Do you suffer from Social Media Avoidance Disorder?

Psychiatrists and researchers compiling the update of the American guidebook to mental disorders and treatment have had to make room for a new malfunction for people who just couldn’t be bothered with social media.

“It’s really become prevalent over the past couple of years as social media has taken hold,” said Cologne therapist Nutsin Parks.   “Wtwitter-i-send-pointless-little-messagesith the explosive growth of social media sites like Twitter, those who don’t want to join are beginning to look like real losers.  It’s our duty to help them.”

Called SMAD for Social Media Avoidance Disorder, researchers are trying to pin down a set of diagnostic criteria so that health professionals can more easily spot the disorder.

Among the biggest red flags is a stubborn refusal to quit blogging.

“Look, blogging is just so 2004, OK?,” said Thad Ramjum Dab, a radio personality.  “It has to be, because I read it in Wired.  They know everything.”

Dab is referring to a recent Wired article which declared that if you’re still blogging, you’re a complete and utter waste of skin, because everybody is now on Facebook, AssCrack, LinkedIn, FlippedOut, and Twitter.

After bursting on the scene early last Tuesday, Twitter is the fastest-growing social media platform, with between 5,000 and 10,000 new accounts every day.   Twitterers are in a race to be the one who compiles the most stalkers followers. Your followers can find out the latest on what you’re doing whenever you post, called a tweet.

“If you have fewer than 1,000 Twitter followers, everyone thinks you’re boring and really should get a life,” said Twitter enthusiast Drather B. Haffinseks.  “I have nearly 6,000 and that figure is jumping every day.”

A survey of the most frequent utterances on Twitter include “Is this working?” “Stuck in traffic on the way to the mall,” and “Just got spittle on my iPhone while brushing my teeth.”

“I get people all the time these days coming into my office and complaining they can’t figure out why in hell anyone in their right mind would want to waste their time on an iPhone letting strangers on the other side of the world know they’re about to order a hot pastrami sandwich on rye,” said Amy Osborn, a therapist in Truth or Bum’s Rush, Texas.

“I tell them, look.  The first thing you have to realise is that it’s just like blogging, only shorter and more pointless.  Sometimes I see a light go on, but with most, we know we have a long and painful journey ahead of us.”

Recent reports of a major Twitter password hack allowing miscreants to post joke tweets from celebrities and news sites only confirms the platform’s arrival.  Psychiatrists say the longer those suffering from SMAD continue to indulge their avoidance, the worse off they’ll be.

Just look at this poor sap,” said a   “He’s signed up, but hasn’t the faintest idea why.  You can tell by the fact he’s not been posting at least 80 times a day.  Any fewer than that and we start to get worried.”

This Definitely Not the Daily News update not brought to you by the makers of Prozac.

24 Responses to “Do you suffer from Social Media Avoidance Disorder?”

  1. January 6, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    More pointless than blogging? Where do I sign up?

  2. January 6, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    I need a doctor then, for I refuse to Twitter … am I mad? Or just sad?

    Good one, Ian.

  3. January 6, 2009 at 9:18 pm


    And for you http://historicaltweets.com/ Make sure you put down your cup and swallow before clicking that link.

  4. January 7, 2009 at 8:43 am

    proudly joining the SMAD ranks

  5. January 7, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    @charlotte and nursemyra:
    It’s so good to know I’m not alone. 🙂
    A support group may be forming soon.

    Jennifer – that site is a riot!

    Adam – at least you actually took time out of your busy Twittering schedule to brush your teeth.🙂

    Headbang – it’s easy! Almost too easy…

  6. 7 lailayuile
    January 7, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    OhMYGOD!!! I had no idea I was so 2004!!! Someone better tell my readers.. ; )

    I tried Facebook twice, and both times quit within a week after being contacted by somebody I hated in highschool but now suddenly felt we should be best friends. Not.

    I remain happily Twitterless,I have no space on myspace, and facebook is but a bad memory.
    SMAD has all the hallmarks of a great new blog….hehe.

  7. January 8, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Yeah I had no idea I was so 2004 either. The fact that I refuse to use Twitter also says something. I plan just can’t waste more of my day with that stuff, nor do I care to have a phone that allows me to use those forms of communication. To me, it’s more a waste of money…

    At least in Blogging, in the end, you have a compilation of your life and possibly historic insights to the times…

  8. January 9, 2009 at 2:07 am

    Well I twit a bit but have noticed that most of the people tweeting are just marketing their own stuff. Ask a simple question and most times no one responds. It’s almost like falling off a cruise ship and while you struggle in the water to stay afloat the rest of the people continue to drink margaritas on the poop deck.

    • January 9, 2009 at 7:07 am

      You have hit the nail on the head. Do a search on the number of articles on how to promote your site using Twitter, look at all the news outlets using it like a wire service. I’m guilty of it myself. Every time I post, a tinyurl of the post goes out. Does that mean that Twitter has turned me into a spammer?

  9. January 10, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    (or maybe horrifyingly close to the truth.)

  10. January 13, 2009 at 8:37 am

    Hilarious! I loved it.😉

  11. January 16, 2009 at 10:12 am

    This is hilarious! What a social commentary.
    I kinda like being “so 2004”.

  12. January 16, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Hi Snooker,
    What I like best about being so retro is the pressure’s off – no need to be bleeding-edge hip and all that.🙂

  13. January 16, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Reading that “Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004” article really gets my enthusiasm for blogging back up again. Always go against the trend.

    • January 16, 2009 at 1:02 pm

      Hi Indie!
      Do you think, though, that blogs will get pushed into some sort of niche product / curiosity, much like vinyl records today?

      Another question: imagine a world with a thousand times the fastest broadband speed and capacity today. Not a long way off, actually. Will the Twitter text of today be the video Twitter of tomorrow, where you can actually “follow” people around as they film themselves 24/7 going about their daily lives, video streaming via satellite link?

  14. 17 Tricia
    January 17, 2009 at 1:26 am

    And I haven’t even blogged yet. Any chance I can be committed for (untreatable) Social Media Avoidance Disorder? Considering the state of my retirement account, institutionalization may be my only hope for survival. Three squares a day. No motivation to twitter!

  15. January 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Great piece, Ian. With my feet now firmly planted in the blogosphere, I find I’m being barraged with the notion that I should be on Twitter as a means to generate ‘buzz’ or ‘traffic’ to my blog. And yet, I can’t see how effective it can be to invite people to take the time to read your thoughts if they’re primarily interested in sharing what they ate for breakfast, how smelly the fellow commuter on the bus was this morning and so forth. It’s like people have lost the ability to filter all the random thoughts in their heads and share only the ones that would be of interest to others.

    It’s funny that with the potentials that technology and the internet present, some people seem to think that we should limit ourselves to just one form of expression. All the more odd coming from a tech mag which should recognize that technology has the tendancy to breed multiple formats, applications, and interfaces. Human communication shouldn’t be seen as any different.

  16. March 4, 2009 at 7:17 am


    Just googled grunter, voweller and stalker.com hoping to sign up, but got no results. WTF?🙂

  17. June 26, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    That was extremely funny. So very true..

    I found your blog by Googling “what’s all the fuss about Twitter”, an act that any experienced media psychologist would clearly diagnose as SMAD.
    Since I have accounts on myspace.com, tribet.net,facebook.com , and membership to various google groups, i can hardly be portrayed as adverse to Social Networking. But the Twitter thing beats me. I just don’t get it. Thank you for illuminating my path, dear Ian in Hamburg.

    Clealy i must be soooo 2007, because i don’t think it was nearly as fashionable to inform the world about spittle on my iPhone back then. Wait, i don’t have an iPhone !
    “Useless Fashionable Technology Avoidance Disorder” is what the disease is called. The two disorders could have a common cause, possibly linked to “Bullshit avoidance”. But then why would I be blogging ?
    Enough pondering for today.

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