and Enough Whining, What Did I Do About My Social Media Overload about being overwhelmed with social media and some of the things I was going to do about it.
It has been about 3 weeks now and I wanted to given an update on how things were going.
Unfortunately during this time, I also contracted that 3 week long creeping crud (flu) that has been hitting our area hard. Oh well, I am over it now, but it did help with my kicking my social media addiction/overload - I just didn't feel good enough to participate like I had been. I no longer feel that need to constantly check to see what everyone else is doing online.
During lunch and supper, no electronics - except to answer the phone. This little change has paid big! I read more and talk with TheWife more, instead of to people online during these times.
Notifications - Turning off visual or audio notifications is a big deal and helped me disconnect from social media a lot. Plus I stopped email notifications when someone comments on a Facebook thread or Twitter RT or Comment, which cut down the volume in my Inbox by almost two-thirds and it also means that I am not jumping off what I am doing when I hear or see that notification that I have mail or someone made a comment. Yes I have to remember to manually go check G+, Facebook and Twitter, but if I don’t it really isn’t that big a deal. I don’t have to know everything that is going on in the world of social media.
Blogging - I was never comfortable on my self-hosted WordPress.org blog. Which is more about me than about the host or service and I am experimenting with returning to Blogger, with a this new A Veteran Runnah blog, for a couple of weeks. So far I am liking it and am thinking that I might stay - it just feels comfortable. Also in less than a week, I am almost up to the same stats as my WordPress blog.
Twitter - Pairing down the lists and who I am following on them, really helped me have more quality conversations (when I am on Twitter), now I just have to give up having the Twitter stream open on the side when I am doing something else.
Facebook - This is still my hardest one to reduce my time on due to professional considerations. However, I did make a decision to delete my Instagram account, because their terms of service were still too one-sided, which will probably hurt my chances in other areas - but oh well - it is a choice I am consciously making and is one less social media site to worry about.
I deleted several groups that I was a part of and haven’t really missed them, guess they were not too important. I hid a lot of "Facebook Friends” that I don’t really know and my stream is much less crowded now and I can engage with people that I want to, without spending an inordinate amount of time attempting to find their posts.
Google+ - I am a part of only 3 communities and have started to use it more and more as my personal social media site of choice.
Online running sites - I don’t participate in any and find not having the pressure to post to one or more feels good.
Google Reader - I am at 91 subscriptions today, but that is the nature of gReader, you get subscription creep as you find new blogs that you want to follow. I have a feeling that I will need to weed this about once a month to keep it under control.
Instapaper - Something I learned about from Leo Babauta’s blog and I use it to save posts, articles, etc. that I want to read, but don’t have time for at the moment. Then on Monday morning if I haven’t read it, I archive it and don’t worry about it.
LinkedIn - Still haven’t done anything with it. I have a feeling that it will just stay as is and I am not going to get all wound up about whether I use it much or not. If things change professionally, I will keep my profile up-to-date though. You never know who will be looking at it.
The reality is that
making these changes has given me more time to focus on the things that I want to do. Instead of reacting like a Pavlovian dog and checking my social media sites when those visual or audible notifications let me know that there was a new update or email. It feels as though I am more focused and can stay on tasks I need to accomplish better, without the need to continually cruise Twitter, Facebook or G+.
Being sick forced me to lower my participation on social media sites, which I had started, but hadn't really done a good job of. However, I have noticed that since I have started to get better, that I haven’t really increased it all that much. I am much more selective about where and when I choose to do social media and I don’t tend to just cruise them as much. I no longer feel as though I "have to" be there.
I have a sneaking suspicion that the quality of my conversation is better and participation in certain communities has increased.
Taking a close look at: who, how, when and where I participate on social media was the right thing to do. I definitely have more time to complete things that I should be doing instead of getting caught up in the time-suck side of social media and I feel much more focused than I did back in December.
Now to avoid the social media creep and I think I will be all set!
Have you looked closely at how you use social media lately, are you in control or does it control you?
Originally written by Harold Shaw and published at "A Veteran Runnah" © 2011-2013, All Rights Reserved. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Harold Shaw and A Veteran Runnah" with appropriate and specific directions or links to the original content.