Practical Social Marketing Tips – The Top 7 Signs You Are Too Plugged In To Social Media

social marketing, jeff herringSocial Media Marketing gives us the opportunity to be more plugged in than ever. In our increasingly “plugged in” culture there are some who question whether it is possible to become too plugged in.

For example, an Australian mother, Susan Maushart, took her entire family, including 3 teenagers, off of electronics for 6 months. She chronicles their story in the book “The Winter of Our Disconnect” (nice title)

I’m not suggesting you unplug for 6 months. I do encourage you to be watchful to see if you may in fact be too plugged in. And if you find that you are… maybe unplugging for a week or a weekend every once in a while would be enough.

To that end, here are the Top 7 Signs You May Be Too Plugged In:

1. You think a water proof iPhone for the shower or tub makes sense
– Have you ever gotten out of the shower or bath to check your tweets? Or a text message coming in?

There is a Weird Al Yankovic video called “White and Nerdy” in which they show the main character with a rig that allows him to work on his laptop in the shower. It scared me that this made sense to me.

2. You have tweeted during sex – I swear I am not making this up. I have heard stories of people who have actually tweeted or texted during intimate moments. Talk about a mood killer!

But this also applies to tweeting or texting when you’re out for a meal with family or friends. Don’t talk and text. It’s rude. There are real people there waiting to engage with you. Pay attention and be present.

3. You believe the “actual physical real world” is just an accessory to your online life – Seems to be more prevalent with the under 25 crowd, who have never known a world not plugged in. If you ever look up from your smart phone and think “Oh yeah, this is real” this could mean you. When you get big news and the first thing you think of is “I can’t wait to share this on Facebook”, you might be in danger.

4. When you “laugh out loud” you actually say “LOL” – I’ve heard our oldest son’s teenage friends actually do this. All we have to say is OMG. Do your emails and Thank You notes contain text abbreviations?

5. You believe your keyboard makes a good pillow – How many of us who spend a great deal of time working with our computers have not done this one? Do you find hours have gone by and you realize you just spent them instant messaging people you barely know..? Might be time to step away from the laptop.

6. You text during a movie in theaters and actually believe no one sees the light from your phone – Unless it is an emergency there is no need for this. Enjoy the activities you are participating in, when you are there. Consequence for violations should be having to clean the theater floor. With your tongue.

7. If your friends or family aren’t on Facebook or Twitter, you rarely speak to them – Make sure you are still having human relationships in the real word.

While there are many advantages to our ultra-connected world for businesses and consumers alike, there are also dangers. You want to be able to form and keep relationships IRL, or “in real life”. As with anything, balance is key.

Many people use technology to hide and isolate themselves from real life and real relationships. Maybe because those require real trust and there’s the possibility you can get hurt. But real relationships trump virtual any day of the week.

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it might be time for you to disconnect, even if it’s just for one 24 hour period. Go out and talk to real people in the real world.

And when you want to learn more about how to leverage Social Media without being too plugged in, check out this article on “Online Visibility With Your Articles โ€“ How to Get Found & Be Seen Everywhere in Your Niche”


  • Jeff Herring

    Reply Reply

    Have fun with these…even laugh at yourself, and then…

    GO Use This Stuff!

    ~ Jeff

  • cheryl watterson

    Reply Reply

    My son called me in a rush the other day to watch an interview on one of the TV stations about people who are “addicted to their computers/laptops/iPads.” I think he was trying to tell me something. Thanks for a wakeup article.

    • Jeff Herring

      Reply Reply

      Cheryl – outta the mouth of babes, huh?

      ~ Jeff

  • One of the things missing from this list I’ll add is “Jumping for the Smartphone”! I NEVER answer my cellphone and usually have the ringer off. I have none of my email addresses hoked up to my smartphone or my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I can go there if I want to via apps, but no “audio notifications” when someone comments on m Facebook update!

    Ugh… but I see people who jump for the smartphone no matter what it is – a text, a call, a tweet, a status update – They actually interrupt real life or whatever productive thing they’re doing to react and be on everyone else’s schedule but their own… ๐Ÿ˜›

    I really like the days we are “disconnected” and play card games with the kids or go on day road trip with no smatphones, etc…

    • Jeff Herring

      Reply Reply

      Me too…

      ~ Jeff

  • Is it bad I feel guilty when I look at my phone during meetings to make sure it’s not an emergency from the kids? Beyond that, everyone else can wait.

    I don’t get anywhere near enough down time, away from the computer, but that’s changing too. I’ve learned to schedule time away!

    And… I’m buying a house. A view of the mountains and closer too, I plan on hiking with NO phones. YAY!

    I know life is changing for the better. I’m excited for my unplugged time.


    • Jeff Herring

      Reply Reply

      Jan – I want pictures!

      ~ Jeff

  • Cute!

    Thanks for the Great break for my mind.
    Very Entertaining. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Keith D Shrock,
    Certified Social Media

  • Tom Heitz

    Reply Reply

    Great post Jeff. The sex and tweeting made me come up with “Sweet”

    • Jeff Herring

      Reply Reply

      Tom – “sweeting” – that’ll work!

      ~ Jeff

  • Barbara Hawkins

    Reply Reply

    Love this article! It’s so very true. I find it annoying when someone sits in a restaurant or a movie texting etc. Take a breath and live a life!

    Most of human history did not occur in a ‘pluggedin’ state. Seriously, I share with my clients that this type of attitude toward any technology increases stress. After thinking about what’s really important draw boundaries for yourself…what can go unattended and what cannot. So far nobody has indicated they cannot unplug in the evening, relax, refresh and plugin the next morning.

    Whew! I needed a breath.

    BTW I’ll be posting this on my blog too because I think it’s important info as well as funny. Thanks Maritza.

    Better & Better,
    Barbara Hawkins

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