Nov 05 14 Tips for Preserving Your Mental Health While Working in Social Media
Social media was born in the late 1990s and has since grown into one of the most highly used forms of communication in our world. Recent data tells us that over 50% of the global population and 79% of the U.S. population use social media, and regular usage has spiked this year in large due to the global pandemic.
Now, people are using social media to educate themselves about what’s happening in the news, find information about local establishments, keep themselves connected to friends and family, and more. The need for brands to have an active and engaging social media presence is essential now more than ever.
That said, for those of us who work in the world of social media marketing, finding a work-life balance can be difficult these days. Spending the entire day inundated in social media only to “sign off” of work and then “sign on” to your personal accounts can be overwhelming and exhausting.
Our team at Ignite Social Media shares tips that allow them to enjoy social media personally and be successful as a social media marketer. If you’re also working in the industry, save yourself from burnout and see what these experts have to say.
Sara, Community Manager
I limit my time or take full breaks from my personal social accounts. I know I need to take breaks from my social accounts when I’m not able to let things go easily (after seeing stuff on my personal social feed) or if it’s still impacting my mood in a negative way after logging out. It can be exhausting working in social media all day and sometimes taking that space from it can be helpful, so you’re not letting your negative experience from your personal accounts carry over to the accounts you work.
Some things I do to enjoy social media is being selective with who I follow, connect, or engage with. Your personal accounts are for YOU – what lights your fire? What inspires you? What makes you happy? Look for those things and follow them so you see more of what makes you happy or calm. When you love something you see ask yourself – how can I try to recreate this feeling for brands I work on so their audience can feel this too?
Right now, the world is shook for so many reasons, and rightfully so. Take advantage of snoozing or unfollowing accounts or people that are making you have a negative experience in any way on social. Be selfish with your personal social accounts – they’re yours so customize them as needed to keep your mind and social sessions happy and inspirational.
Lastly, screen addiction is happening – don’t be afraid to unplug and step outside, read a book, color, go for a walk, look at the clouds, find a new hobby or project that doesn’t involve a screen, or whatever else to give your eyes and mind a well-deserved break. All of this has allowed me to keep the balance between my personal and work social accounts.
Meghan, Director, Community Management
I follow @SippinSocialTea on Instagram, which is where Social Media Managers share anonymous rants about their job. It helps you feel like you aren’t alone and it’s fun to commiserate.
Kathleen, Manager, Content Production
I also follow @SippinSocialTea! That and a group of other social media professionals on Twitter help me feel sane. It’s tough to try to unwind on social when you work in social! It’s also hard to unplug when you want to stay informed. When all else fails, pour yourself a drink and get lost on TikTok.
Susan, Senior Productions Manager
I keep my personal Instagram highly curated like the glossy magazines I read, so it is all cooking, books, and interior design content…for the most part. I see very little sponsored content. I will say this year has really tested this.
Erin, Senior Vice President, Carusele
Purge often. It’s not uncommon for me to follow new brands and influencers every day in researching for client work but that results in a feed that is often filled with picture-perfect everything, which we know isn’t good for one’s mental health. By clearing out those follows regularly, I can get my feed back to some semblance of reality.
I also remove social apps from my phone from time to time. I’m on them so much during the day anyway, if a friend has something life-changing going on, I’m going to see it. I don’t need to have my nose in the phone outside of work hours to catch up with people.
Jim, Founder & CEO of Ignite Social Media and Founder & President of Carusele
Follow meme accounts on Instagram. My feed on Facebook tends to be much more contentious but scrolling through my Instagram can give me a nice comedic break. That, and putting the phone away entirely. I have to admit though, I struggle with that last part.
Vanessa, Director, Integrated Strategy & Promotions
I also try to keep who I follow, especially on Instagram, very curated. During down time, I try to make more of a conscious effort to not pick up my phone to fill that time.
Brandi, Director, Account Management
I have started watching a lot of documentaries versus scripted shows which gives me the real human stories/connection that I want.
Lisa, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Business Development
What you follow and the information you consume in social matters. Pay attention to how you feel after you scroll and be selective.
Eric, Content Producer
- Taking advantage of the Screen Time built into the phone OS. I have my Instagram app limited to 30 minutes a day.
- My wife has my Facebook password, so any time I want to log in, I have to ask her.
- Strangely, having a smartwatch has let me leave my phone behind more often. This helps me know I can have access to calls/texts without the temptation of social media rabbit holes.
Aly, Community Manager
One reason I love social is because it can equally be a positive force as it can be negative but it’s up to us (not just social media marketers, but every user) to consume responsibly. As people who work in social though, we have an upper hand of knowledge and can model what that means for our family, friends, community, etc. One mantra I like to follow is “divert daily, withdraw weekly”. What that looks like for me is at least once a day I try to do something disconnected from my phone for an hour–whether it is a workout, read a book, cook dinner, play with my nieces, etc. and for withdraw weekly I try and turn off notifications across all apps for one day a week (usually a day on the weekend).
Misi, Senior Vice President, Analytics & Media
I vacuum and listen to podcasts. Cleaning makes me feel like I have control over something, in this case, dirt, because in this business, we don’t really have too much of that. Social is very unpredictable. It’s really good thinking time too; sometimes it’s when I get some of my best ideas and best solutions. I usually fall asleep to a podcast. It’s like an adult version of storytime. It gives my eyes a break from reading and the computer and gets my mind off the stress from the day.
Jesse, Community Manager
Keep in mind that social is everyone’s attempt to portray their life as how they want it to be, not necessarily how it always is. Social makes it easy to feel like you’re not doing things as well as everyone else with these literally picture-perfect lives. Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel. And definitely don’t be afraid to unplug from social. As wrapped up as we get in social on the daily, it can be uncomfortable to reject the impulse to check your feeds, but there is never, ever something life-changing that you will miss out on while you take a breather.
Jenn, Enterprise Marketing Manager
The number 1 feature I dislike about social media is the amount of criticism you can receive from your followers. Because of this, I keep [most] of my opinions to myself. It may seem silly, but I truly believe “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Why participate in the negativity or invite negativity into your life if you don’t have to?
Instead, I get lost consuming fun and entertaining content. IG Stories gives me a way to privately react and communicate with people about items they post, and in a timely manner. Plus, TikTok is an endless cycle of entertainment.
There’s of course one other way to save yourself from burnout – hire an agency to run your social media marketing for you. Contact our team today to learn more about our solutions and how we can help enhance your social media strategy.