook page is entirely populated by friends and business associates talking about anything but business. Again, it's fun but time consuming. So I dip my toe in the water once in a while and see all these great conversations going on and it just leaves me feeling guilty and left out.

Is it me? It can't be just me. Are you feeling overwhelmed by social media, or do you actually find the time for all this stuff? And is business "more" or "less" fulfilling and productive now than before? Better still, take this poll: