Social Media Burnout
Technology now allows us to be connected or 24/7. The creation of smartphones, tablets, and other handheld wireless devices enables us to access people and information on demand. Social media allows us to stay connected with others and can be an extremely useful tool for networking and maintaining both personal and business relationships. But is all of the input good for us? Maybe not. Just like most other things in life moderation is a good rule to follow.
What is social media burnout?
Burnout can occur when our exposure to social media begins to negatively impact us personally or professionally. When social media consistently causes us to consistently experience negative emotions or engage in harmful behavior, the tools are no longer useful to us. Overexposure to social media platforms can cause harmful side effects that are really easy to overlook. Below are a few examples.
Obsession with creating the perfect brand. Creating a social media persona can be a fun and fruitful strategic game. The practice of creating an online brand can force us to hone how we portray ourselves both professionally and personally. Because the social media cycle never sleeps, it’s easy to become obsessed with creating and posting content in response to feedback from others. An extensive amount of time can be spent trying to perfect a social media brand to the point of impacting us negatively.
Disconnection from in personal interactions. Spending increasing amounts of time on social media can decrease our time having in-person interactions. While social media and other forms of communication are useful, they are not appropriate for every situation. When you rely too heavily on social media tools for connecting with others, it can become a barrier instead of an asset.
Damaging relationships. Social media is designed to make connections easier across groups. If social media is causing more conflict than community, it may be time to revisit how you’re using the tools.
What to do about social media burnout?
To find balance in your social media use, making a few observations and behavior changes can go along way.
- Find the source and the symptoms. Noticing negative emotions related to social media can be the first sign of burnout. Once you notice the icky feelings, reflect on when they come up. Do you dread waking up to all of your alerts in the morning? Or struggle to put your phone or computer away when it’s time for bed? Do you feel frustrated when you look certain social accounts? Take an inventory of how your use is impacting your well-being.
- Modify your behaviors. Once you pinpoint the problem, set some new boundaries that allow you to reset your relationship with social media. If social media use is impacting your sleep, set a time that you place your phone in a room where it can charge and be left for the night. Don’t pick up your phone until you’re dressed and ready for the day, or even better, until you’ve officially begun your workday. If the burnout is extreme and social media is not central to your job, deactivate your account for a specific amount of time and go on a social media cleanse.
- Assess if you’re feeling better and adjust your boundaries. If you notice the modifications help you feel less negative emotions, you can increase or decrease your boundaries as necessary. And always be mindful of your limit for social media engagement.