Humor by Greg Schwem

I dialed the number with my free hand. Unfortunately, the call didn't kick to voicemail.


"Hello, boss. It's Greg Schwem. I can't come in to work today."

"What's the problem this time, Schwem?"

"I have SNOT."

"We have Kleenex in the office. I'll put a box on your desk. See you at 8."

"No, not snot. SNOT. Social Network Overload Trauma. The doctor says I have all the classic symptoms."

"Such as . . . ?"

"Such as the inability to resist joining any new social network that comes down the pike. I feel like social networks have replaced my gym routine."

"Schwem, what are you saying?"

"Today I did 10 sets of three tweets each without a break."

"Very impressive."

"But I wasn't done. While tweeting with one hand, I was using the other hand to let everybody on Foursquare know that I had just checked in at my home office. Then I sent birthday requests to 37 Facebook friends, wished 29 others a happy birthday, wrote in my Tumblr blog and tweeted some more. Then somebody Klouted me."

"Did you report it to human resources? We have very strict policies about violence in the workplace."

"Nobody hit me, boss. I was invited to join Klout. It keeps track of all my social network feeds. So the more active I am, the higher my Klout score."

"And that's where the trauma part comes in?"

"You're catching on, boss. If I avoid all these new social networks, I'll be a nobody in cyberspace. It's not fair!"

"What do you mean, 'SNOT fair'?"

"I didn't say 'SNOT fair.' I said, 'it's not fair.' Hey, boss, can you hold on a second? My Instagram screen just froze."


"Instagram, boss. It's currently the hottest photo sharing website out there. Facebook bought it for $1 billion. So now, in addition to writing updates on all the networks I just mentioned, I have to constantly take photos and upload them to Instagram so people will like me based on the photos they see. Hold it, HOLD IT, my dog is barking at the mirror."

"Tell him to shut up."

"I will. Right after I snap a quick pic."


"Oh, this one is soooooo cute. I'm sharing it now."

"Why are you doing that?

"So others can post it on their social networks. And everybody will see it came from me."

"Let me guess . . . and then your Klout score goes up?"


"Schwem, turn off your computer, take the batteries out of your camera, disconnect your cellphone and get your butt in here now. We have work to do."

"I'm afraid I can't do that, boss. I'm too far gone. Like I said, it's SNOT."

"It's not what?"


"You just said, 'it's not. . .' What isn't it?"

"No, I said, 'SNOT.' The disease. Remember?"

"I don't even know what we're talking about anymore. Schwem, have you considered therapy?"

"I'm trying, boss. I had my first session last week."

"How did that go?"

"Not well. The doctor asked me to lie on the couch and all I wanted to do was photograph it and upload it to the Home Decor Pinterest board."

"That doesn't sound good. Then what happened?"

"He wanted me to open up about my childhood. So I started telling him about all the years I spent playing Little League. But then I suddenly remembered I didn't include 'baseball' as a skill on my LinkedIn profile. He had to restrain me from grabbing his laptop."

"Did he recommend anything?"

"He suggested an intervention."

"How does that work?"

"It's not going to be pretty. It starts with a bunch of friends getting me in a room and telling me I'm not as popular as I think I am."

"Let me know when that's going to take place. I want in."

"I'll tweet you. It may be one of my last tweets."

"Because . . . ?"

"The doc is going to start me on a steady regimen of de-friending, un-following and dis-liking."

"And then you're cured?"

"There is no cure for SNOT, boss. The best I can hope for is remission. SNOT can reappear at any time. Millions thought they had been cured last year. Then Google Plus showed up."

"Schwem, are you ever coming back to work?"

"I have to boss. I absolutely have to!"

"That's the spirit!"

"If I don't, you'll fire me. And then I will have to change all of my business contact information on Plaxo. As well as Ecademy, Upspring, Focus, Biznik, PartnerUp and Ryze."

"Whatever. How will I know when you're coming back?"

"I dunno. Text? Email? Ping?"

"Tell you what, Schwem. Just come over to my house and knock on my door."

Humorist Greg Schwem is a stand-up comedian and author of Text Me If You're Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad

Humor & Satire

Humor & Funny Stories - Coping with the Ravages of SNOT - Greg Schwem Humor

Article: Copyright © Tribune Media Services