Social Media Overload: Help!

Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks have been dominating the news lately: President Obama launched his reelection campaign with an , we read a chilling report about "," and multiple stories have tracked what Charlie Sheen or Miley Cyrus (who's back on Twitter!) is tweeting about.

But isn't Facebook and Twitter always in the news these days? The media's love affair with social media knows no bounds--and it's out of control, if you ask me. It feels as though our social media obsession has reached some kind of tipping point.

Am I alone in my disapprobation of self-absorbed social network users? How many times must I put up with Facebook preening, Twitter bragging, and LinkedIn requests for relationships with people I flat-out don't know?

Maybe it's time for a little digital detoxification in our so-called social life. I know what you're thinking: "If you don't like social networks, go buy a book." Maybe I will, but it's not that simple.

The role that social networks now play in our lives is so important that they can't be ignored indefinitely. They help us keep pace with our peers, network for jobs, and even remain socially active offline.

I'm no Back to the Pleistocene technophobe. I'm just advocating social-media life balance. In that spirit, let me explain why taking a break from your Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and StumbleUpon accounts might be a good idea. Then I'll offer some new rules for using each of these social media services, which you are welcome to take as seriously as you like.