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Social Media is Supposed to be Fun

Social Media is Supposed to be Fun

Once again, I’ve been feeling burned out from this blog for a while. Part of it is because I’ve been working on a large number of projects, and my commitments here take up a lot of my time. Other times, it’s just hard to keep up the anger and the frustrations when no real solutions are being proposed to fix Facebook’s privacy issues and to have people stop tweeting about how gross their coworkers are in the bathroom.

I’ve forgotten how to have fun with social media and how to make fun of social media.  When you are buried in articles and people who are obsessed with social media marketing, you forget about how average people use social media to communicate, to inform and complain. It’s not hard to disconnect from humanity when you spend an hour on Tweetdeck looking into the matrix of social media.

So, I’m going to spend more time writing articles that make me laugh and snicker. If you don’t like it, go read some other blog. There are more than enough “experts” for you to follow mindlessly.

Social media is fun. It’s not about connecting to people just so you can sell the latest piece of crap. It’s not about analyzing every minute change and how it will change everything. Get off your computer, enjoy life, and when you get on your computer, enjoy social media.

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Social Media Needs You. Do You Need It?

Social Media wouldn’t exist in the format we imagine it today if it weren’t for the millions of users constantly uploading and updating statuses and other media. According to a study, content creation has recently plateaued.  For as many users as we add, we’re still writing the same amount of tweets about how much we love coffee and bacon.

Does that mean we’re burned out, or have we just run out of creative individuals to update Facebook pages?  If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it before.  It’s easy to burnout on social media.  We can only create so much content.  There are very few of us who can churn out witty tweets and updates every day.  We all have better things to do like watch Hoarders so we feel like our house is much cleaner than it is.

Social Media is like Jareth, David Bowie’s character from the movie Labyrinth.  It wants to rule you.  It wants your thoughts, your ideas, your emotions and your dreams.  But you don’t have to share them all.  It has no power over you, and it’s not nearly as good looking as David Bowie in tights.

Do you have the power, or does social media have the power over you?

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Content Creation Burnout

How much do you blog a week?   How many times do you tweet or update Facebook in a day?

On an average week, I author 5 posts for this blog, as well as 10-30 tweets, and one or two Facebook status updates. This is just the stuff I do for fun, it doesn’t include anything I might create for work or the organizations I volunteer with.

Keeping up a schedule like that makes it easy for anyone to burn out.  We’re not meant to be content creating machines.  Masterpieces take time, they don’t just spring into your head when you are furiously typing out tomorrow’s blog post at midnight. 

Your creative ability sucks when you have no passion. I don’t care if you’re telling a funny story or writing a how to post.  It’s going to suck if your batteries are drained and you’d rather be doing anything other than creating.

We all have families, friends, and jobs that draw our attention.  Few of us are lucky enough to be paid to blog or create online in any sort of capacity, let alone to make a living off of it.  The only thing holding us to our blogs and social media is ourselves.

It’s ok to take some time away from it all.  Do what you need to do.  Don’t apologize when you come back.  Just get back to being amazing.  Your audience doesn’t want apologies, they just want amazing stuff.  The quality of your content will prove that your break was worth it.

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Tardy Tuesday: Tale of a Lazy Blogger

A while back, I said I would cut back to blogging four days a week, and then I failed miserably.  I posted more in any one month than I have before.  If content is king, I’m going to be the over-sharing, over-achieving, insane writer keeping things going on this blog, and because of that you all will love me and I’ll be internet famous for twenty minutes and my life will finally be complete.

I could say I suffer for my art, but really, it’s just a blog with funny words and the occasional awkward screenshot from Mashable.  If anything, art suffers because of me.

There are days when I don’t have anything bad or good to say about social media.  Either I’m too tired, too bored, or so frustrated with the same ideas that it seems like it’s not worth blogging. If I do churn out some content, it tends to be rambled, incoherent, and inconsistent at best.

So, when those days come, I try to enjoy life as much as I can.  There’s only so much I can try to influence people before I want to say “Screw you guys, I’m going to eat ice cream.”  Because really, sometimes it’s much more fun to stay away from the computer, read a book, and eat some good ice cream.

I’m amazed you all don’t call me out on horrible content more often.  I encourage you to.  You’re smart, intelligent people who can read and write intelligibly, and your silence is acceptance of horrible content.  Stop being silent.  When content is sloppy, lazy, and complacent, stop reading, and let the writer know why you aren’t reading them anymore.

It seems mean, but some people have no business writing online every day.  It’s time we let them know.

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Social Media Burnout.

It’s funny how I started the week feeling burned out about blogging and social media.  However, the awkward tweets, the mindless check-ins, the technical nightmare of running a blog really resonated with a lot of readers this week, meaning one thing:

You all are really burned out as well.

The more I think about it though, it doesn’t come as a surprise.  How many tweets can we possibly read in a day?  What do you do with those 200 some articles that come into your RSS reader daily?  How many times will you pull out your phone to check in every time you step into a different building?

We lose a little something every time we spend another minute than necessary in front of our computer screens.  Those 5 minutes checking Twitter 4 times a day add up to 20 minutes, and in three days that’s an hour.  In a couple of months, you will have lost a day of your life to Twitter alone.  Add the time you are waiting to check in on Foursquare, and the time you spend on Facebook and you’re draining years of your life away.

The constant stream of tweets and updates from around the globe create a never ending race to engage and be heard.  Keeping up with it all while trying to do meaningful work and make real connections is insane.  You can’t do it.  The more you try to, the more you struggle and lose that spark of inspiration to create.  It hit me hard this week, and I know it will hit me again.

I’m lucky to have this platform where even as I burn out, I find inspiration and support in my downward spiral.  Many people don’t have those friends and contacts.  They leave these platforms forever.

Burnout will come.  Don’t let it ruin your social media.

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Foursquare Burnout

I found out today I lost one of Foursquare Mayorships.  While my heart was saddened for the slightest of moments, I instead realized how little I am using Foursquare.

There’s a lot of potential in Foursquare.  But that’s all it is for me right now, potential.  Sure, it’s nice to know where my friends are and if they are nearby, but the area I live in is spread out far and wide.  It’s not as much fun as finding out people are several miles away, rather than several blocks.

Another reason I’m burned out is the Foursquare app itself.  I use the iPhone app on an iPhone 3G.  Maybe it’s faster on the 3Gs, but the load time is a bit tedious for me.  I understand there will always be some time delay in coordinating the GPS with satellites high in the sky, but I want to just check in quickly, with as few clicks as possible.  Is that so much to ask?  Maybe there is some mystical app that checks in as fast as possible, but I haven’t found that app.

Regardless of the speed of check-ins, I just don’t frequent most local places enough to get any type of decent deal.  I live in suburban hell, which means on every street corner is a Wendy’s or a McDonald’s, not the type of places that have Foursquare deals.  And really, what would be more embarrassing than being the mayor of a Wendy’s and a Starbucks?

So, I’m bored with it, and I don’t see the point in the long term.  How can I get the mayorship to a place if I’m not wasting my life in the same place daily and some other loser is checking in just a little bit more?  I’ll keep using it when I think it’s useful or fun, but virtual points, badges and mayorships just aren’t worth the hassle.

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