The very nature of social media platforms is such that if you are using them, at one point in time or the other you will experience some form of social media burnout. The degree to which extent you experience it may vary from person to person. In this article, you will find out what causes social media burnout, what are the common symptoms and what can you do to avoid or cope up with it.
What is a Burnout?
Before we understand what a social media burnout is, let’s first understand what is burnout. According to this article by helpguide.org, Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.
How to Identify Burnout?
According to this article by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, you can identify burnout by these three main symptoms.
You feel tired and exhausted both emotionally and physically all the time. You are unable to cope up with life situations in general.
Difficulty in connecting with the work-related activities
You increasingly find your job to be stressful and frustrating. You start to alienate yourself from the work and lack the motivation to complete the tasks. You even start to be cynical about your colleagues and the work environment.
You find it really hard to concentrate and finish the tasks on time leading to reduced performance at work.
What Is Social Media Burnout? Is It Any Different?
We can simply say, Social media burnout is when your social media engagement starts to affect other parts of your life leaving you emotionally and physically drained.
Social media networks are a great way to be online and connected 24/7. Social media networks are not just useful for people to connect with their friends and family, they are also incredible tools for Businesses and Brands to promote their products and services, to increase the awareness of their brand, to keep in touch with their existing and potential customers. The possibilities are immense.
If you happen to be one of those guys who own a business or you help someone run their business, being on social media is not an option for you. It becomes a mandate.
With these abundant opportunities the social media networks bring in, they also come up with a few challenges of their own to the people who handle these social media accounts.
For promoting your business on social media, you have to be creative all the time, available all the time attending to queries, praises, criticisms about your products. If you want to be in business and want to continue to grow, you also need to be one step ahead of your competitors.
There is this constant pressure to come up with clever content and campaigns to engage with your followers and promote your offerings. You are constantly worrying about which types of posts would get more impressions, what is the best time to post. Anxiety and stress kick in when things don’t go the way you had anticipated.
Taking all of these decisions day in and day out will lead to burnout and in this particular case we can refer to it as the social media burnout. If you think about it Social Media Burnout isn’t much different.
How to Diagnose if You Are Suffering From Social Media Burnout?
Lack of focus and concentration: Since you are always thinking about engagement on social media, you obviously start to alienate yourself from the actual work. You can’t concentrate for more than a few minutes before you pick up that phone to check the notifications.
You are addicted to the notifications: With the ever popping notifications, you feel like you need to look at the feed constantly. There is always this fear of missing out.
The pressure to please everyone: You are constantly worried about less engagement on your content. You are constantly checking the stats to see what went wrong. You want everyone to like your content.
Lost creativity: You feel that you have lost your creativity and have a hard time coming up with new and engaging content.
Spending too much time on social media: There is no time limit to the number of hours you spend on social media. You start engaging with a couple of posts and you never notice how a couple of minutes turned into hours and you in fact forget why did you login to the network in the first place.
Social Media cuts into your Sleep time: Since your followers are present all over the world, you sacrifice your sleep to engage with people who are in a different time zone. This can be one of the major causes of burnout.
You feel more connected with people on social media than people in your real life: Social media connections in fact can lead to more business opportunities and can lead to more meaningful real-life connections. But at times social media networks can become very toxic. You can get easily affected by what people say about you on these networks. So be wary of the negative consequences as well.
Your thinking gets constrained by social media content formats: Social media networks can be a great outlet for the creative bug in you but the continuous process of producing content in one format may hinder your ability to produce content in other formats. For example, tweets are only 280 characters long. When you start to write tweets regularly, your brain starts to think everything in terms of tweets and you get accustomed to the short format. This is a good thing for posting tweets on twitter but now you may find it difficult to write texts of longer formats, for example, a blog post.
How to Avoid Or Cope Up With Social Media Burnout?
Listen to your body: Your body will always let you know when something is not right. Look out for any indication.
Develop a healthy lifestyle: Eat right, sleep right, get enough exercise, go out in the sun every day for at least a few minutes.
Limit your time on social media: Set boundaries on when you have to engage on social media. Be strict with your time and be mindful of your every click. Keep reminding yourself that you have logged onto the account for a specific reason and complete that task first.
Turn off Notifications: Social media feeds can always interrupt the work that you are currently doing. One very effective way to get back your focus and concentration is to turn off all the social media notifications.
Double down when your feeling in the zone: There are days when you feel down and there are days when you feel in the zone. Make the most out of such days when you are in the flow.
Automate: A lot of things you do on social media are quite repetitive. You don’t need to be logged onto your account and do them every day manually on your own. There are plenty of tools on the market specifically designed to make your life easy on social media. Use such tools to automate those repetitive tasks to buy more time for yourself.
Outsource: You don’t need to do all the work by yourself. Think of which parts of your work can be automated or outsourced. If it can’t be automated but if you feel that it is eating away your valuable time that can be spent on doing something more productive, should be outsourced. You can outsource the work on platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, etc..
Take time off and do a digital detox: A combination of scheduling posts in advance, automation and outsourcing can allow you to take your time off. It makes sense to rejuvenate your dopamine levels by doing digital detox from time to time. A simple way to do digital detox is to cut off all electronic devices for an entire day. Try to do this at least once or twice a month. You may increase this frequency depending on the severity of the burnout you are experiencing.
Understand that Social Media burnout is a real thing. If not diagnosed and treated, it can have a severe impact on your personal, social, and professional life. Social Media networks are both a boon and bane. It is in your hand how it impacts your life.
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