Thursday, December 31, 2009

140 Small Steps For Man (And A Giant Leap For Social Networking Rehab)

As announced here, early in 2010 we will be publishing an eBook of "140 Steps To Cure Your Twitter (and Social Networking) Addiction" and we are looking for YOU to help us compile the 140 best steps toward recovery.  So please, look in the mirror, admit you have a problem, and then SHARE your suggested road to rehabilitation in the comments below, or in the comments at this post.

The staff at INVITATIONS started collecting steps for the book at a recent Miami Tweetup and we present a few of your suggestions in this Public Service Announcement:

Thanks to Jeff Pulver, Chris Heuer, Kristie Wells, Yvette Ferry, Alex DeCarvalho, Maria De Los Angeles, and everyone else who was willing to raise their hand and face their addiction head on...

To be continued...

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

140 Steps To Cure Your Social Networking Addiction

12 steps are clearly not enough to address the ravages of Social Networking Addiction. With mobile phones placing Twitter and Facebook in our pockets, and everyone we ever associated with from grade school to grad school now friending and tweeting us 24/7 with all things arcane, mundane and inane, it is virtually impossible to escape the allure of the drug we call "Social Networking." 12 Steps - the traditional guiding principles outlining a course of action for recovery - may work for substance abuse, but they can't hold a ceremonial candle to the substantial abuse that is Social Networking addiction.


For several years now the staff at INVITATIONS, the Nation's Premiere Social Networking Recovery facility, have recognized that the original 12 steps were challenged when it comes to Social Media. For example, Step 8, "Make a list of all the persons we harmed with our addiction..." was great until Twitter added the new LISTS feature. Once our patients started using Twitter Lists to create lists of the folks their addiction affected "Step 8" lost some of its healing luster. As if that wasn't enough of a challenge, patients who thought @Scobleizer was their higher power were devastated when he went and unfollowed everyone, cutting the cult of Scoble off at the knees. We may be able to admit we are powerless over Social Networking and that our lives have become unmanageable, but we need more than 12 steps to lead us to the light. We need 140 steps to cure Social Networking Addiction, and we need your help to develop them.


Who better to develop a 140 step program than the folks who will benefit the most from it. Who better to define the cure than those suffering from the disease. Who better to help me come up with 140 clever and witty steps to a clean, social networking free existence than those whose very existence is dominated by social media. That's right, YOU!

If you are in need of Social Networking Rehab, you can join in and help us create the definitive 140 Step Program. Please add your suggested step in the comments. Between now and the end of the year we will be collecting, reviewing and testing your steps on the patients at INVITATIONS. Then, in January 2010, we will ring in the New Year by publishing an eBook detailing "140 Steps To Cure Your Social Networking Addiction" with the best of your submissions.

What steps are you taking to cure your Social Networking habit??? Please share them in the comments and you will have the chance to be included in the eBook next year! If you have friends who are addicted (and you know you do) please share this and ask them to contribute their "Steps" too!

UPDATE: We have released a new PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT video, with some steps recommended by some of you at a recent Miami TweetUp.

Photo Credit: © chinti -

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Feed Your Addiction With A Phoney Twitter

Virtually all of the Twitter Addicts we treat here at INVITATIONS have a mobile phone and use their phones to check in with Twitter. Ideally, we would like to therefore confiscate their phones upon arrival, however for various insurance and liability reasons we are not able to leave our visitors disconnected from their world outside of the INVITATIONS Social Networking Rehab facility. Fortunately, many of our "customers" have iPhones and thanks to AT&T their ability to get a decent network connection is sufficiently borked to limit their on-site tweeting while in recovery. For the non-iPhone patients, we have put strict limitations on their mobile phone use.


In an effort to ease the pain of being weaned from Twitter, and preventing the sometimes serious side effects of twithdrawal, our own Dr. Dierichter Meisinger (known among the patients as "DM") has postulated that personalizing one's phone with Twitter related ringtones and wallpaper images can serve as sublimation for actually using Twitter on their phones. To prove his theory, Dr. Meisinger has assembled a collection of Twitter ringtones and wallpapers that we regularly use here at INVITATIONS. Patients following the DM method hear a Twitter song every time their phone rings, feeding their "need for Tweed" and reducing their desire to shirk all other worldly responsibilities in favor of their 140 character communications. It is still early in the study, but initial results seem promising.


As a courtesy and public service, we are making these twitterized mobile phone goodies available to you here, so that you can begin treating your own addictions by using the DM Method at home. Please use with care.

(Note: The ringtones and wallpapers below are made available via Myxer, where I work when I am not acting as proprietor of INVITATIONS. Click "Preview" to hear any of the ringtones.)

More from Feddi Twinz at Myxer

More from Gramz Unkut at Myxer

More from mr swag at Myxer

More from Lethal Prince of Da X at Myxer

More from KoolrPix Xpression at Myxer

More from KoolrPix Holidays at Myxer

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

The 7 Phases Of Twitter: A Chronology

If you are reading this, there is a good chance you, too, are addicted to Twitter. Why else would you be visiting something called Social Networking Rehab? If you came here because of a link in a Tweet, or a Facebook Status message you are even more deserving of a 28 day stay at INVITATIONS, the Nation's Premiere Social Networking Rehab Facility. You may want to take a moment to fill out an application.


While for some of you Twitter may be your latest vice, many of the Twitterholics who have visited INVITATIONS have been around since the beginning and have been good Twittizens for several years. Over time it seems that our addiction takes us through a cycle of Twitter usage that represents the full circle of 140 character fixes. The therapists here at INVITATIONS have coined this cycle "The 7 Phases of Twitter" and herewith is a brief timeline of the 7 steps that may lead to your need for 12 steps!


Phase One: "What Are You Doing?
Your earliest Tweets, wherein we attempt to turn plain into pithy...

Example Tweet: "I am eating tuna fish on rye."

Phase Two: "The Announcement"
In this stage we realize that Twitter can be used to broadcast our other inane activities...

Example Tweet: "Hey, read my blog, will ya?"

Phase Three: "The Conversation"
When other folks start replying to our inanities, we move to this stage and start @replying, boring the rest of the Twittersphere with the ability to follow only one half of a conversation...

Example Tweet: "@soandso Lol. Yeah, I agree! ;-)"

Phase Four: "The Missing Link"
WOW. Just because we are limited to 140 characters doesn't mean we can't link EVERYWHERE! Thanks TinyUrl,, etc...

Example Tweet: "Cool Site with cool stuff!"

Phase Five: "Smokin' Hashtags"
As if sharing links weren't enough to make Twitter, we soon realize we can one-up URL shorteners and add searchable #hastags to our tweets!

Example Tweet: "Cool. I am going fishing today. #fishing #iloveboats #waterboundhookers"

Phase 6: "The Re-Tweet"
Why rely on our own cleverness when we are a click away from using someone else's wit for our own Twit!

Example Tweet: "RT @sass The 7 Phases of Twitter! (Awesome,, but why am I re-tweeting myself?)"

Phase 7: "What are you doing?"
And of course, after experimenting with broadcasting, conversating, sharing links, hashing things out, and spreading the word of others, we come back full circle to the simplicity of where it all started...

Example Tweet: "Wondering if I should Tweet that I am eating tuna fish on rye..."
Which phase are you in? Are there additional phases that should be added to the cycle?

Photo Credit: © Milos Willing -

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Doctors Announce First Successful Human FACEBOOK Transplant

(Palo Alto, California) May 25, 2009. A team of doctors and surgeons from the nation's leading medical institutions have joined forces to perform the world's first human Facebook transplant, it was announced today by Dr. Prayim Fomofriends, lead surgeon on the procedure. Dr. Fomofriends, on loan from the prestigious Mayo Naise Clinic in Boise, Idaho, called the groundbreaking surgery an undeniable success. The patient, who's identity is being kept confidential in accordance with prevailing Internet privacy policies, is recuperating at an undisclosed location, rumored to be INVITATIONS, the nation's premiere Social Networking Recovery Facility.


While to date there have been two well documented and successful human face transplants, this marks the first time doctors have successfully transplanted a Facebook account from one person to another, including all friends, news feeds, groups, and even such delicate details such as the Fun Wall and other inane applications. The patient is expected to recover fully and regain, in time, complete use of the new Facebook account, including poking, and eventually, the ability to update statuses, even from a mobile phone or linked Twitter account. The donor, who has elected to remain anonymous, is said to be a former "A-List" blogger who amassed a Facebook following of the maximum 5,000 friends and then became disillusioned by the limitation. In a prepared statement the donor commented, "I am just grateful that my so-called friends can now be put to good use in the account of someone who really needs them. I wish more people would consider becoming organization donors."


While the procedure has been heralded by some as a true medical breakthrough and an example of the future of cosmetic social surgery, as with anything controversial the transplant also has its detractors. Protesters have already gathered outside of the INVITATIONS recovery facility with signs claiming, "IF GOD HAD WANTED US TO TRANSPLANT OUR FACEBOOK ACCOUNTS HE WOULD NOT HAVE CREATED PASSWORDS." Ironically, there are already several groups on Facebook that have been formed to rally against the medical community and denounce the transplanting of accounts. When interviewed, the leader of one of the protest groups, who refused to reveal his identity, stated, "This surgery is sacrilege! What's next? Surgically altering Twitter to allow messages of more than 140 characters??? Where do we draw the line???"


At a press conference held outside Facebook headquarters, Dr. Fomofriends was accompanied by a family member of the patient who tearfully stated, "Thanks to these amazing doctors, my unnamed relative can look forward to a full life ahead, rich with friends and a Facebook account they can hold high and be proud of. No more gawking and pointing at their weak and tattered account. No more pity pokes. It is truly a miracle!" Although the entire procedure was captured via Qik on Dr. Fomofriend's jail broken iPhone, because of the graphic nature of the surgery, it has not been decided if the images will be made publicly available. However, the patient has said they do plan to post everything to their new Facebook account once they are fully healed.

For more information about the surgery, or to place yourself on a waiting list for the procedure, please contact Dr. Prayim Fomofriends, care of INVITATIONS, or add your name in comment section for this article.

Photo Credit: © Yuri Arcurs -

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Beware Of Fake Twitter Addicts!

As Twitter has hit the mainstream, everyone from Actors such as Ashton Kutcher to TV personalities with only first names such as Oprah and Ellen to Politicians such as the Governator and his lovely wife Maria Shriver have all now become good Twittizens. They have joined the ranks of Shaq and Scoble, to smell like a Kevin Rose and whine like a Vaynerchuk, 140 characters at a time. All these characters are welcome additions to the social networking community, and should any of them fall prey to the siren song of constant status updates and find themselves "addicted" to Twitter, they will not have to worry as we have recently launched a celebrity wing at INVITATIONS, the nation's premiere Social Networking Rehab Facility.


While there are some celebrity Twittizens who are legitimately in need of Social Networking Rehab, the staff at INVITATIONS has been inundated with a rash of applications from some more dubious tweeters, claiming to be in need of help dealing with the pressures of maintaining their tens of thousands of followers, while at the same time engaging in, shall we say, less than sincere social networking practices. This behavior is not unlike someone "admitting" to having used marijuana, and then saying they never inhaled. Who would ever make such ridiculous claims???

The mission of INVITATIONS is to help those truly in need, and we have no patience to accept patients who are actually bot-bearing, auto-following, link-baiting, self-proclaimed "gurus." With that in mind, we have prepared a simple checklist to help you avoid inadvertently aiding a false addict:


10. The words "SEO", "MONEY", "CASH", "PROFITS" or "WEIGHTLOSS" are part of their Twitter name...

9. You receive an immediate DM when you follow them back.

8. The DM you receive links to their SCAM, er, blog or website.

7. They follow thousands, have thousands of suckers, er, folks following them back, and they have posted 0 updates.

6. If they have posted updates, 99.9% of them contain a link to the same website or blog.

5. The only @replies they have are to other accounts they own ("self tweetillation" or "masturbatory tweeting.")

4. They NEVER Re-Tweet.

3. They Tweet about gaining 1,000's of followers "overnight" (and will show YOU how!)

2. Their profile image is a Dollar $ign.

And the number one way to identify a Fake Twitter Addict:

1. You end up HERE when you look for their Twitter profile!

How about you? Have you encountered any "fake" twitter addicts? If so, please tell us how you identified them in the comments!

Photo Credit: © Fullvalue -

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