The April DSMA Blog Carnival topic is an interesting one. As Karen says, “Just as we can have bouts of diabetes burnout, we might also have bouts of social media burnout.” So true, so true. Our question this month is:
What are some of the things we can do to prevent social media burnout?
Especially when we have months like this one, right? That New York Times story has had Twitter, Facebook, and blogs buzzing for two weeks. At moments like that, it’s easy to burn yourself out.
One of the things I find very interesting is the fact that no matter your age, or your background, or your prominence (or lack thereof) in the social media landscape, you will get burned out sometimes. I mean, it’s easy to get caught up in something, work hard to keep up on it, and then find out two weeks later you haven’t taken the dog for a walk or spoken to your spouse. So there’s a piece of advice right there:
Talk to your spouse once in a while. Take the dog for a walk. Play with your kids. Trust me, those tweets aren’t going anywhere. Facebook will still be there, faithfully waiting for your status update.
Why do we get so caught up in social media? Because we’re connected like never before? Because we know more people, in more places, than ever before? Those things are true. But I think we get so caught up in social media because we’re (usually) connected to people and issues that we care about deeply. I’ve personally made the mistake of feeling like I’m letting people down if I don’t stay at the forefront of an issue as it makes its way through the virtual landscape. Those are the moments when I need to remind myself:
This is not my job. And oh, by the way, social media was here long before I created a Twitter account, and it will be here long after I’m gone.
And let’s not forget something that really helps addict us to our smartphones and tablets. All of us, I think, have had a positive experience, or several, or several hundred, via social media. Who wouldn’t want that to continue? When you think of likes or followers or uplifting comments, and the way those make you feel, it’s easy to understand someone’s motivation for blogging and tweeting and instagramming and storifying themselves into a perfect computerized glow of co-dependency. We don’t want the love to stop.
If that’s you: You need a vacation.
At least once a year I go on vacation, for maybe a week. When I do, I also take a social media break. I don’t check my email, or my blog, or Twitter, or Facebook, or Instagram. And two things happen. I don’t miss it, and I find myself with renewed energy and sense of purpose. I feel like I can embrace social media again, rather than feel enslaved to it.
Oh yeah, we’ve all been there. It’s okay to admit it. Social media burnout does occur. When it does, remember that it’s okay to step away, take a break, enjoy the other great things in your life, even take a vacation from it for a while. Don’t worry… we’ll all be right here when you come back, and we’ll be very interested in what you’ve been up to! Go make some offline stories, then fill us in when you return. We’re looking forward to it. When we come back from the walk/date/vacation of our own.
This post is my April entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetescaf.org/2014/04/april-dsma-blog-carnival-4/.