by Edie Melson @EdieMelson
I know, I’m supposed to be the cheerleader of all things social media. But let’s get real here. Some days—some weeks—it just makes me tired. Usually it happens when certain situations arise:
- I haven’t had any meaningful conversations in a while.
- My updates seem to be going into a black hole because no one is noticing them.
- Life in general has gotten chaotic and it’s squeezing the life out of me.
- My numbers aren’t moving up, they’re sitting there like an old tire in a mud hole.
- It seems like everything I read on social media is rude, wrong, or just plain shallow
Yeah, I’ve been where you are.
But I’ve also come through the frustration to the other side. There are some things to do when social media gets to be too much to deal with. Here is what I do when it becomes just too much work.
- Take a 3-day break. Don’t stay off too long, but I’ve discovered giving myself a short 3-day vacation gives me the time I need to regroup. The permission to not open FB or Twitter is almost exhilarating. One thing about this though, don’t advertise it. Don’t get on FB and tell everyone you’re getting off for 3 days. On social media, that falls into the category of noise, not meaningful conversation. Just quietly take a few days off.
- Set a timer.When you return, watch your . . . er . . . watch. Don’t try to make up for lost time. Instead be very deliberate about the time you’re on. Don’t let it go over 30 minutes a day. The one caveat to this is if you reserve a social media network for only play. I know some who love Pinterest or Instagram and only use it for personal enjoyment. If that’s the case, separate that time from your work time.
- Reply to those who’ve mentioned you.If they’ve shared your blog, retweeted, commented on a FB post, or whatever. Take about 5 minutes and pick out a few to thank.
- Share something meaningful to you.Don’t try to anticipate what will get the most traffic humming. Just be transparent. Post a pic from childhood, share a quote, ask a question.
- Evaluate your social media contentLook again at what you’re sharing. Spend some time looking for new places to visit online—blogs, websites, etc. Shake things up a bit. You will enjoy it and so will your audience.
- Change when you schedule your social media.If you normally schedule it in the morning, move that to late afternoon. Streamline what you can, but remain disciplined in your consistency. A change in routine can help shake things up in a good way.
Social media is a tool. It’s a valuable tool when we use it correctly. But like any good worker, we can’t just use one implement to get the job done. Sometimes we must put it down and pick up another one.
Remember also that being a writer—like any other career/hobby choice—has aspects to it that aren’t fun. There isn’t anything out there that’s one hundred percent fun one hundred percent of the time. So do the work that dreary, and focus on the reason you write.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on what to do when social media just makes you tired. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Edie Melson—author, blogger, speaker—has written numerous books, including her most recent fiction – Alone, and nonfiction – While My Child is Away. She’s also the military family blogger at Guideposts.org. Her popular blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month and has just been named as one of the 2017 Writer’s Digest Top 101 Websites for Writers. She’s the director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and the Vice President of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, as well as the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine.