Must be the season because I’ve heard “I’m unplugging” and “I’m going off the grid” and “I’m so done with Facebook and Twitter” from a lot of people who, quite frankly, should know better than to ditch social media completely.
I’m referring to active, much appreciated members of online communities. People whose broadcasted content is so much more than a never-ending stream of self-promotion. Go-to people whose presence and availability on social media make a difference for individuals as well as organizations. These drastic resolutions are coming from people who are clearly exhausted, but probably not totally because of social media.
Making a fresh start with the new year is a nice concept, but in reality people seem more fried than invigorated by the second week of January. I blame the holidays with their fiercely frenetic social interactions in so-called real life. Let’s be honest, shall we? A large percentage of these interactions are with people we keep at a more clearly boundaried distance throughout the rest of the year ─ thanks to social media.
Demonizing and ditching social media is not the solution. Before pulling the plug or going off the grid, I suggest deploying the very tools social media platforms provide to ease the burden and reduce burnout. Yes, you already know about these and probably pay close attention if you manage social media for your organization. Turning to your personal accounts, it’s probably time to:
To these tech suggestions now add what you know about how relationships work on and offline. Simply put: there’s no difference.
As a practical matter this means showing courtesy and respect, even if you’re feeling too tired to give a hoot and just want to go MIA. Use social media to let people know you’re in the process of reviewing, reevaluating, and reconfiguring your social media networks. Do that first and then the actual work of reassessment before going completely off the grid.