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Status update: 10 signs that you’re a social media addict.

Social media addictAs I was riding the train yesterday, I look across the aisle to see the faces of five of my fellow passengers – an entire row of people – buried in their mobile devices.

For the whole ride from Montclair to New York Penn Station, they remain transfixed to the little screens of their “i” devices.

Social media addicts, the lot of them.

Social media addicts, the lot of them.

No small talk.

No exchanged glances.

No pleasantries.

Nada.

Expressionless faces peering into the void.

Looking around the train car, I noted that virtually everyone was on something.

With the exception of one couple deep in a conversation, everyone else – literally everyone else – was on some form of electronic device.

The lady to my left was ensconced in her Facebook feed.

The dude next to her was scrolling through Instagram.

Not to be the odd man out, I whipped out my iPhone, dialed up my Facebook app and began mindlessly “liking” updates in my News Feed.

Like a zombie, I stared blankly into my iPhone’s screen waiting for that thing – that visceral feeling – that made me ‘thumbs up’ one inane item or another posted by my friends.

And in that moment, I realized that I was addicted to social media.

Somehow, I had transformed from someone who thrived on human connections, to one subsisting on virtual interactions.

I knew something was amiss.

I also knew that I wasn’t alone.

Like the passengers on the train, there are probably millions out there, similarly addicted.

Today’s post is devoted to helping you figure out if you too, are an addict.

So here are the top 10 signs that you’re addicted to social media.

1. The first thing and last thing you do every day is check out your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feed.

2. You ask people for life advice on Facebook. “Hey FB, am I addicted to FB?”

3. You’re always taking and posting selfies.

No, wait. I've got it. Hold on...just one more. No. That's not quite right. Just one more. Umm...

No, wait. I’ve got it. Hold on…just one more. No. That’s not quite right. Just one more. Umm…

4. You talk in acronyms. OMG! I’m a SM addict! SMH LMFAO

5. You constantly use hashtags. #youreaddicted #toptenlist #stephenchukumbarocks

Am I really going to search "#24yearsold"? Get your hashtag game right Maureen!

Am I really going to search “#24yearsold”? Get your hashtag game right Maureen!

6. You threaten to “unfriend” or “unfollow” people.

7. You get offended when people don’t accept your friend request or follow you back.

8. You experience the “phantom buzz” even when you don’t have your phone on you.

9. You check your phone impulsively and at the most inappropriate times.

10. You start or end you day with a greeting to your “Facebook family.”

Are we really your family, Judith? Really?

Are we really your family, Judith? Really?

If you exhibit any of these signs, put down your phone or tablet device, and get help immediately.

You could be suffering social media addiction.

If you don’t seek treatment right away, you may find yourself incapable of holding regular conversations and social interactions may become increasingly awkward.

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Blogging builds traffic. 30 days and the stats to prove it.

The numbers don’t lie!

Last month, a friend of mine who blogs, issued a 30-day blogging challenge.

She had fallen off her blog game, and resolved to write a new post every day, for 30 days.

She invited other bloggers to join her on her quest.

When I read her blog, I was inspired.

I too, had fallen off my blogging game.

In fact, I’m constantly falling off my game.

Even though I routinely counsel my clients on the importance of providing a regular and steady stream of content on their websites and social media profiles, I don’t really practice what I preach.

And since I don’t blog regularly, I can’t really speak to the issues involved in maintaining a regular output schedule.

Nor can I (genuinely) speak of the real impact that regular output has on a brand’s metrics.

Sure, I preach that the more you put out, the more of a footprint you create, the more pages of content BOTs can crawl to, the more relevant you become.

But for me, that’s all been theoretical.

I mean, I do blog.

This year marks the fourth anniversary of my blog.

Since I started blogging, I’ve posted over 250 times.

That’s an average of 60 posts a year.

Or a little over once a week.

But I really blog in fits and starts.

So I can’t say, honestly, what the impact of regular blogging actually is.

And because of this, I realized that I needed to take Aliya up on her challenge.

On August 31, Aliya completed her 30 day challenge.

Two days ago, I finished mine (I didn’t actually start when Aliya issued her call to action).

Looking back, I’m glad I did.

Because I now have empirical proof from the experience that reinforces the things I’ve been saying about the significance of blogging.

First, blogging creates traffic.

Period.

Since the start of the year, my traffic is consistently higher than it has ever been.

Last month, there were 3,638 view of my blog.

That’s my highest month of traffic ever.

My next highest month of traffic was in June 2010, when I hit 3,458 views.

Back, when in one day, I had 686 views.

The previous month (July), there were 2,712.

The month before that, 2,421.

Second, blogging increases your online presence.

Search engines, like Google love regularly updated content.

Every time you post a blog post you put your site/blog further up in the search results.

Google re-indexes your blog every time you update with new content, giving your site higher search ranking.

And if you’re using well written, relevant keywords, that only makes it even better.

During my month of blogging, I was getting hits for everything from futsal, Katy Perry, the iPhone, Nicki Minaj on down to SoundHound and Shazam.

Try it.

Google “Shazam vs SoundHound” or “Morgan Freeman is not dead” or “Chris Anokute” and invariably, my little blog is returned on the first page.

Third, regular blogging generates backlinks.

I can’t tell you how many times other folks linked to my site.

Whether it was because of the subject matter, the context, the images, tagging or the keywords, something about my content seemed to resonate with other bloggers.

As a result, I generated quite a few backlinks

Fourth, writing every day keeps you relevant.

Whether it’s politics, fashion, technology, music, entertainment, social issues, if you’re writing about topics of the day, contemporaneously as they happen, your voice, and your opinions will resonate will some audience somewhere.

If I could give bloggers one tip, it would be to write about what you love.

The biggest impediment that folks report for not writing every day (or regularly) is that they don’t know what to write about.

I write about whats going on – in my life, around me, in technology, social media, sports – whatever.

The second biggest blocker is time.

I’ve taken to getting it in whenever and wherever I can.

Sometimes, I blog on the train to work.

Other times, when I’m sitting on the ‘throne’ (some of my best work has been on the throne).

Point is, you need to make time for it.

Because one thing is for certain, blogging is an invaluable tool to generating traffic to (and awareness about) your site.

But don’t take my word for it.

Blog for yourself and see!

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Filed under branding, opinion

When Words Are Not Enough

 

This is Stephen's brain on writer's block

This is Stephen's brain on writer's block

In the past few weeks since my last post, I’ve started (and abandoned) a few posts, that I just wasn’t feeling.

Lots of interesting things have happened, but capturing the essence of it has been difficult to say the least.  I would never say that I’m my own worst critic, but in this regard, perhaps I am.

The one thing I hate about reading other people’s blogs is the feeling that the author is just writing to be writing. I’ve got nothing to say today folks, so blah, blah, and more blah.

I told myself that I’d never do that. If I had nothing to say, then I wouldn’t post anything. My little rule of thumb didn’t account for  the times when I had something to say, but couldn’t capture it well enough to put it out there.

It’s quite maddening because I’ve got a drafts (of things I’ve intended to say) out the wazoo (words are literally oozing out of my bum).  

There’s one entitled ‘The Chukumba Rules,’ a kids created standard of conduct we came up with while at the playground one day.  

Another, ‘WTF!’ chronicles my annoyance and frustration with not being paid on time (at a job that only pays once-a-month – can you believe the nerve of these people?). I was especially HOT (I can still feel the flames of fury) when I wrote this. 

‘Selling Your Ish Online’ is a re-do of an article I wrote years ago, but I felt was apropos considering the increasingly digital and mobile nature of the world we live in.

I even wrote one titled, ‘Gangsta Bitch’ about an old college friend, who was unapologetically unmarried and not trying to have kids, yet bewildered about how her ‘me-first’ stance was not well received by the average male (average=trying to settle down, have kids and the trappings of married life – silly average male, how little you know).

Anyway, for my six adoring fans (hey E!), I’ve not forsaken you. I’ve been suffering the old ‘writer’s block’ (it really should be called ‘writer’s malcontent with their writing’).

I’m getting back on the horse, and will force myself to be witty and engaging (or at least pretend to be).

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