Who else checks their social accounts the minute you wake in the morning? I’m talking about rolling over, grabbing the phone off the nightstand and scroll all before you even get up to use the bathroom. I am one-thousand percent guilty of doing this for at least the last ten years. Truth be told, the thrill of seeing what my online friends are doing has been exhausted. I think I’m suffering from extreme social media burnout.
Here is the problem though. I signed up for this willingly. Having an online presence across most social platforms has become the norm in this space. If we aren’t marketing what we’re working on then we aren’t working at all, it’s simply a hobby. And yes, I’ve considered backing away from engaging but our business and the community we’re building will suffer.
But, I am also suffering.
Ok, that’s slightly dramatic however I’ve found that I have completely lost perspective. All of my online friends are doing, visiting or working on the most amazing things EVER and I am laying there with a full bladder and bedhead wondering what is wrong with my life.
And, please don’t get me started on social media during the holidays. I went on a live Facebook rant with Megan around Mother’s Day where I declared I wouldn’t be online that weekend so I could avoid seeing everyone’s most awesomest Mother’s Day celebrations. I also don’t want to see what Santa left on Christmas Eve or the new Mercedes Benz in the driveway. All these moments totally skew what real life is.
But here’s the rub, I am so guilty of oversharing the exact same things.
Let’s talk about the wreckage caused by following celebrities on Instagram. It wasn’t enough that I would fangirl over photographs in magazines or the occasional tweet, but now I am able to consume their every waking moment on Instagram Stories.
Everyday, I find myself consumed by a string of stories from Busy Phillips, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Gwen Stefani (I’m obviously a child of the 90s) and questioning how these mega successful women are doing it all with kids, career, fun, fitness, parties and so on. Mind you, I haven’t even checked on my sleeping daughter yet to see if she’s still breathing. Mom of the year here but hold on…let me just watch one more story.
This is what I find most exhausting. I am so tired of being sold to. I’m not talking about the ads on Facebook, Instagram or even in my email (apparently I have to pay to have an ad-free inbox). What I am talking about is every influencer trying to sell me on some new car or lunch menu, a pair of great new boobs (true story), or the most amazing online course that I need to sign up for to take my business to the next level. Again, I am so guilty of selling the exact same things (except for the boobs)!
So, what’s the solution to my social media burnout?
Do I want to delete all the apps and live in a social media free world? Not entirely.
Years ago, in an attempt to keep my real life and social lives separate, I decided to create two accounts for Facebook. The truth is, I introduced a real life friend into a circle of online friends and it turned out real bad. I needed to put everyone back in their own corners of the internet so I made two profiles.
But, the time toggling between both accounts all day, everyday, is mind numbing. I still use both accounts. The real life one is made up of real life friends and family. The social one is made up of people I find equally as wonderful and admirable but it also isn’t necessary for them to be all up in my personal business. The solution is structuring the time spent on both accounts.
How to structure your social media time?
I really liked the suggestions in this article from Inc. In summary, set a time limit, turn off notifications, limit the number of networks you engage in and work with an end goal in mind. The upside of working with a partner is realigning the responsibility structure. Luckily, Megan agreed to taking over the social side of things while I focus on other areas.
I am also a realist. I know that putting limits on my time spent on social will not simply eliminate the negative ideals about my own life or successes. So, for every time I allow a comparison to steal my own joy, I will open my notes app (or, GASP, a real life notebook) and write down something I am grateful for in my life.
Limiting time spent and starting a gratitude journal feels achievable but I need to be intentional as well and I think that starts with keeping my phone out of the bedroom. I need to start my day off without mindlessly scrolling and maybe we’ll actually have time breakfast in the morning.
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