Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Writers and Social Media Fatigue

Over the last few weeks, I've been finding it difficult to keep up with Twitter, Facebook, email, and even blogging. No matter how hard I try, I end up missing something and then feel guilty. Let's not even get into the fact that with my phone, I'm plugged in to social networking 24/7. After over seven years, I've finally got social media fatigue.

What Is Social Media Fatigue?
According to Technopedia, social media fatigue is when people grow overwhelmed with the time and energy spent maintaining and initiating all of these connections. (Yes, this can include people you know IRL that you only now communicate with through Facebook.)

Writers are more prone to suffer this than the average bear. We constantly hear that we need to build our platform, interact with our writing community, and make ourselves visible. (That's on top of constantly honing our craft, reading, researching, and the million other things that make writers awesome.) Many of us are online late into the night participating in Twitter chats or visiting the hundreds of blogs in their Google Reader.

It's amazing we get anything done.

What Can Be Done About SMF?
The easiest (and hardest) answer is manage your time. If you're an avid blog writer and reader, you should figure out how many days a week you will blog and when your blogging will get done. Then you should determine how you're going to read and comment on all those blogs you subscribe to.

Another solution is to unplug for a few days at a time. When I had a day job, I sat in front of a computer all day, so when the weekend would come, I would limit my computer and social media time. While this strategy might not work for you, it does something that we all need--it gives you scheduled time off.

Remember, you're not alone in this. As Hubby just pointed out, everyone suffers from SMF.

Last.fm hit of the day: Going to California (Rosetta Stone Mix) by Gene Loves Jezebel


  1. There's also social media phobia where you're certain that no one retweets or comments on a post because you've become a pariah and why did I just reply to a famous person exactly and, yeah. When totally unplugging sounds like the best vacation ever, I know I'm fatigue, and yet how can I be fatigued when I haven't even gotten the reins on it. My social media strategy is the same as my party strategy: ignore all the weird people talking heatedly, find the cool person in the corner who looks as uncomfortable as you, and then make a date to go have a real talk over coffee. So social media has netted some good friends, but I'm still thinking there must be a better way. Or, to quote Waylon Jennings: "I don't think Hank done it this a-way!"

  2. Great post! I think it comes from the pressure of everyone telling writers what they need to do and they must do it. Right now. All the pressure takes away the fun of social media. And we can't forget about the pressure we put on ourselves. I try really hard to not be on when it's not my day to post. Days off are important!

  3. Oh. My. Gosh.

    I was just thinking this a few SECONDS ago!!!

    Great post!


  4. Good advice. I was just reading an article about this the other day on The Good Men Project. I recently started doing most Twitter/FB stuff on my iPod touch which makes it feel more mobile and frees up time I used to spend on those sites on the computer.

  5. This is a very timely post. I've been feeling overwhelmed lately with all of the social media I try to stay on top of. Like you said, I always feel like I'm missing something, and then I feel guilty. I really need to be better about setting aside blocks of time for blogging/reading/writing. Thanks for the great advice, Alicia!

  6. Oh man, this post is the story of my life right now. I've recently reached a pretty good balance in my blogging life. I try to read every post on every blog I subscribe to, but I only comment on each blog once or twice a week. I used to comment on every post that I connected with, which meant I was spending HOURS every day just on reading/commenting on blogs! My new schedule has been hard to get used to (I still itch to comment on every post), but I've had so much more time for writing and, well, just plain old life. Great post!


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