Simply Zesty Blog


Social Media Burnout - How Often Do We Need A Break?

Written by Simply Zesty on

We work with over 20 other agencies on the range of clients that we have. They are often PR agencies, marketing agencies, web development agencies or Ad agencies. One of the most common questions they'll ask me is how do we monitor social media? How do we spot that stray potentially dangerous comment that somebody posts on a Friday night? How do we moderate Facebook pages at the weekend? How do we remove racist comments from Youtube videos? The answer I usually give them is that there is no time to switch off. Our business is 24/7 and not like a conventional agency. Unlike the old world of control where everything closed at a certain time and you controlled the media there is no off button in social media. There is no "lets all go for a pint and come back to that on Monday" button, it just doesn't work like that. People talk online all weekend, late in to the night and at odd hours and the chances are they could say something bad about you.

What Is This Doing To Our Minds

In my own Twitter stream I see people taking breaks all the time. A week here or a day or two there. It reminds me of people overdosing. There are times when we need to go away and cleanse the system. Living in a world where we are connected 24/7 is not what our brains and bodies were built to handle. These crazy connection speeds and super fast broadband have only come around in the last few years. Before that there were financial or usability reasons for switching off, you were forced to take a break. Now for as little a 20 Euros a month you can get a constant 24/7 fix. Twitter and Facebook often remind me of a huge real life soap opera where anything can happen and more and more people find that instantaneous entertainment at the click of a mouse nearly impossible to switch off.

It's Getting Worse

You don't need to be a genius to see things are getting worse (or better depending on which way you are looking at it). We now have smart phones that mean we are connected while we are out and about. Queues, trains, airports, classrooms, work, smoke breaks, toilets etc etc. I've spoken about the iPad being a toilet device and the fact that more people are using it to watch content in bed and you can see how the list of places where we can actually escape the grasp of online content is getting smaller and smaller. Some might say that we have always had this sort of connectivity with radio and Television but I find that different, I listen to radio in the car for example but I am relaxing while doing so. Online is different, it's constant connectivity with layers of engagement at your finger tips.

How To Stay Sane

There is very little hope for us. We have over 15 clients in 2 countries and aim to grow this blog. We are in it deep and can't get out. For brands and businesses though there are smart safeguards you can put in place... hire moderators, share the load in shifts or simply explain that you don't use the channel for customer service, set fixed hours for customer service online or manage your customer's expectations. Even doing that though you need to be aware that the biggest disasters can happen outside of conventional hours and people online are not going to wait for you to come back from your weekend away, the shit will have hit the fan in your absence. For people using social media for personal use I guess the key is to force yourself to switch it off. If I really want to get away from it all I just leave the phone at home and head out and about. It's like all good things it in moderation and all will be well. Do you find yourself burning out at all from over exposure online?

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