Social media and small business is tough and sometimes all consuming. After taking some time out with my delightful partner in crime over the weekend I noticed something mildly concerning.
As we relaxed in our fabulous hotel suite child free deciding what to do with our oodles of suddenly spare time I paused and found us both on our respective smart phones madly checking our various social media feeds and those of our clients before we ostensibly unplugged for two whole days.
Except we didn’t unplug at all – now admittedly this is our line of work. All things social and everything that sits on the fringe of that and believe me it is a fast moving mistress. Constantly evolving, twisting and changing in all sorts of amazing and exciting ways.
The fact is that this is part of the problem an increasing number of people find it difficult to unplug, myself included and you all know who you are. So here it is signs that you may need to health check your technology and more to the point your social media habit.
- You wake and regardless of the time you reach for your smart phone – not to check the time but to assure yourself that there is nothing earth shattering on your Facebook newsfeed or Twitter that must be responded to immediately on pain of……
- Its 6am your awake and your morning routing consists of downloading and checking your emails and all of your social media networks to see what has happened since you last checked in at 3am, then you check your Google alerts, Mashable Social Media Examiner and Social Media News Australia at a minimum along with Linkedin today and any Linkedin groups you are a member of after all what if you responded in another 2 hours after breakfast?
- It’s your lunch break and you have inhaled your coffee and apple and cinnamon muffin – let me guess smart phone at the ready?
- You check in at every opportunity on Foursquare or Facebook to ensure that everyone knows where you’re at and how important you must be or how exciting your life must be.
And so it goes on and on, they have studies on this stuff and trust me coming from a counselling background this stuff is dangerous, self-feeding anxiety inducing behaviour, think OCD, it is addictive and it is useful to put some rules in place. So here are mine
Rules to rule the social media world do you have it or does it have you?
- Until you have gotten out of bed, showered got dressed for the day and eaten (yes eaten) and started drinking your morning coffee DO NOT PICK UP YOUR PHONE or IPAD.
I mean it, seriously what did people do before they were plugged in 24/7, oh wait that’s right they looked after themselves.
- Stick to good old time management principles have set times that you log in each day – no more than 3 times a day – you are not productive if you are on there every 10 minutes.
- Remember what’s important friends, family, fresh air and exercise.
- Check in by all means but then put your phone away and have a conversation with the person sitting next to you.
Remember above all, social media is an adjunct to the real world and shouldn’t replace real time off line conversations face to face, with family, friends, colleagues or prospective business contacts.
Like a good friend of mine in the advertising game once said it is a great avenue for getting your content out there but you still need to build the relationship once they have found you.
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