There are a lot of challenges in working with social media: helping clients understand the space, finding smart and meaningfulÂ ways to employ socialÂ technologies, and measuring the effectiveness of your efforts, for example.Â One big and often-discussedÂ issue is how the “always on” aspect of social media can lead to burnout.Â
Do you need a social media sabbatical?Â Here are a few telltale signs that could mean you need to take a break and get some perspective:
1. You preface everyone’s name with “@” in real life in the same way some Jeopardy freaks answer everything in the form of a question.
2. Your friend starts a blog to announce that she’s engaged/divorced/adopted a child, because she’s realized thatÂ RSS is the most reliable way to communicate with you.Â
3. You can’t recall whether a recent conversation took place on Twitter, a message board, or in blog comments.Â Face-to-face never even occurs to you as an option.
4. All the various auto-posting services you’ve subscribed toÂ have created a continuing loop that threatens to create a wormholeÂ which may possibly consume the internet.Â
5. You criticize your spouse for checking his Facebook account while driving… on Facebook.Â
6. You have to declare feed reader and email bankruptcy so often, you’ve effectively unsubscribed from everything.Â
7. Instead of your planner, you check your Twitter stream to see when your last hair/dentist/doctor’s appointment was, because it’s a more reliable source.Â
This list is all in good fun. (Mostly.Â I’ll be honest, at leastÂ four of these hasÂ actually happened to me.Â I’m not saying which four.)Â Â
But the truth is, sometimes you do need a break.Â We tend to get like preschoolers who get cranky because they won’t go to sleep, afraid they might miss something.Â
But trust me, almost anything you miss by dropping out of social media for a while is not that important.Â If it is, the news will make it’s way to you eventually the old fashioned way.
And what you may be missing in the real world won’t wait for you.