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3 Steps You Can Take Today To Prevent Social Media Overload

Social media can feel overwhelming. If not managed properly you can quickly fall into the trap of letting yourself feel like no matter how much you read or post there’s always so much more to read and post.

Being a social media early adopter I’ve been on most social networks longer than most people have. I’m no celebrity, even by Internet standards, but being an extroverted early adopter I also have more connections on these networks than most people. I’m not saying I’m cooler than anyone or that my way of using social media is better than anyone else’s. It is what it is and it works for me.

But I have learned a few things over the years about managing the constant distractions that social media brings with it. Most of you have already experienced this and if you haven’t, you will. So here are my top 3 tips for preventing social media overload in 2011.

Don’t Let Social Media Be Pushy

If you do nothing else after reading this post do this. Turn off all push notifications. You don’t need any of them. If you’re using Tweetdeck or another Twitter client that throws up a notification every time you get a message go into your settings and turn it off. On whatever smartphone you’re using go into your social media apps and turn off all push notifications. Nothing that comes in via social media is so important that you can’t wait the 5 minutes until you check you phone again anyway. You don’t need the interruption. When you install a new app and it ask to send push notifications; “Just say NO!”

Social Media Should Reduce Not Increase Email

Everyone loves #bacon but we don’t love bacn. Bacon is email that you signed up for, so it’s not spam, but it doesn’t have much value. All that email you get from Twitter and Facebook is bacn. I love it when a coworker or friend sends me a message on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn in stead of email. I hate that I then get that message in an email. I don’t need that. I check my social networks regularly as it is and usually see the message before I see the email about the message. I don’t need another digital artifact cluttering up my already unmanageable inbox.

Much like my above recommendations with push notifications turn off or auto archive social media bacn.  I do like to have the notifications of when someone started following me or sent me a message searchable in my email, I’ve found this very helpful on several occasions, but I don’t want to see it unless I’m searching for it. I have a rule set up for all my social networks that sends all email follower notifications, friend requests, DM’s, messages, etc straight to an archived folder.

Be Selfless with Your Sharing and Selfish with Your Time

Social media is all about sharing. Be generous about sharing your knowledge and your praise. I promise it will all come back 100 fold. But social media is not your life and the greatest development in media - social or otherwise - is that it’s there for you on your terms on your time You do not have to read every blog post. You do not have to blog a certain amount of times a week. You do not have to use Twitter or Facebook the way that someone says you do. You do not have to do anything that doesn’t fit your own goals and life style. Be selfish with your time. Use it wisely. It is the scarcest of resources and the only thing in this World that we can’t make more of.

Photo credit by Balakov

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About Tac

Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.

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