The Art of Disconnecting
Addictions are all around us and, even though I am not a doctor, I would argue that everyone is addicted to something. Some people are addicted to sports (Yes, I’m talking to you KimberMedia account manager and Cubs fan, Matt LaCasse). Others are addicted to nicotine. I am addicted to three things in life: Diet Pepsi/Diet Coke, Orbit spearmint gum and social media. Now, please don’t think you have to call the show Intervention and send me to rehab. I believe I have somewhat healthy addictions. If there really is such a thing as a “healthy” addiction.
Here’s why I am addicted:
Diet Pepsi (if it comes from the can) and Diet Coke (if it comes from the fountain) are tasty treats that give me energy. I like soda and, as much as it probably should, that will never change. I’ve started limiting myself to one soda a day. Sometimes it is a can and sometimes it is a Route 44 from Sonic, but at least I’m trying.
Orbit spearmint gum is my jam. I mostly chew it for stress release and fresh breath. It is also a good dieting trick. If I am chewing gum, I am not chewing anything else. Until the dentists tell me otherwise, I am sticking to this one.
On to my social media addiction. Honestly, I don’t have a serious problem (you should check out the articles, it is pretty amazing), but it isn’t peculiar to find me on my smartphone or computer for multiple hours a day. I am continually connected for both work and personal reasons. And yes, I am one of those people who can’t go to bed without checking my email and social media accounts one last time.
While some of you reading this may think that my social media addiction is extreme, a recent report from ComScore shows that I am actually becoming more of the norm than the exception.
So, as part of my New Year’s resolution, I am working on learning how to disconnect.
How I plan to disconnect:
- 1. Post-its
I started using this “If it won’t fit on a Post-it it won’t fit in your day” concept from Mark McGuinness’ post on 99%. Between my personal and professional obligations, utilizing this process helps me organize my day. I will try to use this same idea as my daily time management tool for social media. Based on my social media goals for the day, I will list what I need to accomplish on a Post-it and how much time I will allow for each task. If it doesn’t fit on the Post-it, it doesn’t fit into my social media efforts for the day. My goal is to become more focused and efficient. That means no Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn stalking, no meaningless messaging, no reading articles – unless it is has allotted time on my Post-it.
- 2. Only active on the sites that make sense for my goals
Based on what I am trying to accomplish (see Post-it idea above) for the day, I will only allow myself to be active on the social media platforms that make sense for me and the target audiences I need to reach. Often times I feel pressured to learn as much as possible about every new social media tool, site and function. But, it isn’t feasible or effective for me to “connect” with 1,000 different audiences on 1,000 different social media sites. I am going to stick to the social media sites that are best for the audiences I am trying to reach.
- 3. Using social media tools that make me more effecient
I like organization and I am a bit of a control freak. That being said, I have yet to use Hootsuite’s or Tweetdeck’s scheduling function. Why? Because a list of “What ifs?” goes through my head. Like: What if somebody responds immediately? What if my link doesn’t work? What if I schedule it for the wrong time? While, those days are over. There are only so many hours in a day and worrying about the “What ifs?” doesn’t fit on my Post-it. So, scheduling here I come.
Please respond below and tell me how you disconnect. What tricks or tools work for you? But, just know, it might be a day before I respond. I’ll have to pencil you onto my Post-it.