The more time we spend using social media, the more our online conversations seem to be dominated by reflections on how social media is frustrating, aggravating and overtaxing. Our stress is compounded by each new performance metric that we're told to track and optimize, but social networking companies keep adding more, because they know each new target motivates us to do the job of growing their networks for them.
And yet much of our pain is self-inflicted, the product of online and professional pressures that are at least as much perceived as real. At the dawn of 2007, you didn't care about your Klout score, your Twitter following, your FourSquare Mayorships or your YouTube views, because those networks were tiny or not-yet-born. Five years later, you may be heading into 2012 with cellular-level awareness of how many people retweeted you today, or how many +1s you got for your latest blog post.