Social Media Obesity

Over consumption of social media will clog your arteries and make you fat.

Fat hippopotamus
Photo credit:

OK, so maybe I exaggerated a bit there, but I wanted to grab your attention. Now that I have you, let me try that again.

Over consumption of social media will weigh you down and may prevent you from getting important things done.

It’s no accident that I’m equating social media with eating. Both are good for us when balanced but can get out of control if we’re not mindful.

I group my *good* social media time into 3 categories:

  • Building my community by getting to know new people and maintaining ties with those I already know
  • Researching and learning about recruitment and management
  • Creating content for others to enjoy

*Bad* social media time is when you’re drawn away from a current task by eye candy headlines like The Truth About Toking With Justin Trudeau or Reporter Goes Topless To Prove A Point About Equality. These are the bright shiny things of the internet that give social media time management a bad rap. Before you know it, 20 minutes have gone by. The articles are interesting, and sometimes fun. But they do nothing to help us get our work done or accomplish our goals. It’s okay to give yourself an occasional snack on this stuff. Just watch how much you take in.

What Does A Healthy Social Media Diet Look Like?

Balance is the key. Decide how much time you have available each day and stick to it. Rather than eliminating all non-productive activities, set time limits or log out of social media sites until you’ve accomplished a set number of tasks.

  • Set goals for yourself before logging in to social accounts. Why are you logging in? Do you want to catch up with friends and family? Meet new people? Or are you researching a professional topic on Twitter? Write down what you want to do and stick to it. Check yourself from time to time to ensure you’re staying on track.
  • If your heart is set on mindless internet wandering as a diversion or a way to relax, set time limits for yourself.
  • Get some exercise every day. We’re all spending too much time sitting in chairs staring at a screen. Go outside or go to the gym. Move around, stretch. Your brain will work better.

Later this week, we’ll look at the four social media food groups. Don’t miss an update — sign up for email notifications.

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