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Keeping Your Social Media Sane

Posted by on March 17, 2011

This afternoon I found this response to a message I had replied to. It was a client and friend who noticed my Twitter activity.

Separate question/not criticial: you are all over twitter. How do you find the time or manage the time? There’s so much great stuff it’s just overwhelming. How do “limit” all your input channels and stay sane??

My flight from SXSW had returned the night before and I was feeling particularly gleeful that I had stuck with my “dumb phone” throughout the conference. Don’t get me wrong,there are times when I wish I had one and I will upgrade to one in several months. But I don’t feel it’s necessary for me to be completely connected all the time. Disconnection keeps me sane. So I responded.

OgilvyNotes cartoon graphic explaining social influence

Re: Twitter…great question! You’re sane for asking. I don’t have a smart phone and so far that has worked to my benefit. So I send personal tweets via text from my phone when I know someone is “listening” for updates from me. When I’m online I tend to only use twitter.com b/c it’s more sane and less overwhelming than tweetdeck etc. I don’t have to slow it down. I can scan my lists etc at my liesure and pick and choose what matters. I also do a lot of keyword or hashtag searches when I need information. You can save searches too, not that I have.

At SXSW everyone was so connected and into the live updates to the point that they were literally walking into each other or sitting in a room “socializing” but no one was without their smart phone and few were engaging w/others. I want to avoid that and have real conversations. Plus, I was alone a lot of the time or on a bus so I had more time to send tweets.

Limiting this social stuff is good. Just log in 1-3Xs a day (briefly) and spread it out so you still appear “active”. Don’t get sucked into doing it the way the “cool kids” are telling you to. They live, eat and breathe it, but you have a life! Social media IS overwhelming. But it’s also such a great resource for connecting with smart people who know their stuff. Oh yeah, and don’t ever treat your linkedin profile like twitter (with lots of updates). That’s a great way to piss people off…I’ve heard that one a lot lately.

Wow. You clearly struck a nerve with this question. Good luck!

Then tonight after enjoying down time with my family and editing some inspiring video from my trip (an incredible interactive documentary session) I noticed this post on Twitter: Take Back Control of Your Work (and Your Life) by Tony Schwartz, the president and CEO of The Energy Project and the author of The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working.

I like numbers 1 and 3 in his list. If I could do these all of the time I would be exponentially more creative and efficient.

1- Just say no.

3- Do one thing at a time as much as possible.

What do you think? Is it an impossible task? Do you find yourself taken over by the coercive aspects of social media?

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