Google+ And The Doctrine of Mutually Assured Distraction

And now……. Google+!!!!!

Another Social Media platform.

I’m now on it (as Terry Starbucker), and learning to use it, like all the other beta test subjects.   It’s pretty cool, and is showing early signs of being a formidable competitor with Facebook.

But this post isn’t really about Google+ – I’ll leave the technical stuff to people who really know what they’re talking about, like this excellent piece by Chris Brogan.

It’s about my growing fear.

A fear of something quite dark, and potentially catastrophic to our otherwise orderly lives

It’s our potential for Mutually Assured Distraction (or “MAD”).

That is, when all of us Social Media practitioners “load” ourselves with so many platforms and so many ways to connect, converse, post, and update, and then commence the full scale use of such platforms,  that we will all become totally and utterly distracted, and our collective productivity will drop like a stone.

I know, pretty scary, huh?

With the launch of Google+ we are getting dangerously close to that point (for those of you who are checking it out, take a look at your e-mail inbox these days and you’ll see what I mean).

It may take only one more big platform, one more big “place to be”, before we all go “MAD“.

Who knows, the momentum may be building already – I have to admit, the gravitational pull towards immersing myself in Google+, while simultaneously maintaining my immersion in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc, etc. (and that Empire Avenue has really been tugging me too), is getting me worried.

And, I heard today that Pandora is adding a “Social Media Element” to its music site .

Uh oh.  I just know I’ll be tempted to debate who is the best rock drummer of all time on that site (I vote for John Henry Bonham).    But I can’t contribute to the MADness.

We just can’t let this happen, fellow Social Media practitioners.  We must forge a mutual agreement that we will NOT push that overload button.  We have many other things to do in our lives, like take walks, eat meals, make sales calls,  complete a work project, spend time with our spouses and children, and all the other things we used to do before 2005.

We just can’t go MAD.    Are you with me?  Remember, we’re all in this together.

That is, of course, unless that discussion about rock drummers really gets going, and then all bets are off…..   🙂




  1. says

    Interesting article. At one point in my life (6 weeks ago) social media tools like facebook and twitter were mostly sites that distracted me from my actual work, but now that I’ve put my social media abuse to good use and now work on a social media team for a start-up company I can really appreciate the different tools. It is important to see the functionality of each and how each can be used differently and appropriately. However yes, there is a lot to keep up with and we all might go mad!

  2. Greg Hartle says


    My approach with anything new I add to my life is to evaluate at least one thing I’m willing to give up to add the new thing. In the case of Google+ I decided to give up my personal facebook profile. I simply would not have joined Google+ without the willingness first to let something go. It’s a good exercise no matter your desire. Add something, let something go. It’s my way of ensuring I don’t go MAD

  3. says

    Thanks for the warning, Terry to avoid overload.

    I justify it to myself by the fact that I don’t have a FB account. Can allow myself to be distracted…I mean…invest quality time that will certainly come back full circle into Google + is to jut remind myself I had that FB gap opened.

    Yeah…that works.


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