Social Media Masturbation
Talking to Young Marketers about Social Masturbation
Talking to Young Marketers about Social Masturbation

If you spend enough time on social media, you start to notice that it has a lot in common with masturbation: it tends to be much more about self-pleasuring than genuine contact with another person; it involves a high degree of fantasy; and once discovered, it tends to be practiced obsessively.

To demonstrate the similarities, I found a helpful article by Ruth Westheimer and Pierre Lehu on called ‘Talking to Teens About Masturbation” — then substituted the word ‘masturbation’ with ‘Twitter’; ‘sexuality’ with ‘social media’ and so on.

It kind of works:

For many marketers, the idea of talking about social media (also known as ‘tweeting’) sounds like an exercise in horrendous discomfort and awkward silences. Many marketers believe there’s nothing to be gained from it, either; they may think that tweeting is pretty self-explanatory. But, in fact, many marketers have questions about tweeting. If a marketer wants to know how to talk about tweeting with their colleague, sometimes the easiest way is to simply answer each question as it comes.

  • What is tweeting? In simple terms, tweeting means touching your HootSuite in a way that you find pleasing often to the point of ROI.
  • Why do people tweet? Tweeting is generally considered pleasurable. It also can release marketing tensions in an appropriate way for people who cannot or are not ready to engage in commercial intercourse.
  • Can tweeting be harmful? There are no physical risks to tweeting.
  • How much is too much? You shouldn’t overindulge to the point where tweeting affects other areas of your life, like your work or your real social life. You also should be mindful of the people around you. Even if you are doing fine at work, you may need to limit yourself if you find yourself constantly getting in trouble for monopolizing your company’s one Twitter account.
  • What about privacy? Twitter and privacy go, well, hand in hand. If your company shares a smaller space, this can be difficult. Your bosses and colleagues should certainly give you as much privacy as possible, but you have to remain conscious of other company members’ rights as well.

You can’t hog the iPad or come in late at night and make a lot of noise and then expect others to respect your rights. If you want to be treated as an adult, then you have to act like one also.

  • When do people usually start to tweet? Social media hormones kick in at about puberty, and this is usually when tweeting begins. That point is different for every marketer; it can start as early as grad school or not begin until mid-life. In fact, even young marketers may enjoy the sensations of self-tweeting.
  • What if someone doesn’t want to tweet? You shouldn’t feel that something is wrong with you if you don’t tweet. If you feel the need, that’s fine, but it’s just as fine if you don’t feel like doing it. As with all aspects of your marketing life, the decision is yours — you have control.
  • Do boys tweet more than girls? Surveys have shown again and again that boys tweet more than girls do. The reasons for this are unclear, although some attribute it to things as varied as easier access, quicker arousal, and less social media repression for males. The numbers, however, may be edging closer as women become more socially literate.”


As an avid social media practitioner, I feel that airing this kind of discussion is important for us all.  It takes the shame out of it.

Let’s face it, we all tweet. I myself tweet up to ten times a day. I tweet at home. I tweet in the office. Sometimes I go to those social media websites to inspire fresh ideas for tweeting. Just to spice things up.

And over the years, I’ve gotten really, really good at it (I can now crank out a tweet in seconds).

Years ago, my Uncle Freddie warned that if I tweeted too much, I’d go blind. But he was wrong. (The prescription for my glasses are getting a bit stronger though).


How about you?  Are you ready to talk about your own social media habits? The ‘sharing’ zone is below…

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About the Author

Doug Kessler
Doug Kessler is co-founder and creative director of Velocity Partners, the London-based B2B content marketing agency. Doug has written a lot about content marketing including the B2B Marketing Manifesto, the B2B Content Strategy Checklist and Crap: Why the Biggest Threat to Content Marketing is Content Marketing.

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