SparkNotes Blog

Do You Suffer From These Common Social Media Diseases?

It can start with a twitching in your extremities, and escalate to full-blown heart palpitations and duckface: Here is the 2014 diagnostic for social media epidemiology…

Brunchausen’s Disease
Platforms: Facebook, Instagram
Common Presentation: Patient suffers from the delusion that their friends and casual acquaintances care about their pancakes.
Treatment: No known cure. Embrace or unfollow.

Platforms: Facebook, Instagram
Common Presentation: Important parts of patient’ s face or body cut off by frame.
Treatment: Patient practices arms-length camera aim; uses a mirror for important selfies; switches to front-facing camera for accuracy (note: can cause Selfie Pox).

Selfie Pox
Platforms: Facebook, Instagram
Common Presentation: Selfies show ugly red patches on patient’s skin created by low-resolution front-facing camera.
Treatment: Extensive auditioning of Instagram filters; patient switches to main camera for selfies (note: can cause Instagramputation).

Necrotizing Hashiitis
Platforms: Twitter
Common Presentation: Patient, often parent or aunt who doesn’t quite understand, persistently uses hashtags for things that just do not need hashtags.
Treatment: #unfollow #ForPitysSake #unfollow.

America’s Next Top Maltese Delusion
Platforms: Instagram
Common Presentation: Related to Brunchausen’s Disease. Patient constantly posts pictures of their pet that aren’t particularly cute or interesting. Patient persists in the belief that their guinea pig will become an Instagram celebrity any day now.
Treatment: This condition is stubborn but not untreatable. Show patient side-by-side pictures of their own pet with Pudge or Lil’ Bub. Strike patient in the face with squeaky mouse toy between pictures and say, “See? See the difference? Stop this madness, at once.”

Recapgras Syndrome (smart Sparkler points if you know the reference)
Platforms: Tumblr; WordPress; Disqus
Common Presentation: Compulsion to talk boringly and at length about The Vampire Diaries, both on patient’s personal blog and in the comments section of the AV Club.
Treatment: Patient should be administered long, interesting books, friends, or preferably, a combination of the two.

Platforms: Twitter
Common Presentation: Patient’s Twitter activity is vastly out of proportion to the number of followers they have.
Treatment: Patient takes good hard look at their lives and how interesting their opinions are.

Mandela Memorial Misapprehension
Platforms: Facebook, Instagram
Common Presentation: Patient is unable to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate times to take a selfie.
Treatment: There is no known cure. Advise family/friends to disassociate themselves from patient as completely as compassion allows.

Obsessive Compulsive Refresh Disorder
Platforms: Twitter
Common Presentation: Patient cannot stop refreshing their mentions and wondering why they have no favourites, likes or retweets yet. In severe cases all productive activity becomes impossible for the patient.
Treatment: Patient takes a long walk in the fresh air while pondering how funny that tweet really was.

Ulysses Disease
Platforms: Twitter
Common Presentation: Patient constantly comes up with funny jokes that are 143 characters long. Efforts to cut characters are futile and infuriating.
Treatment: Patient breathes resigned sigh and just posts it on Facebook. Hopes for likes.

Do you suffer from these afflictions, or do you know people who do?