It seems like every time you turn around there’s another social network that’s up and coming, ready to eat up our time and swallow our productivity. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a job that requires them to spend their day on Facebook and Twitter, research and try out the latest networks and features, and reward them for increasing their Klout score and Twitter followers.
For the rest of the people out there, I thought it might be beneficial to compile a handy how-to guide to ensure the social media landscape doesn't completely devour your day. Here are 5 tips to fight social media fatigue:
1) Trust the News Feed. Can’t keep up with your Facebook feed? Find it impossible to read through everyone’s updates? Getting overwhelmed with all the posts from those random “friends”? Switch your default setting to Top News instead of Recent News (and yes, one of the latest updates to the Facebook iPhone app now lets you filter this way, too!). Facebook’s Top News algorithm feeds you the most popular content that you want to be reading. Start utilizing this to make sure you’re getting the best of the best and not getting overwhelmed with Farmville updates. Not sure how the algorithm works? Well you can learn all about it here.
2) Utilize Twitter lists. Unfortunately, Twitter doesn’t have an algorithm like Facebook does. So when you open your Twitter stream, you’re seeing everything that’s getting tweeted by the folks you follow in real time. Not terribly overwhelming if you only follow a handful of people. But when your numbers start getting into the hundreds and thousands, it’s hard to keep up with the constant stream of information. So what’s the best way to make use of Twitter? Start categorizing the people you follow and place them in lists. If you’re in the mood for a laugh, you can steal my LOL’ers list title. If your best friends are on Twitter, place them in a list. Newsworthy accounts get a separate one. Have your Twitter favorites? Make a VIP list. This way you can be sure you’re getting the information you want. Take control of your Twitter stream with lists!
3) Make your check-ins count. It’s no secret I’m a Foursquare enthusiast. But even I forget to check-in or get overwhelmed with having to check-in every time I leave the office for a cup of coffee or my lunch break. I make sure I follow the brands I love, know what my favorite businesses are offering for check-ins, and if you’re addicted to unlocking badges like I am, know what badges are active and how to unlock them. Then you can focus on having the most valuable use of Foursquare for you. Decide what drives you on the site (it might be stealing the mayorship of your apartment building) and make each check-in count.
4) Find your passions. Do you love TV? Then GetGlue is probably the social network for you. Love sharing details of delicious meals? Try Foodspotting. Photo-fanatic? Go for Instagram (my favorite photo app!). If you’re not passionate about the network or app, don’t feel obligated to take part in it because all the social media blogs are telling you to. Identify your passions and find the social media network that allows you to highlight that passion.
5) Don’t feel forced to stay connected online. It’s ok to put your phone down, step away from the computer and start meeting and talking with people in real life! Want to be social media savvy in your real life interactions? Hit Meet Up and find great places to meet people who love the things you love. Whether it’s going for bike rides on the weekends, talking with community managers, or finding a book club; Meet Up can both feed your social media addiction and also help you avoid overload and fatigue.
What are some ways you make sure to avoid social media fatigue? Share your tips and techniques in the comments below!