Alright. Well apparently EVERYONE is doing it. Therefore, against my better judgement, and against the advice of my parents (“If all your friends jumped off a bridge would you jump too???), I’ve decided to do it.
“It” being a post about the issue of Social Media fatigue. This is a regular post that comes up in the blogosphere within Social Media circles. And I bet that similar posts come up in other industries when anything shiny and new comes along and takes up a lot of their time.
In my little corner of the world, it all started when Gini Dietrich tried to answer the Social Media fatigue question on video, and instead got hung up on shoes. Marijean Jaggers called her out and then had an interesting guest post from an interesting B2B marketing perspective. Gini eventually got around to the question in her next Social Media fatigue video, and then Erica Allison followed up on all of this with her own perspective, that it really isn’t fatigue at all, which I found refreshing.
And as I read and commented on all of these posts, I found a common theme in my responses, so I said to myself, “Self, why not be a lemming and write your own post about Social Media fatigue?”
Well, Self hemmed and hawed for a bit. Should I write about the same thing everyone else is writing about? I mean, it would be like writing another post about Google + or Klout (which I’m sure WILL happen again). Or should I move on and write about something else? Do I really have something to offer to the debate?
In the end, Me, Myself, and I all agreed that the royal “we” should in fact write the blog post in question, because, after all, three heads are better than one, and who am I to go against popular opinion?
My take on the whole Social Media fatigue question really comes down to our view of Social Media in general, and how we approach it. And of course there is the issue of semantics. I think that in all of the aforementioned posts, the writers and commenters might have been talking about quite a few different things.
I stated my feelings in this comment on Gini’s post:
I think we also need to figure out what we mean by social media fatigue. It’s the difference between thinking of the technology and the purpose of the technology. Are we focusing on social MEDIA or SOCIAL media. I think when we think in terms of MEDIA, that’s where the fatigue comes. But if we think in terms of SOCIAL, then we’re not talking about the technology, but connecting with others. Relationships. Do we fatigue of our friends? Perhaps some of us do, and we need that alone time. It’s a matter of perspective.
If you look at Social Media and focus primarily on the word “Media”, then you have a problem. That means you only view SM as a tool, and more specifically, a marketing tool, and yes, you might be experiencing some sort of fatigue. But I blame you, not Social Media. It’s the same perspective that keeps businesses from using Social Media properly. They don’t have the proper Social Media mindset.
If, however, your focus is on the “Social” part of Social Media, you are less likely to experience that fatigue/burnout/overload. For you, it’s about connecting and building and maintaining relationships. It’s not just “one more thing” that we add to our list of things that we “have to do”.
In another comment, I asked this question:
Are we burnt out on Social Media? Or are we burnt out on work? Small business owners have had to work long days of 12-15 or more hours since the dawn of time (or the dawn of small businesses, whenever that was) as a means of a) starting up, b) being successful, and c) beating the competition…or at least keeping up with the competition. I think perhaps we’re merely projecting that on “Social Media” as the offender…in our lives. I say this not as an apologist, but as someone trying to ask the right questions. I think we might be saying these same things about other things in our work lives, if Social Media did not exist. We work, and we work hard, because we need to, or at least believe that we need to.
You see, it’s all a matter of perspective. We need to ask the right questions and ask them in the right way, and make sure that we’re all on the same page when we try to answer these questions in a public space. Far too often we make broad sweeping generalizations and throw the Social Media baby out with the bathwater, in a lot of different ways.
So is it really Social Media fatigue? Or maybe it’s work fatigue? Or perhaps you just need to get away from other people for a little bit. Are you asking the right questions, and then coming up with the right answers? Do you have the proper Social Media mindset?