In a recent article with Forbes, writer Kashmir Hill wrote about how technology, whether you like or it not, is indeed changing us. It's an addiction and one that Hill discusses in frank terms as to "making us fat, making us unhealthy, making us depressed, making us lonely, making us narcissistic, and making us waste time worrying about whether it's making us fat, unhealthy, depressed, narcissistic and/or lonely."
Like any good addict though, we can't give up our iDealer and keep coming back for more. For many businesses that don't have the time to properly indulge in the daily dose of nonstop Tweeting and status updating, the role is passed off to the company social media department. Expected to constantly be in the loop, on the latest trending hashtag and checking in on Foursquare first thing upon destination arrival, social media managers are given the most responsibility in representing a company's online presence in addition to their own outside of work, which is expected to be just as gregarious and entertaining.
Forever being logged in has its adverse effects that settle in after some time. Burning out, settling into a routine that stifles creativity, and even stressful tolls taken on your physical self can easily take an innovative and fresh position and turn it into something mechanical all too soon. There's something to be said about businesses that encourage their social media departments to unplug after hours and even during working hours (yes, I said it).
Though not all social media teams are created the same, logging off for awhile has a series of advantages brought back to the table, many of which work to keep the love for the position well and alive.
Physically, It's Good for You
Your eyes were not meant to stare into a computer screen for hours upon hours each and every single day, nor are your hands supposed to be constantly typing nonstop. If you unplug for any one reason, do it for your physical self. Stand up and stretch, walk around, go outside, and make the moment last for at least 15 minutes before heading back. Outside of work, try to avoid taking your electronics everywhere with you - do you really need to take your iPad to the gym or the dentist? They can't help you there!
There is a wealth of interesting and incredible blogs to be found online and yet social media departments face a danger in falling into a daily routine by visiting the same websites over and over again each day. Falling into a site routine can set the par for the course of how the rest of the day flows, especially if it's the slow dog days of summer where neither the weather nor the news online is particularly motivating. Try subscribing to different newsletters and visiting at least one new blog a day to keep ideas fresh and current.
The Manager Sets the Standard
Proper social media departments don't run smoothly unless the manager themselves is fully invested in the work that they do and the work that the team produces. Managers have to understand how to motivate and encourage both interns and employees alike. They also have to know whenever enough is enough and their own batteries are slowly dying. By unplugging for a bit, a manager is actually doing more good for a business than harm in creating content that didn't have a whole lot of oomph going for it. Taking a break allows them to rest, recharge, and come back with bigger and better ideas than ever before.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.