Seven psychological complaints of bloggers and social media addicts

In my capacity as amateur psychotherapist to the blogerati, I have discovered a new raft of complaints as social media addicts adapt to the demands of new technologies and fluctuating social structures. The syndromes identified include:

Comment Guilt

Patients complain of an overwhelming regret that they are not commenting more on other people’s blogs, and ‘engaging with the online community’. Feelings of worthlessness and frustration.

RSS Reader Sisyphus Complex

Sisyphus was a mythological king punished cursed to roll a huge boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll down again, and to repeat this throughout eternity. Much like these patients who are cursed to spend a morning checking their RSS reader, only to find there are still “8,978 posts unread”.

Twitter Rage

Symptons include extreme psychopathic episodes directed at microblogging services. Triggers range from service outage to time delay between tweets being sent to mobile and appearing on twitter client. Also triggered by incessant noise pollution from tweet alerts on multiple devices.

Twitterhoeia

Uncontrollable urge to share most mundane experiences – or, more commonly, lack of experiences – with Twitter followers. Generally involves consumption of food.

Six Degrees of Separation Syndrome

Patient believes it possible to be only one ‘friend’ removed from anyone else in the world. Compulsively identifies people with similar interests or friends and adds them across multiple social media tools. May become enraged if Friend Request is not reciprocated. See also: Zombie Wars Complaint.

Plugin/Update Confusion

Patient becomes disorientated after spending hours configuring plugins or upgrades. Heightened awareness of pointlessness of own existence.

FOOcamp Anxiety

Sufferers complain of not being on the select list of invitees to a social media event. Do not respond well to reassurances that “there is another one on next week, on the same subject. With the same people.” Become obsessive about obtaining invite to next year’s event. Confusion about reasons for other people being invited. May experience paranoid delusions.

UPDATE: Four new syndromes discovered.

Please Digg this blog post if you exhibit any symptoms

This post is part of a Carnival of Journalism, this month hosted by Yoni Greenbaum

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56 thoughts on “Seven psychological complaints of bloggers and social media addicts

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  2. Linda

    Brilliant, thanks. I’ve also heard talk of a more physical rather than psychological complaint.

    This is apparently a headache caused by a wallop about the forehead from loved-ones so disconcerted by the patient’s tendency to ignore them in favour of “communication tools”.

    It’s not happened to me, but I’ve heard it can smart. :)

    Reply
  3. Allison White

    I have displayed all of the symptoms at some point … although the last one is more “jealous of those who get to go” rather than thinking I should be going.

    Is there a cure? ;)

    Reply
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  5. Kristine

    I don’t think I’ve had any of those, except perhaps a slight touch of the RSS-Sisyphus thing, but I find myself having increasingly uncontrollable emotional reactions to the failings of my online provider(s).

    I’m getting to the point where I feel I might just give up: accept that all online providers suck (and it’s a bit like speeding to hospital for a life-and-death situation just to discover you have to stop and fix the holes in the road again and again to get there), and just do something 9-5, or perhaps just take up working in a pub again, which I did just after my studies, rather than being a journo and coming so close to suffering a mental breakdown or a heart attack every time my online connection is acting erractic (all too often).

    Maybe things have improved since I lived in the UK, but I only have nightmares about my online providers, perhaps except Compuserve, the very first (so no expectations). Perhaps, of course, I should feel more gulity for all sorts of things, but guilt was never my thing: I could and should leave more comments, but ultimately it’s just me paying the price if I don’t, more concerned about all the things I don’t find time to blog, but then again, I keep trying to remind myself of the the limits we all face – 24hrs in the day etc….

    Reply
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  10. Loup Dargent

    RE: RSS Reader Sisyphus Complex

    I haven’t got that one (yet) but I have one with similar symptoms…
    That happens when I check my Digg profile and I find myself welcomed by loads of shouts… The more shouts I go through, the more shouts are coming… Yikes! That makes me feel guilty because I rarely have time now to go through my Digg Friends Submissions page. I try… Oh yes, I try… but after having checked a few submissions, I find myself going through the shouts area again with the naive hope that I will empty that darn list completely one day.

    Reply
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  12. slewfootsnoop

    Format fatigue:

    Patient observed cradling laptop in arms into the early hours of the morning:

    ‘All I asked for was Georgia, 12 point, and justified. It’s 3 in the morning, so why can’t you justify? Please, justify – I have an important meeting tomorrow’…

    Reply
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  23. Gabi Aanicai

    Great post. I must confess I could not help myself not to smile when it came to plugin and rss. Guilty as charged, in a funny, non-violent way.

    Reply
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  26. Flora

    Great. As if I wasn’t already seeing my therapist enough, now I have to set up additional appointments to tackle my RSS Reader Sisyphus Complex.
    Only 10,943 unread items left to go!

    Reply
  27. Ian Kennedy

    Inclusive Solipsism – the condition that assumes the world has read your latest blog post or tweet. Symptoms include frequent non sequiturs or punch lines delivered out of context to the confusion and bafflement of all those within earshot.

    Reply
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  30. utellit

    LOL this is great. I suppose I am either level headed and know that there are other things in life or still fairly new and untouched by it all and still learning.

    How about blogstatitis? ~ The constant urge to check Alexa and other status result sites for the ranking of their blogs. There are different types of blog-statitis.

    Try this one on for size:

    Ping-itis the constant submission of a blog to sites that one has to sign up for when one knows the only reason this is being done is to make sure their blog is being seen more increasing its rankings.

    Reply
  31. Lady

    Yeah, I had Twitterhoeia yesterday.. http://twitter.com/tlws

    Now, is it still considered Twitterhoeia if you mircoblog it to everything? Is using a service like HelloTXT[.com] a symptom of something else, something more sinister.?

    Here’s another one to think about.. Having to be on, literally, every social site known to mankind, that you can read. In my case, I have several websites, several blogs, then I’m on 15 different social sites. Proof? Check: http://brokenfingernail.com/about near the bottom.

    Reply
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  41. dizajntotalweb

    Witty and unapologetic. Perhaps we all suffer from some of these maladies today. It’s hard to remain untouched by the great wonder that is social media.

    These might be found in all psychiatry textbooks real soon if these current trends continue to follow the same path (and everything is indicating that they will)…

    Reply
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