Thursday, March 22, 2012

Social Media Burnout: Are Some People Cloning Themselves?

I am exhausted.

I don't mean physically, though let's face it, I could definitely use more sleep (which could easily be solved if I stopped reading in bed). No, I am exhausted with trying to keep up with my social media outlets.  Don't get me wrong - I love tweeting, blogging, discussion forums, Linked in groups, and Facebooking (though admittedly, as my friends can attest, I am definitely NOT a great Facebook participant). But, I think the daily expectation of being social is getting to me...it's a combination of guilt that I am not posting enough, pressure to find relevant things to blog about or tweet about, and that pesky little problem of actually having a full-time job that requires some of my attention.

Wordle: Social Media BurnoutThose of you who tweet know how easy it is to get side-tracked reading tweets, clicking links that lead to the reading of articles and blogs. Which takes you down the path of responding to a discussion forum or a blog post. Next thing you know, two hours has passed! I am always struggling with trying to find a balance and still feel completely inept, especially as I look at some of the folks I follow and how often they tweet or blog. How do they do it?!

I know I am still a complete novice at all things social media, so perhaps I just need to find my groove or better resources to organize myself.  Thanks to my weekly participation in the #edchat live chats on Tuesday's at 11 pm CDT, I have had many in my PLN give me some great organizational suggestions (i.e. Tweetchat, Tweetdeck for example). But, I still find it overwhelming sometimes the amount of time and effort and thought that goes into staying social in a professional way. Am I just not as organized and diligent as I think or have some of these folks out there who seem to be constantly tweeting, blogging and participating in discussion forums cloned themselves?  Is there a resource that will do that?!


I write two blogs, this one, which is more personal, and then I contribute to my company blog, blog.keypress.com as well. I have two tweet accounts - again, one more personal (@vpigreenie) and then my company one as well (@keypress). I spend my early mornings basically reading through tweets and links to blogs, articles, and email briefs to get relevant news to post, deciding which ones are more appropriate for the company and which ones more appropriate and relevant to my personal, as they are different.  Related often, but different perspective. During the day I have both twitter feeds going and will read them periodically and retweet or post relevant things that come up. (As I said before, sometimes I definitely get sidetracked!) I also try to keep up with live chats such as the weekly #edchat on Tuesday's. I try to post on my personal blog 2-3 times a week, more if possible.  The company blog I post 2-3 times a month on the whole, though sometimes more. And finally, I try to contribute to 3-4 discussion forums, such as group discussions in Linked In.  If we were to take a very rough estimate of the daily time spent being 'social', I would say 2-3 hours a day, most of the bulk on my own personal time.  Add that to the 8-9 hours I devote to work, that's basically 10-12 hours a day at the computer - lordy, no wonder I am exhausted!  And somehow, on top of all this I am suppose to be writing my dissertation proposal (ha...don't even talk to me about procrastination!)

The Cloning of Karen
I would say I am a very low to moderate contributor to the social media arena. But...here's the rub. Some of the folks I follow are constantly tweeting or blogging or putting out a daily Tweet report or leading a live tweet discussion or doing a webinar or commenting on a discussion forum. I mean all day long!   Most of these very active social media folks have full time jobs, such as teaching or school administrators....how is it possible? I work from home when not traveling (which I do often) so in theory, I should have more time than they do to maintain my social presence and yet, they put me to shame. What's the trick?  Did they in fact clone themselves?  Are there resources out there that let you somehow be in four or five places on the web at once?! Do they have little elves that actually do the work for them?

All I know is I could use some help. Or sleep. (Another me may not be the best idea...trust me).  But - if anyone does have some suggestions on how to make being social easier, I am all ears! Obviously, I could stop - but that is not an option, since, despite my apparent whining and obvious burn out, I have learned more professionally in the last few months through social media than I have in a long time.  I have connected with amazing people all over the world. Not participating is NOT an option.  I just want to participate better.  Suggestions appreciated!

(Whew! One goal met ....posted at least 2 times in personal blog!)

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