Monday, 6 June 2011

Attempting to avoid social media burnout

This pic has no relevance to this post, except that photography is one of my new hobbies. 
Which I have time for now I'm not on Twitter so much.

I'm starting the week with a personal post. About my relationship with Twitter. There has been quite a bit written lately about social media and Twitter in particular and how as a self employed wedding industry pro it can affect you.

I love Annabel and Lucy's posts on the subject and they both got me thinking and made me realise something I hadn't really noticed before.

I 'check' Twitter far too often. Often when I have nothing to say. It's like a compulsion.

And not only that but it makes me feel something I haven't felt since being a geeky teenager, totally left out. There's something about it that sometimes makes you feel as if everybody is going to one big party you haven't received an invitation too. And the desire to 'check' is even more strong on low days. When you've had a bad day, feel threatened by the competition or just generally feel uninspired by yourself.

You know you've got a problem when you're experiencing something -  a nice meal for instance, or you find a good shop and your first thought is, 'ooh, must tweet this'.

So last week I made a decision to only tweet during office hours. From 9 - 5.30 I can tweet my little heart out but the evenings are for my REAL LIFE! No blogging either. Or Facebook. Or any type of social media. I know this sounds dramatic but I want my life back! And I removed the apps from my phone too. How much mindless 'checking' do I do without even noticing it?! I decided to use the time to 'take up hobbies'. Like photography and learning the guitar. How very twee of me, eh?

One of the reasons I became a wedding planner is because I like people. I like engaging with other human beings face to face. There are loads of local people on Twitter that I follow and am interested in. So I made a decision to contact them directly and arrange to meet up for coffee/wine which I've started to do. It's not as easy as tweeting and you can't do it as often but it's much more fun.

Twitter is vital for promoting yourself in the wedding industry. And I ain't no fool. I'm not going to delete my account or do anything drastic. But I am getting some perspective on it all. There's a big wide world out there to explore after all.

I've got to say once again thank you to Annabel and Lucy and all the other posts I've read on this recently. In a small way, you've helped me change my life for the better. And that, I suppose, is proof of the positive power of social media. So it's not all bad ;)

P.S I should point out how amazingly this new plan has been working out. I'm even sleeping better! So newbie wedding planners, watch yourselves, you don't want to get social media burnout like this planner nearly did.


  1. Very good perspective. I agree with everything said above. Social media can make one feel like you always have to be 'connected' and in the know of what everyone else is doing and up to. And in quiet times it may seem like everyone is busy apart from you. So, it's totally necessary to be able to switch off. I used to check my twitter feed almost every half-hour. Now I check it in the mornings and tune in and out a couple of times during the day. And I only load tweets for the last 30 min, not for the whole day. )) Best of luck with getting your life back and having more hours in the day ;-) x

  2. Thanks Dasha, good to know I'm not the only one! I know how useful Twitter can be, but it can definitely make you feel crappy about yourself sometimes too. I guess the lesson is like with many things - everything in moderation!

  3. Well said Josie, I totally agree, in fact I think we may have had this same conversation about it as you know I have a real love/hate relationship with twitter, personally I'd always rather meet someone in person and make a real connection with them x

  4. Hi Josie,
    Kudos to you for spelling out perhaps what I didn't realise I myself was even too nervous to say - that Twitter can leave you feeling like a big fat Billy no Mates. And that, frankly is absurd. I love the positive aspects of Twitter - the way it connects me with thousands of others interested in what I do. But I despise the negative aspects of it - DM's are handy but they encourage private conversations that can cause anxiety of paranoia for others and they breed the opportunity for gossip. I can't bare the practice some folk have of putting out 'crytpic' tweets either that don't name anyone in particular, but are clearly aimed at someone in particular. That's tantamount to bullying and childish playground antics.

    Thank you for your credit, and for adding weight to the notion that you don't need to live your life through Twitter to make best use of it {what does that say about the people that do - their lives, their social skills...?!?} and that the tool can be used as effectively, without the need to get so drawn into the type of tweets that leave others feeling paranoid and sidelined.

    I LOVE Twitter but I got a whole new perspective on it recently too. I still need to step away from the whole online community at times however and balance more time at home and with family - I'm getting there :)

    Much love and Respect! ;)


  5. Ah Josie, i agree 100% with everything you said and, as a fellow planner, feel relieved to know someone out there feels the same. A very good post. Would love to meet up in person too and maybe we can chat guitars as well as planning! All the best with your photography xx

  6. I couldn't agree more - twitter can be so so depressing!
    I also need to stop obsessing with staying in the 'top 100' it seems the busier i get the lower down in the list i get and i don't know why this bothers me so much!

  7. Ladies I salute you! Very well said, my boyfriend told me last week that there's 3 people in our relationship now, me him and the iPhone as I am constantly connected (Uh-Oh). So I too have decided I need to limit the times I spend online, be that social networking or blogging. Yes it is sooo helpful to make contacts but it is only the first step, the real test is making those connections in person so I applaud you for trying to do that, hopefully we might get that meet-up in person oneday soon too :).

    And Annabel - I totally agree with the often nasty and vindictive cryptic tweets that are seen flying around, but it does say more about the people that fire them off, I think its best to stick with who I am and remain well mannered as I would be if meeting people face-to-face. (If a little shy at first!).

    Great post.

    Michelle x

  8. I love this. I went through a really bad twitter-phase when I had first had the babies. I spent all day 'checking' it as it was the only connection I had to the outside world. It got to the point where I was completely addicted and it was occupying my brain entirely. I'm much happier now that I have let go a bit!

  9. Great post Josie. I am liking the idea of coffee moments instead of tweets despite my introvertedness.

  10. Fab post, Josie.

    Tweeting only during office hours sounds like a good plan and you're so right - meeting people face to face is much more rewarding than stunted conversations limited to 140 characters!

    I'm trying to find the balance but it's hard as my husband is a Twitter addict too. We have a Twitter rule - no phones allowed at the table! ;)

    Thanks for writing so honestly,

    Elizabeth x

  11. I have a policy of mainly tweeting happy things or stupid things because I like a little online laugh. It is bizarre how all it takes is a single tweet to make you doubt yourself. I’ve got into the habit of taking the weekend off and being quite frankly lazy; and apart from a few random tweets here and there in the evening the compulsion to be digitally connected has diminished.
    Also something that I bear in mind a lot in my more paranoid moments, and that is we read things as we are, not as they are on a bad day the most innocuous comment can get you feeling all kinds of crazy... cryptic tweets don’t bother me in my mind if you have an issue with me then call me out on it otherwise keep the punkassness to oneself.

    Finally, the only race I am in is with myself, other people earn their stripes and kudos on what they have done (and their own hard work and sacrifice), and to be honest I have just about come to grips with my life – let alone wanting the life of someone else. The thing about twitter it gives you the pristine veneer of being whoever you want the world to think you are. Who is going to admit to the fight that they had with their husband, how they are feeling depressed, or even how maybe their business isn’t as hot as they want the world to believe.

    With all social media all you are getting is the snapshot of life that people want you to see. After all how many pictures have you ever seen on facebook of people crying their eyes out or when they look rank and mank. The digital world can give you the looks of a supermodel , and the life of those who are rich and famous. People are like icebergs, so much more going on below the surface that tweets and status updates will never tell you.
    Well done on taking a digital pause, you have to do what makes you happy at the end of the day.

  12. I'm with you, I love twitter as a vehicle to meet more people
    that perhaps I wouldn't have.

    But sometimes it's easy to forget its not really "real" in those terms. I have stopped tweeting when I have down time on a shoot and I don't check it as much.

    I feel much better for it

    Good Luck you can do it ;0)



  13. You guys are all so awesome. It is very interesting/comforting to hear all your thoughts xx

  14. I can totally understand getting burnt out. Often I think about removing myself from some of the forms of social media. I blog but it's not for work so all of that is on my own time which really leaves me no time for anything else.

    Good luck with your plan and I hope you have a lovely week! xoxo

  15. Leah Golden Apple - with all due respect to the list creator of the 'Top 100 Tweeters' and 'Top 100 Wedding Blogs' - who is he? Who has commissioned him to create the list or is it a device he has crafted himself, ultimately, to draw traffic to his own site?
    Let's be clear, this is a tech savvy individual who has devised the list form home - its nothing more. It holds no weight at all in my books.
    I think he's a very clever man and I will occasionally dip in to view my position, but I don't take any of it seriously - at all.

  16. Sorry - I didn't mean my comment to read that I assume top 100 list man' is working from home - just for himself.

  17. Amma, I find your comment really very touching and so eloquently written. Thank you xXxXxXx

  18. This really hit home. Thank you. And I really love the idea of reaching out and making face-to-face connections. That doesn't happen for me nearly as much as it should anymore.

  19. Its amazing how something which is called 'Social' media make us feel so left out! I couldn't agree more with your post...its like being back at school where you over analyse why someone hasn't said hi, or picked you for their team...i admit i dislike it and only tweet & Facebook when i have posted on my blog or have a photo to share...i wish you all the luck in the world with your hobbies...
    Enjoy! x

  20. im soo glad i have read this, great post im new to the whole blogging/tweeting, think you just saved me :)

  21. I do your plan in reverse and should really NOT check social media/blogging as much after hours. I really like the idea of only doing it during certain times.

    Happy Wednesday!

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  22. Wow! great post and fab comments. So enjoyed reading this. I was feeling all those things. The busier you get the less time you have to tweet. As my business grew i tweeted less and less and felt so guilty but no one died and nothing really happened to me or my business. It is a great place to meet other like minded individuals but that is a fantastic idea to tweet in office hours. That is my plan. Good luck with your business and the new you time! We certainly need it as planners. x

  23. What a fantastic article. I am new to twitter and with also being new to the wedding maket (we were previously doing portraits) and I am having to do much more networking than I ever did before. On top of that - we moved acoss the country to start the business, so we don't even have the help of our old contacts. So twitter has been a great way to find out what is going on in the business and to meet new people.

    HOWEVER.... as I was remarking to my husband the other night... I have never (in my adult life) felt so much like the kid in the back of the room shouting 'hey guys, over here!' whilst the cool kids blank me.

    It is a funny thing, Twitter {and networking in general} that we do this little dance where we have to pretend we don't want someone's attention so we can prove we are worthy of their attention. At the same time - we are using a media {twitter, facebook, etc} which exists purely to toot your own horn. How does anyone ever 'win'?

    That said, I have 'met' some lovely people on twitter. But I would much rather get to know them IRL.

    Sorry I wrote so much - I just think you really struck a chord with


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