Social media is supposed to make our lives easier, but the bottom line is that it can often be a time and energy drain. Keeping on top of all you social media accounts, sharing relevant multimedia while keeping up with interesting content on your own website, people quickly feel overwhelmed or behind the times and behind their followers.
The reality is that people end up working too hard and spending too much time on social media because they feel like it is necessary to constantly manage it. The end result is that it can often feel like a second job; a mistress with no tangible reward. Plus if you aren’t giving your followers something exciting to watch, read, and see you might lose them.
Another common feeling I hear from friends is that they feel “lazy” if they are not tweeting and posting on Facebook or Twitter. We have assigned so many drastic value judgements to ourselves. We end up feeling that we must be available and providing content 24/7 because we can. And you know what? We suffer because of it. By spreading ourselves too thin on social media our business and personal lives can be directly impacted, and in a negative way. If social media is used or OVER used then it leaves us spending too much time focused on our phones and not enough time on the people directly in our circle. You become antisocial because you are to social.
This leads me directly to the king of all ironies. We go online and interact on social media to make connections, but the reality is that we feel more disconnected than ever. Our texting fingers cause us to ignore the people directly in front of our face, and time spent amassing friends online that we never talk to is just as problematic.
A classic example of missing a chance for connection is that time I used to spend recording and photographing friends and family rather than putting the device down and experiencing the moment. I mean really, what are we documenting if we are not really even “there?” We have a phone in front of our face rather than making meaningful connections! Plus, how many times have you been fiddling with your phone to catch a picture and missed the shot and the experience of what it was you were shooting.
However, I have important news. You do not need to be USED BY social media. You do not have to be a slave to it! Instead, you can learn to USE IT to your ends. It truly is a lesson in quality vs. quantity. I have every gadget, and I am a huge fan of social media, but I quickly learned that it was important to simplify to learn how to maximize results and minimize my time producing them. Through social media simplification I can increase productivity on and offline, reduce stress, and have more time to enjoy my life.
That is the purpose of TWEET TEXT TALK, my weekly radio address and blog that shares Simple Sense tips to social media. My first tip this week is to start to commit to simplifying social media. Now again, I am now telling you to stop. No way! Social media is here to stay and a great way to promote what you are doing or selling! However, we need to use it right, so that we build our businesses and enrich our lives.
Once you have committed to start to simplify, then I have a small homework assignment. Tell your friends, family, and co-workers that you are going to start to be smart about social media and by the way DON’t texted them this message. Tell them that you are dedicated to use it rather than allow it to use you. Then, at least once this week, when you feel yourself looking at your computer, iPad or phone during a conversation or a meal, put the device down. Spend time listening to the person who is right in front of you. That is where connection begins and where inspiration to do great things comes from.