20-Jul-2011 10:59

Are you suffering too? Are you becoming ‘SNOBS'?

We might have known…

Wasn’t it simply bound to happen?

Are you suffering from the latest disease to strike horror deep in the hearts of most of us?

Yep… I can, with immense sadness, announce the arrival of the latest complaint to hit the working population.

Unsure if it has a medical title yet, but I’ve given it the moniker, ‘Social Networking Overload Burnout Syndrome’ or ‘SNOBS’.

A fairly recent report from Telecoms Europe showed that a study by a team of Cambridge University researchers suggested that technology fatigue is setting in, with almost 40% of people feeling the very real need to escape messaging, networking and social network services.

The research, conducted for BT, found a fairly even spread in fatigue among age groups ranging from 10 years old to 34, with almost 40% of 10-18 year olds saying they were overwhelmed by the mass of communications and up to 34% experiencing similar feelings in the 25-34 year old bracket.

Interestingly, 36% of parents claimed technology disrupts family life & almost 60% of families surveyed said their lives would be far more enjoyable and relaxed if all communications technology were ceased for specific periods,

BT Retail Chief Gavin Patterson added he thought the public would benefit from a more balanced approach to usage.
“Compare it to food. To stay healthy, you need to eat a balanced diet,” he noted.

What is notable is that the research showed that 65% of British kids would prefer to communicate face-to-face, somewhat dispelling a myth that our children only communicate via technology.

So, 'fess up, & let us know.

Are you, you family, your children or your staff members becoming ‘SNOBS’?

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Contributed by Amanda Vlahakis on 21-Jul-2011 10:21
In reference to what you have said Alan, I hear what you are saying that your technology use does not affect your family or bother anyone - if the case, that is good, it is working well for you and your family.

Personally I would not want to sit with a man who was watching tv and also on Twitter at the same time. I would rather have more attention than that, but of course understand that not all women are the same :)

In my family I like work to end when it ends with no attempt to always be 'on call' in some way. I don't want to fight for attention from a variety of devices and distractions such as TV, phone, Internet, Twitter ... etc etc etc ...

When someone is spending time with me, I expect them to spend time with me ... not with me, and Twitter, and their emails, and their client phone calls and so on.

Contributed by Amanda Vlahakis on 21-Jul-2011 10:20
Peer pressure 'can' be a problem yes, but not guaranteed to be a problem of any sort.

For instance, I was never affected by it in my youth. I used to do what 'I' felt I should be doing, not what what my friends were doing.

As a result, I often had very few friends! :)

But pleased to have been brought up with the strength to hold firm to my own convictions rather than follow the herd.

It's ok to be different.

Hopefully I can impress this upon my own children as well as my mother impressed it upon me. So far they seem to doing well against peer pressure, I will see how the hold up over the teenage years :-)

Contributed by Shelley Collins on 21-Jul-2011 10:19
You don't have to be overwhelmed you do have some choice.

You should run your life - not let life run you.
But these things can be addictive - so set some personal boundaries and ask for support from your family and friends.

Shelley Collins
Just Resources Ltd
Contributed by Norman Feiner on 21-Jul-2011 09:30
Yep Alan, balance remains the key in most aspects of our (madly) busy lives in 2011

Contributed by Norman Feiner on 21-Jul-2011 09:30
Amanda - All true and admirable.

But haven't you forgotten one teeny weeny problem: 'Peer Pressure'

Contributed by Alan Stevens on 21-Jul-2011 09:28
I have fairly constant access to phone and web, partly because I'm on call for global companies that my need crisis communication advice. I also watch TV news and listen to radio a good deal, not to mention browsing newspapers.

However, I also turn everything off when I go for a run, a long walk, or out for a meal (my clients can wait for a few hours). I also take holidays where I relax on the beach or beside the pool, comms-free (a trusted colleague picks up the calls and gives advice).

I watch TV with Twitter at hand, since I enjoy the two-screen experience. Am I addicted to media? Nope. It's my job. Is it an issue for me or my family? Nope.

We all choose how much media to consume. I wouldn't presume to say how much is enough or too much.

Best wishes


Alan Stevens, President, Global Speakers Federation, 2010-2011
Communication, PR and Reputation Management
Contributed by Amanda Vlahakis on 21-Jul-2011 09:26
I think it's important as parents to do all we can to prevent communications overload with our 10-18yr olds.

I very much limit technology in my household. Computer time is just once a week only and neither of my children have mobile phones yet. They won't have a phone until they are perhaps 13yrs old, and I will ensure that their phones are not Internet enabled.

None of us need to have constant access to technology and we need to do what we can to protect youngsters from developing addictive habits in their youth that will be detrimental to their personal relationships.

I'm aware that these habits can be developed in adults also, because I see many of my generation (not brought up with mobiles or Internet), who are addicted to their communication devices; but I will do my best to encourage a more balanced way of life for my children before they become adults.

If anything it is perhaps the reason why my generation is so addicted - no one brought us up with the understanding that technology must not be used obsessively, because we never had it. We were never taught how to use it in a balanced way.

Contributed by Norman Feiner on 20-Jul-2011 19:13

How many millions could you possibly want or need mate!

With your fortune, most would be sipping pina coladas in their hammocks :)
Contributed by Steve Hall on 20-Jul-2011 18:33
Can't disagree with much of what James says. Some times, I sit up from the PC after a few hours in front of the screen and think, "What have I achieved?" or "Am I anywhere nearer the next million?" Sadly, the answer is often, "No, Steve. Arrange a 1-2-1, face-to-face and have C.A.S.H. at hand"
Contributed by James Coakes on 20-Jul-2011 11:54

I'm finding it really hard to contribute to this without feeling as though I'm stating the obvious. This seems inevitable. There's a percentage of the species that takes any trend to its obsessive compulsive extreme ...

... and here I am standing in the middle of them. In my defence I don't watch much television.
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