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MARC’S MELDOWN: Mental Health & Social Media 

Pot Brothers At Law Aug. 12, 2022

It was sometime in 2003 when one of my best friends, Ford Austin, told me watch out for something on the internet called Facebook.  He said, “It’s free advertising for your law practice and our movies”.  So in February 2004, I joined Facebook and gave “all my Facebook Friend’s Free Consultations”.  I had no idea I was starting what would become a 17 year journey into the depths and dimensions of the social media black hole. 

My artistic background enabled me to utilize social media to drive business to my Law Firm.  The ease with which I find myself in front of and behind a camera further enabled the problem that I would not realize until recently. 

To understand what I recently went through, I must share a little about my past and my mindset from day 1 being an attorney with my own practice.  I had the honor and pleasure of watching my big brother, Craig Wasserman,  practice law for 10 years before I started.  Amongst the wealth of information, lessons and candor I would learn, one particular thing stuck with me: CALL YOUR FUCKING CLIENTS BACK! Be responsive to your clients, be available to your clients.  As a young attorney in 1996 running my own law practice, I made it a point to always be available to my clients and to take responsiveness by an attorney to another level.   

By 2006 I had solidified my practice and was proud that in ten years I had not one complaint from a client about not returning calls or being available.  The proof was in the referrals.  My entire client base was from word of mouth referrals.  When clients are happy with your work they will refer their friends and family.  It always baffled me to hear people complain about attorneys who never return calls and how anyone could do business like that.  I was so enthralled and obsessed with making sure I was their for my clients, like no other attorney, I was ALWAYS available.  I had a pager (back in the day), a cell phone, laptop and I was doing business no matter where I was.   

By 2016, our family vacations were famously referred to as “when daddy moves his office again”.  I had always joked (although it was true) that when I took my wife and kids for vacations and trips, it was their vacation and I was bringing my office to stay available for clients, do work and make money.  Maybe shut my phone down for a few hours one day.  But that was it.  I was always thinking about a case, the next client or something having to do with making money.  Up until this point all of my advertising was done free through my Facebook page and we were one year into Instagram for the Pot Brothers at Law. 

2021!  We all know about 2020.  But 2021 saw me in full swing running my own practice, Law Offices of Marc D. Wasserman, Inc. and running the social media for Pot Brothers at Law on 12 social media platforms, all while practicing law full time and co-hosting the iHeart Media Podcast Cannabis Talk 101.  Since I have always been a happy go lucky, care free type person, I never let much of anything get to me.  I have an optimistic attitude towards life and all it brings so I roll with the punches.  Well, on April 27, 2021, the punches couldn’t roll off. 

In order to maintain brotherly love privacy, I will not go into the details of the very loud, nearly physical fight I had with my big brother on that day.  What it led to was a complete realization and revaluation of my life and the toll social media had taken on me (without me even realizing it).  I was a slave to my phone, shit, two phones (had to have an iPhone also to use Clubhouse), I needed to stay on top of all the messages and respond immediately to questions and comments.  I needed to stay on top of posts and make sure the IG and TIKTOK algorithms were clicking. I had to manage our world wide attorney referral network and make sure no one was missed and that everyone who reaches out to us gets a quick response.  I realized my work life was one big run one sentence.  I had no division from work and the rest of my life.  After that fight with big brother, I went home to my wife and we took a, never before, impromptu, mid-week jaunt to a nearby ocean front resort, got a room, sat on the balcony and cried.  I wasn’t even sure why I was crying, other then realizing how I had never taken a break and that I allowed social media and work to consume my life.  I shut my phone off for 7 days.  If you wanted to reach me you had to call my wife, and even then, I wasn’t available.  For the first time in 26 years of working as an attorney, I did absolutely NOTHING.  I didn’t even think.  I consumed mass amounts of cannabis and did nothing.  I didn’t even think. Yes, I know I said that twice, but it was remarkable to do nothing.   

I came back refreshed and renewed.  I have an new outlook and new way of living my life.  I get home my phone is away from me.  The weekends are for my family.  My social media is on cruise control and my client relations are the best its ever been.   

I share all of this in hopes that someone else will realize that social media does not have to take over your life, but it can.  Take a break.  Sometimes doing nothing, is the best thing you can do.