We’ve all done it – wasted enormous amounts of time liking and commenting on everything in our Facebook timelines, closely followed real-time Twitter sagas about what happened on some stranger’s job, or watched cat/food/conspiracy videos all night on YouTube…when we had work to do!
It’s the time vortex; the virtual black hole; the online phenomenon known as…social media.
And just like offline socialization, it’s easy to get too caught up in the moment and find yourself acting like an excited teenager on Senior Skip Day.
Except this is your real life, and you can’t afford this crap.
So, how do you prevent the social media time trap from capturing you? Here are three sure fire ways to beat the beast (particularly Facebook) – I am now using them successfully myself!
1) Stop trying to multitask with social media and work.
It doesn’t work. Why? What’s on social media is almost guaranteed to be more immediately interesting than the work you are trying to do. So, you will end up giving more and more time and energy to the thing that is most immediately interesting, not important. And that’s just not acceptable.
What To Do Instead – As with all things, stop multitasking and set a certain time aside for social media. Restrict yourself to that time (or times if you use social media as part of your business marketing) and stick to it religiously.
2) Create social media plans and goals.
Instead of visiting sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest just looking to browse and see what’s up, have a specific agenda and stick to it. If you are checking on a friend who just had a baby, looking to see what’s going on with family, or even enjoying some down time to watch funny cat videos, do the thing you went there to do without straying…too much. Social media, by nature, does have a way of taking you down roads you did not expect. But you can’t just hop down every rabbit hole you see. Taking time to indulge in too many memes, videos, and debates that have nothing to do with anything you came for can eat away an hour or more.
How To Make This a Reality – It’s all in the way you look at social media; the relationship you have with it. If social media is itself a companion to fill in the loneliness that you feel in real life, you’re going to waste time on it. Anything you spend hours doing every day is an investment in a RELATIONSHIP. And you can’t have a real relationship with Facebook. Think about it – you’re not really strengthening your relationship with the people on Facebook; you’re developing a relationship with Facebook (or Twitter) itself…and that’s both scary and sad.
3) Switch your primary social media hangouts from Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest (time suckers) to sites like Snapchat, Cyber Dust, and Medium.
This one is the most painful, but is also of the most benefit, particularly to those of you who use social media for business, marketing, or networking purposes. The majority of you reading this will be unfamiliar with these social networks, but they are less bulky and more focused on condensed content and communication models. I’ll review these sites in detail at a later date, but for now simply know that migrating to more efficient social media itself is one the most effective ways to develop more productive and efficient social media habits.
Want more efficient social media tips via social media? Add me as a friend!
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