What I’m about to say goes against all the social community building rules I live by. But I believe a social media blackout is good for the soul and your on-going creativity as a business owner, marketeer or digital specialist.
Social media has integrated flawlessly into our lives. We check our Facebook feed a few minutes after waking, we build our promotional strategies around strategic digital communities. It’s here to stay. But the constant buzz of our phones and chatter on our feed has also created a new emotional state in many of us. One which I believe needs calming and rebooting to retain some perspective.
Digital media provides communities which connect like-minded individuals. Socially we feel less lonely, finding others globally, who share our ideas. It has helped us learn and understand our identities further.
But I strongly believe, this should not prevail at the expense of human contact. We are social beings and the chemistry which sparks off significant relationships cannot be replaced on-line. How many of us have explored on-line dating, chatted to a seemingly compatible individual only to to find, in person, the chemistry is not there?
Which is why we need two things. An off-line private persona and friendships. Moments that can only be relived in the brain. Memories which keep our grey cells thriving.
Secondly we need social media blackouts. I posted an interesting article on my Facebook page about Andy Murray deleting the Twitter app from his phone during Wimbledon. Sadly, this was to shut out the trolls, the price of being a top social media celebrity. But we could all take a leaf out of his book. He needs a clear mind, internalised and focused thoughts to achieve his goal. This is a personal strategy he’s developed which quite clearly WORKED!
We all need our own social media blackout strategy. Here’s a checklist for you modelled after my personal strategy:
- Decide how long the social media black out is feasible for? My view is 3 days is the minimum you should explore.
- Book time in your diary to write and schedule all content. For Facebook use their scheduler, for other platforms explore Buffer, Tweetdeck or Hootsuite.
- Ensure all customers know your working pattern. Or engage in cover for the period, throw some money at it e.g. employ casual call handlers or a virtual PA to handle mails and social media messages.
- Tell all your friends how you can be contacted. Consider what will work best to really switch off your brain. Will you be able to switch the phone off completely? Or maybe limit contact to phone, text or Whatsapp?
- Delete social media apps from your phone or turn off notifications and badging. But ensure you’re safe, don’t block off all contact leaving yourself in vulnerable situations.
- Plan some off-line projects to occupy your mind; journals, drawing, colouring books, knitting, crafting, sport, photography…the list is endless. Engaging in these could refresh your creative process for your business and marketing ideas.
- Take deep breaths and do nothing. Once you’ve gotten over the first day of jitters without reaching for the phone or tablet, try spending a couple of hours doing nothing.
Tell me how you got in with your social media blackout. Did it work? Do you feel refreshed?
This is just one of the tips from my social media summer simmer. Available to start as a course in your own time between now and 10th August.