In Support of Unplugging
I recently had a conversation with a local media professional about personal use of social media – Facebook and Twitter in particular – when one also handles social media accounts for one or multiple companies. I mentioned that I do not have a personal Twitter account. To say she was shocked might be an understatement.
I am one of those few, rare, perhaps even weird, individuals who (still) believes in unplugging.
I handle about 90% of Red Sage’s social media efforts, with Dragon Lady weighing in every time she’s going to a beer tasting or has some embarrassing story she wants to share about me. I also am in charge of social media trainings and efforts for our customers. At the end of the day, I’ve typically spent a good deal of time either running social media campaigns or studying up on them to stay fresh. Which means I have no desire to Tweet the best quotes from tonight’s episode of “New Girl.” (Though it’s a great show and I recommend everyone who does like to spend their personal time Tweeting watch it and Tweet their fantastic quotes.)
I understand that most professionals who use social media eat, sleep, live and breathe it. I don’t judge them negatively for this, and in fact, sometimes wish that I had the desire to be as actively and continually engaged as they are. But the bottom line is that I don’t.
I believe strongly in the need for balance, and it’s a need that Red Sage (thankfully) supports. While I might have been mocked a little for not having a Twitter account to list when we were building our new website, I understand that it’s in good fun. I know there are individuals out there that are expected to post on weekends and even vacation, both personally and professionally. But I won’t be checking Red Sage’s Twitter account to see if we have any new followers next time I’m on vacation. I won’t even look tonight. Or this weekend.
I believe in responsive efforts and making actual connections when I’m engaging in social media efforts. And I can’t do that if I’m feeling burnt out. So I take the time and recharge. I have conversations in person. On the phone. I write handwritten cards – at least once a week. I go on vacation – and assume the world will not end if it misses out on my witty Tweets and Facebook posts for a week.
Truthfully, I think I could be better about unplugging. I do check my personal Facebook on my phone – a habit I’d like to break, but haven’t managed to yet. I text far too often. And I’ve recently given serious consideration to taking e-mail off my phone as I find that when I receive a notification, I have a compulsion to check it, and I don’t know that I want to be that connected.
Please don’t be mistaken: I love social media and the opportunities it has opened up for us. I love helping others learn how to effectively use it, and I love the fact that I’m blessed enough to have a job where I am constantly learning new things and implementing creative and tactical marketing efforts.
But I also love going home and watching New Girl without feeling the need to Tweet my thoughts on every single one of Schmidt’s hilarious comments – or making sure no one commented on the Red Sage Facebook post about my blog. That can wait until tomorrow.