Social media overload, yay or nay?

I am pondering the topic of social media overload.

I love that everything is becoming social. I am convinced this is the way of the future, as we are naturally social beings. Just the other day, I sat with a friend in a video iChat window, comparing shoes on Piperlime. Social shopping. Felt natural. And yes, the shoes are on their way now.

And I love Facebook. I love to see what my friends are up to. I love that I now have a small window into the lives of relatives that I never see otherwise.

And I love what I do. I love to think about how business, brands, non-profits and other organizations can connect with people using social media tools.

So it’s all good.

But here’s the thing. There is just so must to keep up with. I mean, I could easily fritter my entire life away on Facebook between posts shared by friends and news from all 353 pages I “like.” And then there is Twitter. A treasure trove of links to pursue. And on top of that I have a really scary RSS inbox with all the blogs I meant to stay on top of. And new technologies to check out. And new apps to experiment with on the iPad or the iPhone. And. And. And. OK, must breathe now.

And then I come across posts like this one about how to follow 15,000 people on Twitter and my head just about explodes.

No one can possibly keep up with it all. OK, some people are better at it then others, and I suspect most of them are employed as social media experts. This has been the number one question I have been asked AFTER speaking engagements. No one seems to ask it publicly, but they approach afterward wondering how to cope. So I am thinking about it. I definitely cope by, well, just not dealing with everything. But what are the filters that I am using to prioritize? A related question, and the one that always comes up from clients (and potential clients), is “how do I find the time to add social media into my job?”

I hope to find the time to write more about this as I process it. But meanwhile, what do you think? Do you feel overwhelmed at times by social media? Or has it simplified your life?


2 responses to “Social media overload, yay or nay?

  1. Carolyn Heia Brown

    I’m still a bit new to social networks and have many friends, local and long-distance, who aren’t on or who don’t log on frequently. Keeping up hasn’t become a problem, yet. I love having reconnected with old friends since I moved from my hometown long ago, and also local friends I don’t see regularly. I have learned about products, services, and information I would never have known of otherwise. I don’t play any of the games, so my best move was to hide these so that my news feed is manageable. I don’t think it’s simplified my life, but it has definitely enriched it.

  2. Like any technology, social media can be overwhelming. Add to that the fact that SM is a new way for people to interact and you really have the potential for stress. I think one key is to stay focused, both as a user and as a business. Carefully define how you will use this new medium to interact with friends and reach customers? Define your schtick, as it were. In a one to many environment, this very important. New to the game? Then just observe how people use it. It will quickly become clear who are good at it, and who is less so. Likewise, you will quickly figure out the best and most fun way for you to “enter the conversation”.