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Social media and relationships

 social media and relationships

When your livelihood depends on your relevancy online and social media, it can be scary to take a break. Will you lose followers? Will brands notice that you’re MIA and not hire you? Will your page views and uniques go down? Will people forget about you? 

Trust me, I know how you feel. Even during the busiest times, I tried to at least put up a post once a week on my blog. I also made sure to post at least one Instagram image and Facebook post a day. Content creation was always on my mind. 

But after my Neutrogena post, I took a break. I needed to. I had a few things that required my absolute undivided attention, including my relationship. I don’t dive into my love life very much online because – in this world of TMI – I cherish my privacy. But if sharing my story will help you or anyone out there from the demise that is digital over-consumption, then it’s well with worth the share. 

Social media and relationships 

My prior job required me to be “on” all-the-time. I was the social director for an influencer marketing and events agency for several years. Building a strong community and working with brands on marketing campaigns required a lot of online activity on my part. If I wasn’t on, I constantly felt the pressure that I would miss a comment or reply that could possibly “make or break” the business. Because, seriously, the moment I did unplug, it seems like that’s when “something” would always happen. I loved my job but it was starting to take its toll on me. 

I’m no longer a social director and have since started my own digital marketing company. Although I don’t need to be “on” in the same capacity, I found that the habit of checking for updates was hard to break. 

Related: Being an extroverted introvert 

Nothing in life is without consequence and turns out that this little habit was slowly impacting the communication in my relationship. Let’s face it, there’s always a reason to be online, right? There’s always someone chatting with you. There’s always comment. There’s a potential client out there. There’s always a news update. The internet will give you plenty of reasons to not be present. In fact, habitually using your phone will spin you off into an attention deficit abyss, which does and will affect your communication in the real world. I was on a mental speed all the time. Go, go, go. Now, now, now. As much as I meditated and tried to slow it down, my brain was going 100 miles a minute consuming quips of content that required no emotional attachment. Do this enough, and it does change your brain. Do this enough, and the people around you will grow increasingly frustrated. Do you blame them?

I didn’t like the way I started to feel. I didn’t like the way it made my fiance feel. So I decided to make changes and set boundaries. But first, I needed to just clear my mind from all of it so that I could come up with a plan that will be both beneficial to my business and relationship. 

I created social media hours during the day and I’m off the grid in the evenings. If a potential client reaches out, I reply in the morning. If a friend needs me right away, they have my home number. This simple move has drastically improved my attention span in a short amount of time. When my fiance is telling me a story, I can actually focus on what he’s saying. Sounds small, but that’s huge when you’ve been in such a fast-paced digital world. 

Related: Healthy habits for a longer life 

Great thing about our brain is that it’s malleable and will respond to our lifestyle choices, physiology, and environment. Also, I find that I’m more productive setting limits on social media because I know only have a short amount of time to make an impact. 

If you’re feeling the social media rat race and consuming way too much Gary Vee (who I respect but find to be very unrealistic for women trying to juggle careers and family), give yourself a much needed break to regroup. Your priorities must always be you and your family. That time is sacred. You can still kill it online and set boundaries. It’s all about being intentional and present in everything you do and making the most out of your work hours. 

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  1. You nailed it with this one. I’ve been on for work and now turn off my (work) phone as soon as 6 p.m. hits. Although my personal phone is still on, I tend to check it less, because I’ve made it so it has less stuff (purposely got the one with the least amount of memory). It’s still challenging at times, but so-so-so worth it.

  2. Bravo to all.of.this! I am in the same spot. This is the side effect of our careers. But like you, I know my family is the most important thing so I am mostly off on nights and weekends…and yes, it does affect my work. The thing is I work so that my family can have experiences together, to better our quality of life and because I love it BUT if my work is interfering with our connections to one another or my ability to be present in this life we are creating, then I have to back away. No one can have it all and do it all well. We have to prioritize and change our expectations. For me, I want the time with my family and the work…but the family is what gives me the love and that’s always the priority. I know its hard but you are doing what is best for you and your family. You will still succeed, the definition of success will just slightly change. Thanks for sharing.

    1. That’s the thing. It’s our bread and butter and the means to a better life for our families. At the same time, time off from it can mean money lost, which in turn impacts your family as well.

      Thank you for contributing to the post with your experience. I know you know this cycle well.

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