Social media is a tool. It is a tool to help you build relationships and connect with others online. It’s open twenty-four hours a day and, if you own a smartphone, you may find you are highly connected which makes you a prime candidate for social media burnout.
You may be finding that you are too connected and without even realizing it, social media may be consuming your life.
You wake up in the morning, grab your phone, scroll through Facebook, check Twitter, back to Facebook, read notifications, click on a post that captures your attention, check Instagram, LinkedIn, back to Facebook and suddenly you realize you’ve just lost an hour of your day.
You wanted that time to read, journal, exercise and meditate and now it’s gone.
It happens again mid-morning, in the afternoon, after you finish your day, after you finish dinner and again before you go to bed. You feel like your life is so busy that it is almost impossible to get things done.
Without even realizing it, it has leached into your time and energy and you may be on the verge of social media burnout.
So, how do you know if this is you? It’s important to consider it, because you can lose yourself, and big blocks of time, consuming other people’s content online.
You start to experience a love/hate relationship with social media. You want to be connected but somehow all of that online connecting leaves you feeling empty.
You might find yourself feeling depressed. Not sure what is wrong, but feeling out of sorts, not quite like yourself. Almost like you are in a fog.
You have difficulty focusing your attention. You can’t sit and read more than a couple pages of a book without experiencing FOMO (fear of missing out).
You start noticing how much everyone else is on their phone and how hard it is to get the people you love to listen and pay attention to you. You try to get them to stop using their phones and when they pick up their device, it’s your cue to grab yours. You rationalize that this compulsive behavior is normal.
Too much time online has been linked to depression, weight gain, fatigue, restless sleep, dry eyes, feeling of inadequacy and more.Social media is not bad for you. Excessive and compulsive use of #SocialMedia is. Click To Tweet
If you are using social media to avoid the important aspects of your business and your life, or if social media is consuming more time than you would like it to, you might want to consider making some changes. Here are some helpful suggestions:
- Get clear on what your objectives are for using social media. If you are using it for business, plan out the content you want to share online in advance so you have a plan of attack each day when you log in.
- Identify time limiters for yourself when it comes to checking social networks. If you are a business owner and you use social media as a channel for your business, you have an obligation to check it on a regular basis. Define what “regular” is for you. Set up those times, whether it is 1-3 times a day, and plan them in your calendar.
- Use a timer. When you log into social media, and you know that you have a habit of getting lost in the feed, set a timer and give yourself a fixed amount of time to “play”. Once that time is up, go do something productive.
- Track your time. You might not think you have a problem and if you start logging just how much time you are spending using social media, you may realize that there are better ways to use up your precious hours and days.
- Make Saturday or Sunday a screen-free day. If the thought of going all day without checking your phone makes you uncomfortable, you might have a problem and this might be a great exercise for you. Let your friends and family members who might need to reach you in an emergency know you are going screen free for the day, and let them know the best way to reach you if they must. One of the ways I do this is to have people contact me by text only. That way I can scan my screen and ONLY respond to texts that are urgent in nature.
Social media is a tool. It is an incredible tool that allows us to connect with people all over the world. It has opened doors and made my business possible. I love social media. I also love to sit outside, go for walks, read, journal, drink a nice glass of wine with a girlfriend and spend time with my husband and dogs.
You don’t have to stop using social media, you just need to add a bit more of the things you love in your life back to the mix before social media causes you to burn out.
Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.