5 Reasons to cut down on Social Media
I don't know if it's just me but sometimes I get overwhelmed by social media - don't get me wrong, I love it too and it's an essential tool for a small business but I'm trying to manage my use of it a bit better so here are my 5 reasons to cut down a little.
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1. Too much information. It's a constant bombardment. From links to articles to calls to action, sometimes it feels like there are too many calls for my attention. I like to connect with friends on Facebook and to do silly quizzes and read gardening tips but I also have my business hat on when I'm online so can't resist reading about the latest Facebook strategies, finding out how to use images, how best to post on different platforms, etc. Let's face it, the list is endless. Sometimes I end up meandering through link after link and adding more and more things to a 'to do' list that's already pretty enormous and feeling even more under pressure.
2. Inaccurate/poor/misleading information. Whilst the Internet is an amazing resource there's also so much out there that is just not accurate, but manages to spread like wildfire nonetheless. It's also easy to get confused by lots of conflicting advice on a business problem when sometimes you're better off just taking time out and figuring out a solution that works for you.
3. Virtual envy. You know, when you see those photos of a friend sunning themselves in Barbados whilst you're sitting at your desk looking out a grey skies :) The same applies to the virtual business world - if you're in good form and everything is going well, you will rejoice in other people's success stories but if you haven't had a sale in weeks, sometimes that perfect product photo is enough to send you into a spiral of self doubt and a feeling that you've been doing everything completely wrong to date. It might be just a fleeting moment but my advice is step away from the screen and go do something useful instead :) Which leads me nicely to my next point..
4. Inactivity. Let's face it, if you're sitting staring at a screen you're losing precious time that could be spent creating, doing or just being. Yes, it is important to value your social media and put time into making it work but it can hold you to ransom and take up hours and hours that aren't really all that productive in the grand scheme of things. So maybe allocate a finite amount of time and don't get sucked in! I've yet to follow that advice myself, though :)
5. Negative interaction. A bit more serious than the previous reasons but definitely something to remember when you're online. I've made lovely connections with people through business groups but you can also leave yourself open to people who just see you as a potential customer or a rival. Online discussion can sometimes descend into quite a hostile sphere - something I tend to avoid like the plague because it's purposeless and leaves everyone feeling bad.
So there you have my 5 reasons for cutting down, would love to hear your comments and let me know if you've anything to add to the list :)
Very true Cliona. It can really take over when you let it. I never seem to have enough time to do what I should be doing online but spend far too much time reading the useless information and doing the silly quizzes.
I know Una, it all gets very distracting!
Oooh, I have to admit I did a sharp intake of breath when I read the title ;)
Totally agree with many of your points though - it can sap your time but it can be a case of "don't shoot the messenger" as if we are looking at ways to procrastinate, we'll find it somewhere but Facebook etc makes it very easy! I'm researching for my book at the moment and finding I have to be very focused or I can go off on all kinds of tangents while researching. While I do spend time on Facebook, I've never got involved in playing games or doing quizzes.
I have to admit I do put my phone away at times or switch off the notifications as it is very easy to be sidetracked. Nothing beats picking up a good book or my crochet in the evenings :)
I guess the title seems like I'm anti social media but nothing could be further from the truth :) I rely on it so much for business and definitely wouldn't be without it! I think it's just about getting a bit of balance really.
Simplicity is a key to success. Great article Cliona!