My Social Media Lament

There’s a wonderful scene in the 1963 classic film, Charade, when the characters portrayed by Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn meet for the first time.

Grant: “Do we know each other?”

Hepburn: “Why? Do you think we’re going to?”

Grant: “I don’t know. How would I know?”

Hepburn: “Because I already know an awful lot of people, and till one of them dies I couldn’t possibly meet anyone else.”

I can relate to Hepburn’s response, especially when I feel overwhelmed by FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn,  Google+, Pinterest, Klout, etc. Not that I wish anyone ill. I just get to the point where I want to scream, “So many social networks, so little time!”

There’s a barrage of requests to: join social communities or invite others to join, comment on blog posts, participate in discussions, share relevant content, recommend people or endorse their skills. In addition, we’re faced with social media popularity contests and frequent pleas/requests to “share this post if you agree with this [cause, issue or sentiment]” that I consider to be the 21st century equivalent of chain letters.

I know it’s an issue of quality vs. quantity, although the expansion of social media and smart phone technology makes it easy to fall into the quantity trap. So I try to manage my time and sanity by being selective about which social communities I’ll engage with and how often. I also remind myself that it’s OK to unplug occasionally (especially on weekends) and not worry about some content or update I may be missing.

Like Hepburn’s character in Charade, I don’t want an unlimited social network. And I know what to do to manage it effectively. The question is: how does one stop feeling overwhelmed by it all?


  • Pam Burzynski April 25, 2013 Reply

    I love the movie quote, Sybil, and oh boy are you right. I pretty much disconnected from Social Media months ago after being on overload. I’m tip-toeing back in and being selective. I’m glad I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed.

    • sybil April 25, 2013 Reply

      You’re certainly not alone, Pam. Good for you for taking a break! Please let me know how you do in selectively wading back in the social media pool.

  • sybil April 23, 2013 Reply

    Thanks for putting this in perspective, Yvonne. I love the Starbucks analogy!

  • Yvonne DiVita April 23, 2013 Reply

    Yes, the age-old question… how many ‘friends’ are too many friends? And, what did my Mom do back in the day? Hey, for that matter, what did grandma do… before the telephone?

    Truth is, most of your social media ‘friends’ aren’t friends at all. They’re acquaintances… and those who aren’t even that are… just people whose names you know.

    Social media challenges us to be selective in our relationships and requires a thoughtful approach to connecting.

    Think of it like this – “What another Starbucks? We have one on every corner now!” Yep, we do. And you can’t possibly visit them all so select the one you want to frequent and check out some others now and then… but don’t run amok.

    Goes the same for social media.

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