It is happened before, maybe more than once, and maybe more than once in a day. You hop on social media with the intentions of sending a direct message or inbox message to one person. You scroll your timeline first. You then notice your old college room -mate got married, your ex has a new boo, and your mom has joined facebook. Then you spend another “while” searching through all the recent pictures of each individual to see “how did I miss this” and then begin to piece their life together to make sense to you. Now it’s been nearly an hour and a half and you still have not sent the direct message.
Okay, now you search the person to send the message, but wait, you have to check your own messages. Another hour or two reading and responding to messages. This is just one social media site. You are also on three-five others. With all the various social media platforms, from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and new ones developing quickly it’s no wonder the average person spends a ridiculous amount of time on social media. That may be just for leisure. What if you are a developing brand and social media is key to marketing that brand?
Despite your intentions for social media, there needs to be time when you unplug from the computer and phone and refocus your attention. With summer around the corner, NOW would be a great time! If you can not at all imagine when those times to unplug from social media may be, I’ve listed just five below.
Five Reasons You Should Unplug
You have work to do.
Whether you work from home or in an office, or not at all there is still work to be done. There are work related task, or home related task, that need to be completed and Social media should be avoided completely to eliminate the distractions until the tasks or assignments are completed. Because of the huge distraction social media can become, I usually avoid it the entire work day.
Special someone(s) are requesting your attention or time.
It may be your children, spouse or significant other, or maybe just your pets that are nagging to “come do this with me” or “watch me” or just place their heads in your lap. All the above should be considered as a plea for your time or attention from social media. If that is the case, close your computer and turn your phone off and give them that time and attention.
It’s too time time consuming.
If you begin to run into situations similar to the introduction, spending hours on what should have been a 10 minute task then maybe it’s time to unplug altogether or limit your time. Consider setting time limits for each site or writing a to do list on what needs to be accomplished on each site, if more than one.
Social Media has become overwhelming.
With new platforms developing quickly, in addition to platforms you are already on, and the time suck that comes along with each site, social media can become overwhelming. It can begin to feel like a job in itself trying to build and increase a following, market your brand, or remain relevant. If the task and time associated with social media become overwhelming, then you should again unplug from social media, making a point to disconnect from it all and refocus your energy and relax. You can always com back to it.
It’s time to unwind.
I’m a big advocate of sleep. For me, sleep is essential and in order for me to sleep well I need to unwind and calm my mind before even beginning the sleep process. Unplugging from social media and the internet is essential for unwinding and relaxing my mind to calm. For me this means, turning off my computer and television and silencing my phone so that I’m not at all tempted to engage.
Above are only five reasons you should consider unplugging from social media, but I’m sure there are more. The reasons above may apply, or not, depending on your lifestyle, your goals, and how and what social media is used for by you. It’s up to you to determine what “unplugging” means to you. Unplug can mean leave and come back later or only accessing on certain days or times, or not at all. However you decide to unplug, creating a balance is key. If the above reason are completely irrelevant to you and your situation, below are some additional reasons to consider unplugging from the internet.
Additional reasons to unplug
- You are exceeding your cell phone data plan.
- Family and friends are complaining.
- You are over extended.
- Your timeline never really updates.
- You have way too much knowledge of everyone else’s life.
- You compare your life to those on social media and feel inadequate or like a failure.
On average, how much time to do you spend on social media? How do you feel about it?