Episode 51 | Reframing Social Media - is it possible?

How much time do you spend on social media?

Like most people we have a love/hate relationship with these on-line spaces. These platforms affect every area of our lives - especially our relationships and our self-image. Many of us have strong opinions about social media and how we use it. Our opinions and views can polarize us. We certainly don't have all the answers for you on this week's episode. We disagree on this topic at points as well. It's a massive topic to discuss in one podcast. We feel it deserves our attention. We look at the positive and negatives and then offer some suggestions for you to reframe this area of your life.

 

Positives:

1. Connection: Social media allows us to keep in touch with a larger network of social connections in our life. Jo-Anne talks about how this has helped her keep connected with friends from different countries and places she has lived.

2. Communities: We are both part of Facebook groups that allow us to foster community with people with shared interests. Sandy's neighbourhood Facebook page is quite active and keeps area residents informed on everything from community events to construction and even missing pets.

3. Learning: When Jo-Anne wanted to try juicing recently she put the question out on social media and had many helpful responses from people who had tried it. Sandy follows influencers on Instagram who are writing and leading the way in the area of ethical fashion.

4. Exploring: Sandy loves to see the beautiful pictures that people are posting. Before her recent trip to Europe she used hashtags on Instagram to see what people were enjoying in the places she planned to visit. 5. Emergency Services: Lives are saved through social media. During natural disasters, terrorist attacks, Amber alerts or other crisis information can be communicated to a large network.

5. Platform: As an entrepreneur social media provides you with a platform. Today anyone can have a voice and build a brand. It is easy to take this for granted but it is amazing and unprecedented in history.

 

Negatives:

1. Time Drain: Hopping on your social media accounts can waste time, distract you from what you really want/need to do and be an easy way to procrastinate.

2. Habit forming: We quote some stats at the beginning of this podcast about how much time we spend on social media. Make no mistake that Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn/Twitter and all the other sites are businesses. They profit by our use of their platform. And they have made it very easy for us to form habits to keep us coming back.

3. FOMO: Social media can fuel our fear of missing out. We see what others are doing and feel like we need more.

4. Comparisons: We can form perceptions that everyone else has a better life based on the curated images that are posted. Remember that we are only seeing what people want us to see.

YouTube! Another platform that we can spend lots of time on! Portlandia has a couple of great takes on social media.We mentioned their technology loop segment in this episode. Watch this one as well - ready to declare social bankruptcy?

Suggestions:

1. Pick your platforms: You don't need to be everywhere. You can't be everywhere. If you are using social media to build your business or following do some research on where your target market is hanging out. Analytics are available for each platform.

2. Be Realistic: Don't let social media form your understanding of other people's lives - remember you are probably just seeing the best parts of their lives. Don't go on social media if you are feeling discouraged with your life! Cultivate real community and relationships outside of the on-line space to support you.

3. Be Selective: You don't need to be friends with everyone. Unfollow anyone that you find toxic or negative. Follow people you really connect with. Reframe your friends list to reflect quality over quantity.

4. Be Intentional: Schedule time when you check your feeds so it doesn't become habitual. Turn off notifications. Delete social media accounts on your phone to limit your use of them. Don't go on social media / email first thing in the morning.

5. Use Automation to manage your accounts: When we send out this newsletter it automatically posts to twitter. Our Instagram account connects to Facebook. Check out Hootsuite, Edgar, and IFTTT for more automation.

6. Reflect on your social media use and become aware of your habits and choices.

7. Read/Research: As social media becomes more and more a part of our lives, researchers and writers are delving into how we are being shaped by the on-line world.

Here are just two books that we've read recently. Please share any you have read with us.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

Solitude: A Singular Life in a Crowded World by Michael Harris

We would love to learn from you! Tell us how you are managing social media in your life. You can connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - yes, we get the irony. We are still on our bi-weekly schedule and testing it out. Our next episode will be posted on August 15th. If you haven't completed the survey yet the link is below. And if you have a friend you would like to share this episode with please forward it to them. We want to expand this community.