Sure, the rise of social networking has been good for a lot of people -- in fact, social media can even promote good health. But lately I've been able to identify some new emotional and psychological conditions that can be tied directly to my usage of social media over the past few years:
1) Unrequited Twitter Love (or UTL): The emotional state created by writing a really good Tweet or Facebook status update, but then having it crushed when nobody responds, "likes", replies or retweets your brilliant update. The UTL state is like waiting by the phone on a Friday night hoping that your boyfriend or girlfriend will call you -- but instead you're staring at Tweetdeck, wailing, "Why hasn't anyone retweeted me?" This can only be cured by the opposite of UTL -- the Sally Field-like Twitter Love (or SFTL) state -- "I've been re-tweeted! They like me! They really like me!" Related terms: Twitter Crickets, TwitsEnd, The Agony of Detweet. (thanks to @SteveBrownNI, @DDubie and @CMajor for suggested terms!)
2) Obsessive/Compulsive News Feed Checking: The need to constantly be checking your news feed or Twitter stream to see what everyone else is doing or saying, alongside the need to scroll up or down to the last point in time when you last checked the news feed, to make sure you didn't miss something important. Related condition: The guilt you feel when the cursor has reached the bottom on your TweetDeck app, and you scroll over all of the unread Tweets to get to the latest items.
3) Mayor-hogging: The need to constantly check-in via Foursquare, Gowalla, and/or Facebook Places, not because you want to tell friends where you are, but to protect your mayorship from anyone else who might be gunning for you. Also related to mayor-gunning, the attempt by non-mayors to try and steal such mayorships away from existing mayors. This is followed by depression when you realize you're never going to become mayor of your workplace or coffee shop because you keep forgetting to check in as much as the mayor does.
4) Commentitis: The condition in which you feel obligated to add meaningless comments on status updates, tweets or blog posts (such as "I agree!" or "I LOVE GLEE!!!!!!", just to show the other person that you're either paying attention to them, or that you're looking for attention for yourself. Typical sufferers are teen-aged, but we've seen cases from people who should know better. Can quickly devolve into the stalking-like state of commenting on almost every post that someone does. The worst commentitis sufferers make comments on celebrity or non-human corporate Facebook status updates.
5) Twambivalence (thanks to @Tim_Greene!): The emotional state you feel when you're reading someone's status update or Tweet, and you just don't care enough to like, respond or otherwise register any feeling. Can also be associated with anger, in which you think, "Why on earth should I care that so-and-so has a sunburn?" Hardcore cases of Twambivalence result in sufferers joining groups that state "I WILL DELETE ALL OF YOUR FARMVILLE REQUESTS", informing friends and followers that you have no time in your important life to sit through and suffer through everyone else's updates. Of course, lots of people suffering Twambivalence at the same time can create some Unrequited Twitter Love for their friends and followers.
These are just some of the latest emotional disorders I've suffered or seen -- what are some of the ones you are experiencing? Feel free to comment, even those suffering from commentitis.
This story, "Top 5 Social Network Disorders" was originally published by Network World.