by Doc Nicole Sundene,
Editor in Chief of Kitchen Table Medicine
La la la la la la …isn’t social media fun? First you make a few accounts meet some great people, find some fabulous blogs to read and receive unsolicited kind feedback and support from virtual strangers. Yay! Don’t you feel so positive? You suddenly find yourself Twittering and Facebooking and Stumbling and Digging to your heart’s content.
You subscribe to a bunch of great blogs, start reading and commenting away–and then it happens. Something bad happens; someone says something bad or gossips about you. Maybe a big nasty fight breaks out in a forum or a dispute arises between your two closest friends and you’re asked to take sides. Regardless of the asinine behavior it always notoriously happens at that exact moment in time when your eyes are bleary, your brain is fried, and you are already feeling stressed and weary from a dozen other things.
Your world feels like it is crashing down all around you!
Your synapses are misfiring, the rage boils up from deep inside,
and you slam your computer shut and stomp off… BaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!
You my friend have just had a TOTAL SOCIAL MEDIA MELTDOWN.
Since an “Ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” according to my favorite Chinese proverb, let’s take a little look at the Top Ten Causes of Social Media Meltdown:
1. IM Invasion: Now IM is one of the most ingenious conveniences of our time and it is also the most annoying dang thing ever invented. “What are you doing?” “Hi” “How are you today?” “Can you vote for this?” Good gravy! How can one possibly concentrate on writing a blog with other people popping up in your face 900 times an hour? Personally out of all the socialnetworking options out there this one can be the most repeatedly invasive and most bloggers in need of accomplishing daily internet tasks will need to set strict boundaries for IM.
2. Over-stumbling: Seriously I have tried to bookmark and reorganize the entire internet through Stumblupon.com and it just isn’t possible. I give up! I love that site, but it just isn’t good to spend more than an hour a day stumbling. I maintain a pretty popular stumble site with just under 300 fans by stumbling about an hour or so a day. Sometimes less than 15 minutes.
You know I have actually had random strangers contact me and tell me that the one thumbs up of their page I gave a month back is the most significant source of their website traffic! Wow. Stumble is certainly a powerful tool but can be just as much of a blogging burden as Digg. You know you have been stumbling too much when your eyes are blurry, your brain is throbbing from overstimulation, and you want to go send a nasty message to some imbecile that gave your article a thumbs down without even reading it, simply because they don’t believe in natural medicine. Trust me it is really best not to just shout at a random stranger, “THEN DON’T TAKE ASPIRIN AS IT COMES FROM WILLOW BARK AND GOD FORBID YOU END UP WITH CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE AND NEED TO TAKE DIGOXIN WHICH IS SYNTHESIZED FROM THE CARDIOGLYCOSIDES IN FOXGLOVE!” Trust me on this one. Recognize the meltdown and just walk away.
3. Twittering Your Life Away: Isn’t Twitter fun? All your friends chirping about the latest and greatest in one ever growing collective band of random thoughts on steroids. But then hours have gone by and you have talked about nothing and then the day’s a wasted.
I have also seen some bloggers undergo brutal attacks on Twitter. Twitter can be fun, and Twitter can get ugly, don’t Twitter your life away. In part II of this article we will talk about how to use Twitter as an efficient marketing and communication tool without feeling like a Twithead. Sign up for the Twitter Handbook
4. Facebook Freaks Freaking You Out: If you have put yourself OUT THERE-out there, then chances are you are on Facebook under your first and last name for all the blogosphere to find. This is a great way to network, strengthen your brand with a fan page and utilize Blog Networks for free advertising. It is great to find like minded individuals, and further connect with favorite blogging friends. But Facebook is also a dating site and thus a fantastic way to invite hecklers, pessimists and stalkers in to your vortex. I don’t hesitate to delete and block anyone that even slightly gives me a bad vibe on Facebook. Yeah that might be extreme, but as a woman on the internet I would rather be safe than sorry. Strangers don’t have the right to demand your attention on the internet, harass you are badger you to do anything. Just say NO to Facebook Freaks.
5. Digging in a Vacuum: The biggest mistake I see most newbie bloggers make when they get on Digg is to submit their own content, Digg a bunch of stuff on the front pages and then fall to despair when their FANTASTIC article doesn’t even get a second Digg. Same thing happened to me over there at first. You have to be a friend to have a friend on Digg. Focus on becoming part of the community and your articles will naturally become popular. Don’t get frustrated if your fab article doesn’t hit the front page. Don’t believe me? Submit an article from CNN or National Geographic and see that it isn’t getting any Diggs either.
6. Digging Your Blog Away: Please don’t Digg your blog away, this is the saddest thing that can happen to a blogger. Once bloggers figure out Digg the next mistake they make that leads to social media meltdown is spending every second of the day on Digg. Overdigging is the best way to seriously burn out a seasoned blogger. Digg can also be an extremely negative place with a mobster mentality that can smash many bloggers up against the coral-for no other reason than just because there are a lot of angry teenage boys on there.
This is exactly why as a blogger you shouldn’t spend all day on there. Actually less is more, and you can still get fierce Digg traffic without using robot programs or digging for 12 hours a day. If you are spending all day on Digg and haven’t posted a new article in the last three days, chances are you have become Digg Obsessed. This may sound ridiculous to bloggers that are brand new to Digg, but the site is seriously addicting, and I have seen some really great bloggers become so obsessed after hitting the front page of Digg that they literally don’t even have time to update their blog more than twice a month. Sure it’s a rush to be on the front page, but don’t lose site as to why you are blogging in the first place.
7. Forum Attackathon: Have you ever started what you thought might be a friendly or informative discussion to promote an article, and then returned to find people completely attacking you? Yikes! Such negativity can be extremely harsh on your brand or personal reputation, and the scariest part is that it is now recorded on the internet for all of eternity. The problem is that some people really don’t care about you or anyone else around them for that matter. There are some seriously angry and negative people on the internet and it is impossible to navigate around them. While bloggers are typically a friendly, thoughtful, progressive crew, there are those out there that thrive on attacking others.
When this happens just walk away. You can’t reason with negative types and their goal of course is to suck all your energy by proving to everyone else how much more superior they are than you because they have been oppressed their entire life by their own low self esteem issues. Trust me if you just walk out of the thread and don’t look back it is the best thing you can do. We all just watched the Presidential Election polls and it is clear that no matter how you voted, no matter how right you feel you are in your opinion that 50% of the population still typically disagrees with you. When a friendly debate turns ugly and immature it is best for your brand to just walk away. Decent people will see that you were needlessly attacked and the participants will be left looking like the malicious bullies they are. If you feel you must put in your two cents do so and then inform your harassers you will not be returning for more. Be the bigger person and just leave the thread.
8. Letting Gossip Suck you Dry: Unfortunately there are bad people everywhere-especially on the internet. The psychology behind what happens to grown ups when they are allowed to hide behind fake avatars on the internet is truly fascinating. Treat people how you would treat them in person. Remember that gossip and negativity are unfortunate consequence of putting yourself out there. If you don’t have a thick enough skin then you best not be on the internet. People can even attack you for being too nice, too popular, too helpful, or too smart. I have seen some ugly things being said about others and although disheartening, gossip is a great red flag waved above the exact people you should always be out to avoid anyways.
9. Commenting till the Cows Come Home: Good gravy, no one expects you to comment on every single blog in your RSS reader! It simply is not possible. The most efficient system is to comment on the blogs that leave comments for you, as well as your favorite blogs within your niche. If you find yourself with nothing to say on a blog, just move on and leave a comment next time. I certainly don’t expect people to be interested in every health topic I discuss at the kitchen table. Make a point to be a consistent commenter, without feeling obligated to do it every time.
10. Trying to keep up with the Joneses: Uhh…should you really be doing exactly what your fellow blog neighbors are doing? Maybe so and maybe not. Is so and so running a better social media campaign than you? Most likely. Many bloggers have a lifestyle that affords them more time for social media than others. If you have a full time job, a family, or other commitments you are likely not giving your mind much needed down time when constantly obsessed with social media. “For all that is Yin is Yang”– the best way to keep things in a state of balance is to adopt a thorough and consistent social media system. Which is exactly what we will discuss in part two of my social media series, “The Top Ten Tips for Coping with Social Media Meltdown”.
Here are my Social Networking profiles if you would like to add me as a friend on BC, Twitter, or Stumble, if you have any social media questions you can leave them in the comments and I’m sure tt or I can likely help you. Otherwise, I’ll see you next time for the second part of this social media discussion.
Discussion Question: What Caused You to Have a Social Media Meltdown?