I have spent a lot of time in the social media world. I attended one of the schools to first get Facebook, when it was still hosted on our “.edu”. Quite a life changer for an impressionable 20-something.

Lately, I get near daily emails talking about the “newest changes to [insert social platform here]” or “learn the best way to rock IGTV”.

For pity’s sake people! Am I the only one who sees a “new feature” alert on Instagram almost daily? I hardly know where to focus my attention anymore…whatever is left of it that is.

What fascinates me is how many conversations I have that go “Yep, I’m totally addicted to Instagram, I hate it”. Except, they can’t bring themselves to unplug from the cycle. [me]

Some feel trapped because they need to be on them to do their job as a marketer, ugh! [also me]

Or worse, some people feel married to it to run & grow their businesses. [dammit, also me]

Next time you stumble upon one of these conversations (I know you have them too, the “I hate it but I can’t delete it” one) just substitute the word “heroin” for every mention of the social media platform.

“Yep, I’m totally addicted heroin, I hate it but I just can’t bring myself to delete it. Fomo, you know?”

That version of the statement would probably raise a few more eyebrows.

A lot of energy is expended trying to control social media’s impact on our lives, it’s not just social either. It’s countless distractions from emails, texts, and screens on every surface. My attention span and ability to focus has been notably impacted, and I bet yours has too.

Am I a fuddy-duddy for thinking this stuff isn’t all its cracked up to be anymore?

Something about being a marketer, and seeing behind the curtain of how people operate their public personas, has made me cynical about these behaviors and our obsession with platforms that are designed to use our attention to make money. Don’t even get me started on Instagram bots…

Admittedly, I do see the irony that I am a writer who helps people craft many of those pieces of content & stories. I am all too aware and personally seeking to understand what a healthy balance is for being present and findable vs. being always on and chained to these digital platforms.

The questions remain, how can we best use these tools as tools, and not get caught up in chasing likes, comments, followers and other vanity metrics (and educate our clients on this mindset too)?

How do we make it easy for people to understand us, our work, and our messages without feeling like we have to sprint in 16 directions to keep our presence active on every platform?

I don’t fully know these answers yet and will explore them in the coming weeks with you all.

I would also love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Do you appreciate your relationship with social media? Is it bringing value to your life? Are these platforms a reliable asset to your business, or something you do because it’s just the way things are these days?

I’m dying to know your thoughts, feel free to reply and give me your best social media & digital distraction rants. It would make my day! 🙂

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