Yesterday, Shelby shared her thoughts on social media fatigue. Today, it’s my turn. This week, our #shehechat on Twitter will focus on this topic as well. The best way to prepare to join us at 8 p.m. CST tonight is by reading both this post and Shelby’s.
My one word answer to the question in the title of this post is yes.
The solution is to re-evaluate your online strategy and modify as necessary.
Muscles fatigue from overuse
You’re overusing social media and it’s wearing you out. Yes it is, and you know how I know? Because you’re snapping at each other. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve heard plenty of people – in person and on social media – complain that other people are doing it wrong. Are we all really incapable of just doing one of the following?
- Unfollow or unfriend the offender.
- Filter the individual. Social media is digital and that makes filtering easy.
- Don’t bitch, moan or complain in the same stream in which you’re complaining.
Give it a rest
A busy day on social media can be just like a busy day at a trade show. At a trade show, I’m on my feet all day talking with an almost continuous stream of folks. My voice gets tired, my body gets tired and, most importantly, my mind gets tired. Even when I have dinner plans, I carve out 30 to 60 minutes to return to my hotel room and sit quietly with my feet up. I don’t do any email checking or social media peeking. Sometimes I just watch the news on TV or relax with some music.
While a busy day on social media may not wear you out physically, like a trade show, it can tax your mind and spirit. When you find yourself complaining that someone else is “doing it wrong,” I’d suggest it’s time to walk away from the screen or set your phone down for a few minutes. Do you know why? They aren’t doing it wrong. It’s your job to filter them (or me, for that matter) if they have committed some sin you consider too egregious to allow them to remain in your social media stream.
Your strategy review
What brought you to social media in the first place? Curiosity got me here. Curiosity wears off very quickly. There are a few hours, days or even weeks down that fun rabbit hole. After that, the new no longer feels new. There’s a reason I no longer use Klout, Triberr and other social media tools. Some of them, such as this blog, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google+, continue to prove themselves useful. Here’s the key and the tricky part all rolled into one: I use each in a different capacity. I don’t use any of the above networks in the same way; unless you consider the broad overarching strategy of “connecting with people.”
There are different types of people on each network. There are different depths of relationships that work well on each network. There are different rules and regulations to consider on each network. While I’ll swear like a drunken sailor on Twitter sometimes, that’s usually the only place I’ll do that. Social media can be a tricky place to manage and grow relationships. Take a look at each network and make sure you understand what you are contributing and getting back from it. If you don’t like the way the contribution/return equation looks, perhaps it’s time to abandon that network.
If there are status updates flowing through your social media stream that you don’t care for, please do me this one favor: Instead of poisoning the stream further with your complaint about how much you hate those kinds of updates, filter the offenders out. Let’s keep it peaceful and fun out there in social media land.
Jess V says
Jim, I totally agree. Unfollow is my friend for a reason. When a person is annoying me, they get an unfollow. Later, I may run across them and follow them again. That’s the great thing about social media.
Jim Raffel says
Just like real life. Sometimes for a time we avoid people who we may view as toxic in our life. And then later when their or our situation changes we’re both cool spending time together again.
Rochelle Fritsch says
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Perhaps the solution is so simple (e.g. Unfollow versus Complaining) that it goes right over people’s heads.
Jim Raffel says
Reminds me of question #1 when I used to do computer support in a prior life…..is the machine plugged in? And all jokes aside, many times either the power cord or network cable was in fact not plugged in.