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Contagious Social Media Sickness

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Right now, I am extremely contagious.

That’s not me trying to be witty about a blogging concept or something. I literally am contagious. This past weekend, I traveled to DC for MAGFest, a music and gaming conference (yeah, I know, I’m a geek), and I have post-con plague. Gamers aren’t exactly known for being sanitary. I was actually supposed to drive the four hours home on Monday, but ended up hibernating on a friend’s couch for two and a half days because I was too sick to drive. Yuck.

So right now I’m extremely contagious. And, although you can’t really “catch” anything from me on Twitter or other social media sites, you may have noticed that I’m not really around right now. I highly advocate treating social media like a social gathering when you are sick – only go out when necessarily, since you’re putting others at risk.

Here are some of the problems I commonly see with people who use social media while sick:

  • TMI

I really, really don’t want to know about the discharge from your nose, the number of times you puked today, or other grisly details of your illness. There is such a thing as over-sharing, people!

  • Contagious Bad Mood

When you’re sick, you’re likely not in the best of moods, and rightfully so. Bad moods can spread on social media like wildfire, though, and they can also hurt your brand. You don’t want someone who is a first-time fan or follower to see that your last several updates are complaints.

  • Questionable Work Ethic

You and I both know that updating Twitter while in bed with the flu is perfectly doable…but a boss or client may not. To them, it might seem like you’re not really that sick, or worse, that you’re not sick at all, and you’ve been lying about being unable to work.

Beyond these three points, there’s something else important to remember when it comes to using social media while sick: YOU NEED TO RECOVER!

Do what is absolutely necessary, and then turn off Twitter and go to sleep. We all need a sick day every so often.

Allison Boyer freelance writer and content marketing consultant. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister. You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (@allison_boyer) or contact her at allisonmboyer@gmail.com.


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