It’s okay to take a break from social media – even if it’s your job
In the absence of in-person events and meeting places, people are spending their free time online during the COVID-19 pandemic. By connecting virtually with others, they can overcome feelings of isolation and stress. A few months into the pandemic, professionals are concerned that trusting the Internet as a companion and normal has led to unhealthy – albeit understandable – coping mechanisms.
Of course, screen addiction isn’t a new problem. You know you should just pull the plug, but what happens when your professional life is anchored on social media? Telling a digital marketer to fire Facebook is like telling a chef to get out of the kitchen. How can you take a breather and avoid burnout when your whole life revolves around technology?
The Unplugging Challenges for Modern Workers
The truth is, for many of us, social media has become both work and recreation. Even if you’re not working on building a fan base or promoting your brand, scan content on Instagram or send messages to friends on Snapchat. I’ve even come across situations where I had to use social media, like communicating with an organization that was only on Facebook.
Unfortunately, these tendencies often lead to burnout. It’s hard to be creative when you’re suffering from information overload, endless comparisons, and mental fatigue. Trying to come up with original ideas or to contribute authentically is difficult unless you proactively take steps to budget your online time and explore alternative social media scrolling activities
If you work in marketing, taking an offline break not only calms your brain but also improves your job. As you move away from the digital realm, you can relax, recharge, and refocus. After all, social media is a tool for connection – not the end goal. If you want to produce stronger, more authentic content, give your brain a break with the following social media substitutes:
1. Be a paper person.
In a world of technological devices vying for your attention, paper is your friend. I have a box of old magazines, article tears, and scraps of paper. No matter what kind of inspiration I need, I can find it in this box.
Much social media content is trending and recycled. If you want to be innovative, it can be helpful to take a step back. Try looking through printed publications or brainstorming in a notebook. When too much screen time is bothering your brain, a paper break may be just what you need.
2. Take an inspiration day.
Take a few hours to explore the area. Visit a local museum. Stroll through a park. Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in your immediate reality and uncover new concepts that lurk right in front of you.
Are you finding it difficult to free up your headspace? Incentives at random. People will put more effort into an activity when there is an uncertain reward. So find ways to play your personal “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. Put a $ 10 bill in one envelope and a $ 20 bill in another, mix them up, and set them aside. After returning from your adventure, you will randomly select an envelope to determine your reward. When it is time for your next break, use the money you made from your last experience.
3. Talk to people.
Chatting with others is a great way to bring new ideas and take a break on social media. Talk to industry leaders, customers, or even your mom. Be open-minded. Sometimes you need to speak to someone who doesn’t know anything about your industry to come up with a new approach.
In-person meetups are hard to arrange right now, but this is where FaceTime and Zoom can come in handy. Being able to observe someone else’s body language and reactions helps us pick up non-verbal cues and communicate better. This can be a blessing if you’re looking for inspiration through conversation.
4. Try something new.
As a content creator, most of my creative resources are integrated with Google Docs and Photoshop. I was sick of the same old grind so I tried improvising last year. Not only was it a great stress reliever, but it got my imagination going too.
Whether you’ve always wanted to speak a second language or want to whip up French macarons, force yourself to learn something new. You develop skills you probably didn’t know you had and you see everything you touch as a marketer with a clearer lens.
Do you need to be on social media for work? Do yourself a favor and turn it off during your downtime. You benefit from numerous advantages and do not miss anything that you cannot make up for tomorrow.