Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Weary Wednesday: Social Media Burnout

I love social media, I really do. I'm pretty lucky that part of my job is keeping up with all of these great tools and technologies. But some days, it can get downright exhausting (and yes, I realize the irony of venting my social media frustrations via a social media tool).

Between Facebook and Twitter, permission-based emails, blogs, client sites, news stories and message boards, it's not uncommon for me to have 20 windows open on my browser at any given time. And one post leads to another, one link leads to ten more, and before I know it, it's 4pm, and I haven't touched my to-do list.

About two weeks ago, I realized that my haphazard approach to social media was probably not the most effective one. So, here are a few of my secrets for avoiding social media burnout:

  1. Plan. Designate a specific time of day for social media. I usually spend an hour or so catching up in the morning and another at night, and I read blogs while I'm eating my lunch and snacks (I'm a runner--I eat a LOT!). I usually designate smalls chucks of time to ignore social media (start with an hour--an addict can only go so long without a fix!), and then allow myself another 15-20 minutes to scan my favorite sites before diving back into work again. Which brings me to...
  2. Edit. Be selective! Yes, I know, the girl with over 800 Facebook friends is giving advice on editing (do as I say, not as I do!). Don't remember or really like someone? Delete! Annnoyed by too many tweets? Stop following! And while I love my daily SmartBrief on Social Media, there are only so many articles I can read in a day. Sometimes, scanning the headlines is fine. Same rule applies for NPR, the New York Times and yes, even People.
  3. Take advantage of technology. I use Google Reader and Blog Roll to keep track of my favorite blogs; de.lici.ous to bookmark my favorite articles (Digg, StumbleUpon and Reddit offer similar services); the "hide" and "block" buttons on Facebook to banish annoying applications and users, and one of these days, I'm going to get around to figuring out TweetDeck. Become a fan of your favorite news outlet or subscribe to a daily email update (two of my favorites are Seth Godin and Mashable), and let them deliver the news to you--no searching necessary! But remember rule #2--be selective.
  4. Take a break. I generally designate my Saturdays "technology-free" days (with the exception of my Garmin Forerunner 305-necessary for my long runs) and try to stay away from my Blackberry and laptop as much as possible. I also try to shut off the laptop by a certain time every night and veg out with something slightly more old-fashioned--like a magazine or book!
While social media is an integral part of my job, I'm trying to keep it from taking over my life. I'd love to hear your tips for avoiding social media burnout!


  1. Great post! I agree with all of the above. I SHOULD have a plan... but I don't.

  2. Great post! I have the same issue, but I am addicted to it like Crack cocaine. If you only have 20 windows open, there is still hope! :)

  3. In matters like these, moderation is important My Dear. You have to know when to say when. : )


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