Social Media Roller Coaster - saxtonstudio blog
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Social Media Roller Coaster

I hear a bunch of exasperation out there about social media.

Bottom line, we have to make choices about our time ~ these days, almost on an hour-to-hour basis. In any given period we may ask, is this a good use of my time? Is this what I want to be doing, is this what I HAVE to be doing, is this just what happened when one thing ran into the next and here’s where I landed?

Those of us who are self-employed need to insert structure into our day, or we’d not be at all productive ~ and that requires a hefty dose of self-discipline.

This may work beautifully if you work with tasks that have clear beginnings and endings (not to say there aren’t snags and challenges that could send potentially simple project into galactic proportions), but far less controlled if you’re in the concepting stage of a design project where you’re, let’s say, trying to break the rules in imaginative, but still effective ways. You can’t set a timer for that. But you can set a timer that says it’s time to shift gears, have dinner, take a walk.

So what then do you do with the onslaught of social media demands on top of all the rest? Do you skip the walk to check your twitter feed? Post facebook quotes while you eat dinner? Pin on Pinterest early in the day, while checking email and planning calls … and yea … you see, things can start to overlap and then maybe your grip starts to slip, the ride is moving and your hat is flying… and you’re saying, “wait!, whoa, slow down!” Yet the world out there is saying, “ha! right! time waits for no one, better hop on!”

So you sigh and shrug and try to keep up.

Or you decide not to.

Here’s the thing: there’s no rule book that says you have to leap into every social media outlet that comes along. That said, I’d be leading you down the wrong road if I said you shouldn’t participate in at least a few of your choice. But by all means, unless you’ve got a budget and a staff whose sole job is to handle every social media site, be choosy.

When all those invites come in to join this group or that network, don’t impulsively jump. Let it sit. Check it out. If it feels right, you may want to climb aboard. If it feels a lot like “ugh, do I have to?”… then don’t.

Either way, don’t miss that walk in the park in order to get a front seat on the next social media wave. If it really sings to you, you can join in after your walk.

Patricia Saxton

No Comments
  • Mark

    March 12, 2012 at 10:21 am Reply

    All these social networking opportunities feel more like a ride on the short bus to the asylum! Filtering out the noise (and there is a lot these days) is getting harder and harder because EVERYTHING is screaming out for attention. I agree with your advice about taking a step back and evaluating because if you try to stick your finger into every pie that comes along, all you’ll have are sticky fingers! (I’m sure there’s some deep meaning in there somewhere, but it escapes me at the moment 🙂

    • saxtonstudio

      March 13, 2012 at 10:32 am Reply

      Sticky Fingers… wasn’t that a Rolling Stones album? Regardless, it’s a great analogy Mark. You can get all gooey if you aren’t careful! Gotta filter, filter.

  • Rand

    March 12, 2012 at 9:05 am Reply

    Great advice Patricia, we make SM what it is for us, individual by individual. Just like we let the answering machine get the phone during dinner time and pick up the messages later, the same works with emails and FB updates. Smelling the coming roses up here in Canada!

    • saxtonstudio

      March 13, 2012 at 10:31 am Reply

      Yes – similar animals, different clothing. And I hope those roses will be hearty this year! 🙂

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