Being More Mindful on Social Media
by CHRISTINA PILARSKI
Originally Published in Fernie Fix | November 2018 Issue
Mindfulness is the act of focusing on the present and being completely engaged in what is going on in our surroundings instead of being distracted. In so many ways, social media can be the opposite of mindfulness, the opposite of being present. And while I believe social media is a necessary tool for businesses, I also believe balance is important.
As we focus on the calm before winter this month try taking a step back from social media during your downtime. The time spent unplugging can help you refocus and think about new ideas for content and strategy as we move towards 2019.
Implement some of these practices to help yourself truly unplug when your workday is done:
Add a schedule to your social media bios and about sections. Let your audience know that the account is monitored during business hours only, or that comments and questions will receive a response in 24 hours. List a number in case of customer emergencies. This takes the pressure off responses when you are trying to take a break.
Set goals for yourself when you are social media surfing on your personal time. I will share my own personal rule – I only scroll through social media feeds strategically. What does this mean? I make sure to set goals before I start scrolling. My goals include: follow a new person or company that would be beneficial to business development, engage with posts in areas I am trying to make new connections, learn something new, or maximize reach for my clients by finding new places to share their posts. Setting goals makes your time online purposeful.
Sometimes we can spend too much time trying to get that perfect Instagram story or think of a witty tweet. Constantly trying to create original content can distract from the people and moments that matter most during our personal time. On your next walk with friends or family be more present by leaving your phone at home or tucking it into the bottom of your bag.
Take time to clean up your accounts. Unfollow people and pages that post things that have no relevance to your business or personal interests. Mute individuals who tend to post negative or distracting content.
Don’t bring your phone into your bedroom – keep it charging in another room overnight, so you aren’t tempted to scroll first thing in the morning or while you are trying to sleep at night.
Meeting friends for dinner or drinks? Challenge one another to be in the moment and enjoy your time together. Propose that everyone stack their phones on top of one another in the middle of the table. The first person to check their phone buys the first round!
Social media is important, but balance is too. Stay connected strategically – and do not be afraid to turn off so that you can enjoy all those things that refresh and recharge your business batteries.
Follow us at @CIPRComs – we would love to hear the ways you are maintaining balance. Use the hashtags #PRPower and #FernieSuccess to let us know how you make sure your business social media accounts are taken care of while you are unplugged.