That is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to keep one’s message to 140 characters; or spend my remaining days on Facebook. With apologies to Hamlet, we are faced with a dilemma. We, as a nation are talking less and texting more. We tweet, blog, and post about the most inane subjects, in order to connect with people we haven’t talked to since high school—and a lot of folks we don’t know at all. Is this really where we want to set the bar for the future?

I know that at this moment, many of you are gathered in Miami, learning all about Facebook and Twitter and other players in the world of social media, but I need to tell you that social media is a social disease!

Think about it. Every time you post a message, you are putting it out there for all to see … and possibly forward to someone who will forward it to someone else and before you know it, your message has gone viral. You could wind up with an STD… Socially Thwarting Dialogue. Or if you do it too much, Sore Texting Digits. It is for this reason that I encourage you to practice safe tweeting. For starters, I think all tweet-heads need to learn a new acronym, IHNMTS. We all know about LOL and OMG, but IHNMTS stands for “I Have Nothing Meaningful To Say.” Instead of tweeting “I’m having a tuna sandwich at Panera Bread,” just send “IHNMTS.” It’s the same thing.

Now, as far as Facebook is concerned, if you want to increase your personal productivity, sign off of Facebook today. Oh, I know you’ll miss Farmville and Mafia Wars, and the six friends that you actually know, but if you can get this cyber monkey off your back, you can recoup hours of usable time. Want more time? Delete solitaire from your computer. Out of sight, out of mind— and another couple of hours to do something useful.

Rather than Facebook, I recommend Phonebook. It’s a big book with phone numbers listed for all of the people in it. All you have to do is look up a name and presto, you’ve got a phone number. Then, call up the person and chat with them LIVE over Alexander G. Bell’s invention. It’s amazingly simple, yet incredibly effective. The phone company even invented the first chat room where you could engage in conversations with several friends at once. It was called the party line, and if you don’t remember that, you might want to look it up in Wikipedia. You’ll find it listed under “Stuff Old People Know About.”

Dale Irvin is the Professional Summarizer who adds more fun to your meetings. Visit Irvin’s Web site to sign up for Dale’s Friday Funnies. For booking information, contact Ruth Levine at