Thursday, July 1, 2010


I am not surprised that I am now beginning to read numerous articles about social media addiction. Given the approach of the July 4th holiday weekend signaling the beginning of summer vacations, now is a good time to re-evaluate how much time you spend on social media. Suggestion: Time to disconnect.

Read On:
By the numbers:

· Facebook with its 400 million plus community would now rank as the fifth largest country in the world, behind China, India, United States and Indonesia. The ongoing Retrevo Gadegetology Report indicated that 56% of its members check in everyday, 12% every couple of hours. The under 25 crowd revealed that 19% of those surveyed definitely check in if they wake up in the middle of the night, 32% as soon as they wake up. No surprise given that the Pew Research Center indicated 83% of Millennials sleep with their mobile phones.

· For those reading this blog over 25, according to the same Retrevo survey, 20% sometimes check their Facebook account if they wake up in the middle of the night, 21% as soon as they get up.

· Experian Simmons just released their
2010 Social Networking Report last week which indicated that 43% of adult Americans check their networking sites multiple times a day.

· The only relevant Twitter numbers I found for this blog was comScore who now estimates that the number of tweets per day has gone from 20 million per day in July of 2009, to over an estimated 50 million per day this year same time.

In closing, my personal Millennial guru, Sharalyn Hartwell wrote a great post earlier this month about a study conducted at the
University of Maryland to determine students connection to media. Two hundred students were asked to go without media (mobile phones, laptops, iPods, television, etc.) for twenty-four hours. Conclusion: They felt withdrawn, isolated, dysfunctional, unwilling to be without their links to the world.

So now I challenge everyone to disconnect over the holiday weekend. Take timeout to enjoy your family time, the beach, barbecues, etc. At the end of the weekend ask yourself that tough question: Have I become too addicted to social media? I will be interested in your feedback.


  1. Hey Jim,

    Read this article and immediately feel concerned about my social media checking! Am going to try your suggestion and "disconnect" this weekend, but it will prove to be very difficult. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

  2. Just yesterday I heard a magazine editor mention that he disconnects EVERY weekend...unplugs his router and turns off his backberry. I can relate. On my recent 10 day trip to CA for some family events, I found that I rarely accessed my sites (incl FB) since wifi was generally unavailable in the coastal areas I was in, and I simply didnt launch my iPhone to fill in. I was liberating. I amy have to find tangible hobbies outside the virtural. And real relationships rather than FB ones. Epic idea!

  3. I'll try to disconnect over the 4th of July holiday. Can I do it? How will I know what my tribe is doing? I'll disconnect while I tweet about it!

  4. I disconnected for a bit while on vacation last month... the overflow of email was disturbing but it felt good to not know what's going on! Happy 4th!

  5. Matthew EngelhartJuly 1, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    I found the statistics to be eye opening. It was right around my Freshman year in college when FB really got rolling (back when @edu emails were the only way in!). It's amazing how far its come since then, and how embedded it's become in society as a whole.

  6. Hey Jimmy,

    I had a friend who a few months ago was getting ready to leave for a week-long trip to Hawaii and was seriously debating bringing her laptop along to make sure she doesn't 'miss anything' that's going on one of these social media sites. I advised her that if anything really interesting, important or valuable were to happen, her friends on that particular site would draw her attention to it, which should could then check out when she got back.

    When she came back from her trip, I got an email from her thanking me for telling her to unplug as she had her focus more on what was going on around her than what might be going on elsewhere.

    Personally, I usually unplug every weekend so I can spend time with my family and enjoying what I've worked so hard over the week to have - time to enjoy life. I'd also recommend people unplug for a few hours every day as well. You'd be amazed at how much insights and clarity you can get from looking beyond your desk space.

  7. Allow me to recommend THE SHALLOWS by Nick Carr for more insight into this issue of distraction.

  8. I don't have internet at home. Yes, it's true, and it's not by choice. Oh and no television either. I do have a phone in case you were wondering if I live in Lancaster, PA.

    However, it does mean that when I leave work everyday, I disconnect. It's truly freeing, albeit at times terrifying.