Monday, April 4, 2011

Depression and Social Media

Depresssion and Social Media
Why Should We Network and Meet People

Are TweetUps, SpeedMeetings and Social Gatherings the Answer to Facebook and Twitter?  Could they start encouraging them for their own survival?
Social Media has become so much a part of the culture that studies are starting to emerge that don't bode well for either Twitter of Facebook.
Are we at a tipping point, where social media has run it's course, and people will harken back to the days of Town Hall meetings, and actually shaking hands?

*A recent study released in March of 2011 states that teens are suffering from depression because of spending too much time on Facebook

*A Cornell Study in 2010 stated that we might think other's lives are happier and more serene than our own because we only see the side of them they want us to see on Social Media

*The Term or Expression: Social Media Addiction, once an offhanded comment or joke has become part of the nomenclature of Sociologists and Psychiatrists

*Recent Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones estimates show that people are starting to back away from spending too much time on Facebook


Social Media has Become Universally Essential 
Social Media by needs is essential in the modern world. When Facebook passed 400 million profiles in 2010 it made setting up a profile thereupon essential. Why? The answer is simple. It took the anonymity out of the Internet. We were no longer identified as “Firebrand2000” or “ThatSexyLady” but by our real names. Moreover, businesses during the recession were jumping into Social Media in a big way staking their claim to Internet real estate. There has been a demographic shift as well, with more baby boomers becoming involved. Twitter's average user is 38 years old. Facebook's fastest growing demographic is over 55. LinkedIn, the Internet's largest professional and business website with over 100 million professional profiles is used by over 50% of hiring managers to exclude someone from a job. By some estimates, 60% of staffing companies and personnel directors Google a job candidate's profile before hiring them.

These societal shifts have made keeping and maintaining a profile absolutely essential in a recession, standard operating procedure. But there is an even more vital reason we all must keep, maintain, and manage our image online:

We lose by default to our competitors when we do not take advantage of social media. We are required to take advantage of newer technologies in order to survive.

The convergence of Corporate Participation, Demographic Shifts, and Competitive Pressure mean it is vitally important, necessary, and impossible to avoid maintaining our online profile, and understanding how to manage it well. Knowing how much is enough, and how little is not enough is where the “Social Media Addiction” comes into play.


Some actions are obvious to us like limiting the time we spend on social media, looking for signs of depression like: isolation, sleep pattern disruption, and mood swings. There is a pro active, and positive evolution which should occur from social media participation.

Tweetups are gatherings of people we meet on Twitter. For security reasons these should be in group format. Nobody take a sound bite here, and argue that I am saying teens should meet one on one with strangers, because I am emphatically NOT writing that, or endorsing any such thing. I am saying that it is fulfilling, rewarding, and encouraging to actually get together with others we meet online in group settings. Many such Tweetups can be researched or started on your own.

Some hashtags I've found in Twitter Search are #LondonTup for London Tweet Up; #DCEvent for Washington, DC, and others.

There are conferences we can attend. They can be geographical, or by subject. Writer's Conferences, Blogger's Conferences, Moms Gatherings, LinkedIn Connections gatherings. Participation in such events gives us balance, and a sense that all the time we spend online is worth it, because there are meaningful, worthwhile connections being made. Social Media needs to encourage more real life connections, and embed that philosophy into it's culture. Eventually liquore companies had to adopt the “Drink Responsibly” Mantra. Facebook should arrive to this conclusion early, and campaign on “Facebook Responsibly. Get out of your House”.

One area I have had success with is starting networking groups, and putting professional groups together by geographical location, by specialty, ie: Doctors, Lawyers, Real Estate, among others; and by language, or neighborhood. We then cross market the networked groups to one another, and find commonalities, after all, Realtors are not going to send each other any business, are they? I started putting together professional groups with Alberto Lequizamon in 2008 at the start of the recession. “Our understanding of the recession was that networking was smart marketing, as it was basically free or low cost.” Alberto has started 17 corporations, and is a natural networker anyway, having an easy going manner, and open minded to more opportunities all the time. “Networking is also a way for anyone with a social media profile to have an end-game. It helps them realize the true potential of all the time they have spent online”.

Creating a network can be easy. It doesn't have to be difficult. However, many people starting from scratch do not have a template. Networks of themselves tend to stagnate if there is not a steady stream of new people entering the group. History proves this out. Members die, retire, move on, move away, or move out.

Starting from scratch can be more difficult as the reader has to determine how in the world to start the network, where to look, and where to take the network. How does one put together networks that don't stagnate? What keeps it alive once all the members know each other, and maximize each other's potential? Where does the new business come from? How do they get compensated for enlarging the group, if at all? How does the group find locations and venues for their meetings? How often should they meet?

Social Media should be part of your overall strategy for business. It should not be a substitute for business. Over reliance on Social Media could be a huge waste of time without goals, and a direction. Online Marketers, considered on the cutting edge when it comes to technology marketing like video presentation, mobile marketing and eMail will be the first to tell you: only .1% of them make money, the rest of them lose money. And guess what direction they are headed? Toward meet ups and networking in person. They will be the first to admit, that without real relationships, and getting together on a regular basis, there is no profit, there is no reward, there isn't a lot to gain, but more promises, and empty blogs.

Here's a suggestion: Instead of thinking how you can squeeze in more time on Social Media, start thinking of ways in which you can spend more time converting your online relationships to real in person relationships.

You will have a much more rewarding experience, meet some great people just like you, and your investment will convert to lifelong memories.

If you would like to contact Alberto about Networking Ideas, his eMail address is: and his phone number is: 202-246-8229
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Lon Dunn writes on Evan Carmichael as a productivity and efficiency expert. He wrote and edited The Thesaurus News from 1995 to 2001 with a specialty in Telephony Infastructure Stocks. With over 20 years following the Mobile Industry, Lon helps Companies, Professionals and Organizations develop Mobile Marketing Strategies combined with Social Media Strategies to strategically target specific markets and demographics to rapidly increase revenues. His most recent book available on Amazon is “How to Use Twitter for Local Business” with Tips and Mobile Marketing Strategies that anyone can do themselves. You can download the free “Kindle App for PC to download the book to your Desktop available on the Kindle Site:

Copyright 2011.  All Rights Reserved Lonny Dunn  All contents and word groups are original word combinations, and not found anywhere else on the Internet or elsewhere.  No duplication of these contents is allowed, unless in it's entirety, including this sentence.  ProNetworkBuild is a copyright of Lonny Dunn. 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post. I remember when computers first became popular. It seemed you never got to speak to a live person anymore. Then Social Media hit and it seemed like a big time waster. People were posting about going to the bathroom. It was ridiculous. Once the novelty wore off people started to see the benefit of these Social Media platforms. It could connect people from all over the world. Long lost family or people you never would have met. No all I can think of is how many places I would like to travel to so I can meet the wonderful people I am getting to know online. If used as a tool an in moderation Social Media can be wonderful. As with anything else too much is never good. Much of that type of problem may already lie within the person and not be caused by the internet itself. Just one person's point of view.