For the last four years I've worked in social media in some capacity: I began as a PR and social media intern, recently worked in corporate social media for a national brand and now manage social media clients of my own.
You know those people who make dramatic (c'mon, we all know one...), "I'm leaving Facebook forever" farewell posts? I kind of envy them. Not because they get to be dramatic, but because they truly get to experience what life is like sans social media!
I think it's safe to say that social media folks can all relate to the fact that our job responsibilities beg us to stay plugged in and ever-scrolling – even on weekends, nights and vacations.
As much as I love what I do, I also know that endlessly scrolling through Instagram and re-pinning dreamy, idyllic Pinterest images day in and day out isn't healthy for me. I've fallen into the social media comparison trap more than once, and it's not a place I like to be mentally.
So: how can you unplug when you work in social media? I'm sharing three ways that I take social media breaks – even as a social media strategist!
#1: I've disabled social media push notifications
...for my personal accounts! Because my clients are my priority, I of course have mobile alerts turned on for their social media accounts. But for my own? Nope! Because I'm the type of person who has to check her inbox as soon as I hear a new message chime in; who has to check a text as soon as it hits my phone. And I would also be the type of person to check every single social media alert that comes my way.
Doing this has allowed me to still prioritize my clients while also giving myself the choice to check my own social media when I feel like it – or not at all.
#2: I don't touch my phone after 5:30 p.m. or on weekends
This is a big one for me, and I'm far from being perfect about it – but I'm truly working on it. Since I'm on my phone all day posting for my clients and engaging from their accounts, once 5:30 p.m. hits and my husband comes home, all I want to do is leave my phone in the office to charge it for the next day. So that's what I do!
The same goes for weekends. I don't ever want to become the business owner, friend or partner who is too busy scrolling through meaningless updates and misses important moments of life. Although I bring my phone along for the ride on weekend adventures, I try to refrain from posting or engaging excessively on social media until Monday.
#3: I track my screen time and phone usage
Just as I track the time that I'm spending on projects and services for clients, I also track my own screen time on social media! I do this using a free little app called Moment, which begins keeping track of the minutes in a day that you're on your phone and will alert you if you're in the green, approaching yellow or in the red (over-usage!) on any given day.
This app has worked wonders in my life and has opened my eyes to just how much time I'm spending (and wasting!) on my phone. It's one of the best apps you can invest if you find yourself absentmindedly reaching for your phone throughout the day without truly knowing why.
Tell me: how do you try to cut down the time you're spending on social media each week – even when you work in social media? Leave your tips in the comments below!