The Hazards of Social Media

Bad news today. Social media is not the panacea the media has made it out to be. In fact, in many cases, it can do more harm than good.

So while I do like social media and get new blog readers from it, please allow me to share the three most common hazards of social media.

Hazard #1: Kiss Your Productivity Goodbye!

Between Facebook, Twitter, and StumbleUpon, it’s a wonder anybody gets any work done online these days. Employers know it, too. That’s why many of these sites are now blocked on work computers.

With social media, one thing leads to another.

You innocently drop in to update your status — then get sidetracked and follow dozens of interesting tidbits of information. Next thing you know, an hour of your time has vanished.

Poof! Just like that.

Hazard #2: Sacrificing True Friends for Imaginary Friends

Social media encourages dozens of casual encounters with people you don’t know every single day. It might feel like friendship, but somehow it’s not.

Unfortunately, social media has a tendency to keep people from investing in the true friendships they already have.

Instead of sitting down to coffee, social media junkies exchange one-liners with strangers — and then secretly wonder why they feel lonely.

Hazard #3: Becoming Intoxicated by Your Own Pseudo-Fame

Why is social media such a juggernaut in the 21st Century? Because with social media, all of a sudden everybody is a celebrity.

I may not know you from Adam, but if you have 20,000 followers, it’s going to look like you’re somebody (even if you aren’t).

That’s why I call it pseudo-fame. It’s a little like being famous, but far short of the real thing. (By the way, many famous people wish they weren’t famous. That should tell you something.)

A Better Way…

If you’re going to be investing time online, I suggest you do something that provides you with a monetary benefit — and not just a transient ego boost.

One of the most valuable skills you can learn is the skill of copywriting. That’s just a fancy way of explaining how to get people to buy through the written word.

And, if you think about it, words are what drive the economy of the Internet. Every sales letter, every sales video, every sales email is powered by persuasive words.

If you’d like to strengthen your copywriting skills, I highly recommend the work of Claude Hopkins, especially Scientific Advertising. You can get a copy on Amazon for $15 or so.

And, of course, you can also get my perspective on copywriting at Copywriting Code. Before you publish another tweet or status update, hurry on over and check it out now…

-Ryan M. Healy

Ryan M. Healy

Ryan Healy is a financial copywriter and the author of Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like,, and

Comments are closed