Here’s discussing the social networking disadvantages and advantages and how to use it effectively to build your personal brand and business.
Social media is a double-edged sword. The sooner you realise this hard truth, the better it is for you.
Please don’t be so naive to trust people who sing hosannas about social media. Yes, social media has its perks and benefits, such as fame, recognition, relationships, and even money for content creators. But it comes at a cost—your time, energy, health, and critical relationships.
That’s why it doesn’t come as a surprise when I see a few initially enthusiastic friends who embraced social media around the timing of their book launch develop cold feet later to go on a digital detox. Or when I see fellow authors who go on an intended social media break when they want to focus that time writing their next book. Time is money.
On the other spectrum, I have non-writer friends such as Shaili (name changed), who works in the IT industry. She barely has time for social media, and its existence is practically immaterial in her life. She could easily quit and be as prosperous as she is right now. But Shaili chooses to stay on social media, checking on her friends’ updates once in a while, but mainly looking for resourceful groups and connections that will help improve her wellness and quality of life. She swears by her health and fitness social groups. She is a content consumer and not a creator.
But what if you’re a content creator like me? Can you afford to take a break from social media?
I’ve been contemplating going on a social media break for a long time, as long as 2-3 years. It has affected my health, productivity, and even the quality of my key relationships.
There is a dark side to social media with growing evidence of its effects on mental health, safety, and privacy concerns. Recently, Facebook’s internal research found that its social platforms can cause mental health problems in its users, especially those in vulnerable groups. Since then, various other studies have found the correlation between social media use and mental health.
It’s also my work and passion where I need to stay abreast of the rapidly changing digital marketing trends that make it difficult to cut off entirely.
Despite the shady side of digital tech, it has empowered women, in particular, with various lucrative career opportunities. Women can work from anywhere in the world, including their homes, and work with a virtual company, become a freelancer, or start their businesses.
According to Accenture’s report, “Getting To Equal How Digital is Helping Close the Gender Gap at Work”:
“If you are digitally fluent, it can provide a positive effect throughout your entire career lifecycle, and the effect benefits women more than men.”
Social media is among the various digital tools that can help enhance your personal brand and business.
After much contemplation and trial and error, I think I’ve found a sane middle-ground solution that’s worked for me and can help you stay on top of social media.
How To Keep Calm And Ace Social Media
1. Rethink Social Media
There is a common myth about social media: People’s online feeds and persona are fake.
My interpretation and understanding are that it isn’t. If you’re a fake person in real life, you will be the same even on social media.
If you think the real world is filled with people being ‘real,’ you couldn’t be any further from the truth. People have masks, and very few people are who they proclaim they are, be it offline or online.
You cannot be something you’re not in real life or social media for too long. People will see through you sooner or later eventually.
Social media is not this evil platform filled with fake, selfish people. It is simply a reflection of the real world we live in. You will bump into all kinds here, which is why you need to have some boundaries in place for your well-being.
2. List Your Goals For Being On Social Media
I am always surprised when a couple of my friends who rarely or never post on social media ping me to comment on my latest social updates.
“But I thought you never log into your accounts?”
“Of course I do. If everyone creates content, who will consume it?
You need an audience like us to consume your content, right?”
My friend’s response gave me a whole new perspective. She was clear about her intent on being on social media. She was strictly a content consumer on social media to check out the latest trends, updates and shop online.
As a content creator, I understand my goals for being on social media:
“To create valuable content for my target audience and build my community.”
As an author, I cannot sell my books on social media. But I know it’s a great free marketing platform for creative artists and entrepreneurs.
As a marketer, I understand the benefits of social media for a business and have a separate set of goals for why I’m on social media.
A recent example is Lush, a beauty retailer which quit Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat over safety concerns. But what also made Lush rethink their decision was the non-alignment of social media with their goals. Lush, as a brand, propagates honesty, transparency, self-care, slowing down, and shutting off for real connections. Social platforms want you to stay hooked onto them for as long as they can by hook or crook. So, Lush took the radical decision to quit entirely after carefully weighing their business philosophy and the benefits of staying away from social media.
Similarly, it would be best to list your reasons for being on social media. Accordingly, you can choose to quit or continue as frequently or infrequently (Hello, Digital detox!) as you like based on your goals and lifestyle.
3. Choose Your Social Platforms Intentionally
You would have noticed not everyone is a rockstar on all social platforms. While some content creators may be rocking it on Facebook, they’re not that great with Instagram. Those who have a cult following on Instagram may not have that kind of a following on Facebook.
That’s because every social platform is wired differently and for different purposes. If you’re doing what’s you’re doing on Facebook on Instagram, it’s not going to work out for you. If you’re using Twitter like Facebook, it’s not helping you either.
Understand how each social platform works before deciding if it’s the one for you or not. Based on your goals and even personality type, choose the right social media platform/s for you. It’s most likely only then that you’ll have fun on social media, apart from it serving your purpose.
Irrespective of the inherent differences, three things that will take you far across all social platforms are having a solid content strategy, staying consistent, and tracking your social metrics.
4. Monitor Your Time And Usage
Social media is a productivity killer unless you put a thick leash on it. This self-imposed restriction on my time and usage has helped me use social media with caution, purpose, and moderation.
My end goal is not to spend more than an hour on social media daily, preferably at the end of the day. You can use social media automation tools like Hootsuite, Later, or Buffer to bulk schedule your posts in advance and make time every day for content promotion and community engagement.
There are days I don’t publish or engage at all, and that’s my quiet detox. I no longer feel guilty about not replying immediately to comments, DMs, or going incognito on some WhatsApp groups. I will surely reply, but it may take as early as within 24 hours and as late as up to a week.
I don’t have that kind of time, energy, health, and bandwidth for continuous social media usage. Yes, I’ve lost a couple of crucial acquaintances because of it, but I treasure my sanity, well-being, and privacy foremost.
Such monitoring and limited usage of social media might cost you a few connections and even slow down your growth compared to your peers.
But it’s important to understand that life’s not a rat race. And neither are you a rat.
You’re a human being who needs ample rest and love. Everything else can wait and will fall into line eventually.
Do what works best for you without guilt and remorse.
5. Make It Fun And Work
Work becomes drudgery when you’re not having fun. Any kind of work, as mundane as cleaning your closet, becomes a thing of joy when you do it enthusiastically and with a fresh bout of energy.
The keywords are energy and enthusiasm. When you bring those two in anything you do, it transforms into a magical experience.
Another upside is the community and the tribe that you build along the way. I’ve discovered many good, talented, and inspiring people on social media. There’s so much learning from merely observing, interacting, meeting, and even collaborating with them.
Social media has thrown open the doors to diverse career opportunities for me. It happened when I was having fun on it and using it effectively.
I’ve been approached for blogging and social media workshops for children and adults. I’ve been asked to speak on the craft of writing. I’ve been contacted for interviews to inspire and motivate other writers, bloggers, and digital creators. I’ve even had a fruitful long-term work opportunity from a random WhatsApp group conversation with a stranger. All this while I wasn’t actively looking for work.
Make social media work for you, and have fun while doing so.
Social Media: Is It The Beauty Or The Beast?
My final thoughts would be to have an open mind about social media.
Accept and understand it for what it is.
If social media is not for you, that’s perfectly fine too. In fact, I secretly envy anyone who’s not on social media and living a quiet life.
Social media is not as glorious as some of its die-hard supporters claim it to be. I’m sure they’re sacrificing a lesser-known aspect of their life in return for staying on top of social media. If you go overboard, it can be a spell disaster for your health, relationships, and mental health.
On the other hand, social media is not as fake and demonic as is the popular misconception, as it is only an extension of the world we live in.
Social media has some tremendous advantages and opportunities in store for you too.
Learning to strike a delicate balance can be tricky but not impossible with mindfulness and perseverance.
The post is so well written, Tina. I liked the personal touch through the whole article. I always choose social media platforms wisely because I feel overwhelmed after spending time there. My theory for using social media is Connect, Communicate, Contemplate. I wrote a blog post on the same.
Thank you so much, Swarnali! I hope my experiences are relatable. Social media can be triggering and taxing. That’s a nice philosophy and outlook to have. 🙂
Very well written and much need share. I completely resonates with your thoughts . Social media can be overwhelming. But if you know why ate your on social media and what do your expect from it , it make things much simpler. Do not compete with others. Be your own competitor.
Hey Swati! Love your last lines. Do not compete with others but yourself. 🙂 Thanks for the appreciation and sharing your thoughts.
Thank you so much, Swati! Loved your last two lines in particular. 🙂
I loved the way you have covered so much info in this single article. From the good to the bad, the do’s and the donts, you covered everything. Beautifully written.
Thank you so much, Neha! Glad to hear that you found the article resourceful. Keep stopping by! 🙂
This is so on-point. As a digital marketer and content creator, I too have to think through my social media presence, and especially remember what I am essentially there for.
So glad to hear, Sayali! Even more so coming from you since you are a digital marketer and content creator. Keep reading! 🙂
A really good post. You have shared some good tips. Just like money, a person should control social media and not let it control you.
Hi Madhu! Thank you so much for the kind appreciation. Yes, you summed up the article so well. Rather extended it to life at large. I completely agree. 🙂
What a fantastic post, Tina. People are how they are in real life and on social media. That was such a valuable observation. Social media is not all fake, maybe those people are like that in real life- I never ever thought about it.
I like being on social media but when it become too consuming for me as a content creator, I decided I would rather write a blog post than a long post on social media. That worked for me. I stopped worrying about followers and focused on my blog views and it is getting me content/brand work assignments. This is the most I can handle as well and I am happy in my space. What is most important is to stop comparing yourself with others. Like you said it’s not a rat race and if it is you are not a rat. Well said, Tina.
Thank you so much, Aesha! Honestly, I believe the line between the real and social world is quickly dissipating. Everything is good in moderation, including social media. Very few influencers have huge organic followers. Even popular celebrities buy their followers to maintain their image. So, it’s a never-ending game, really. And it’s not sustainable for everyone. Some have the privilege to spend huge amounts of money, and some don’t. Such unrealistic comparisons are unnecessary. Keep reading! 🙂
Loved every word of this article and your take on all the points! Health and relationships come first, everything else can wait.
I’m going to borrow your practice of switching off gadgets 30-60 minutes before sleeping. I agree that it will slow down growth but at least I’ll live (healthily) to see another day.
Also, you write so well and I enjoyed reading your thoughts. 🙂
Satabdi, thank you so much for the wonderful and encouraging comment. Reading or praying/ meditating before sleeping is how I prefer to wind down. 🙂
Wow! Such a curated article and i concur with many of your thoughts. I too secretly envy people who are off social media .hehheh.
Also I have cut down my social time by not posting daily and by not uploading frequently stories.
Hi Jenifer! How I wish life were as the tech-free good old days. Especially as children. Anyways, there are so many upsides to technology. That’s nice to know. I think to each their own. I’ve seen some amazing content creators who post daily posts which are useful and relevant. Keep reading! 🙂
Tina, a wonderfully written post! Social media can be either a lark or a bugbear. The tips you have given are useful. You have a style that is very readable and interesting. Looking forward to more…
Thank you so much, dear Deepti! This appreciation means so much coming from you. So glad to hear so. I look forward to reading your posts soon too. xo
Very well-written post, Tina. You are absolutely right that the trick is to strike a balance and not get overwhelmed. Thanks for sharing these tips.
Thank you so much, Neha and I’m glad you enjoyed reading this article. Striking that balance is so important as social media can be a rabbit hole. 🙂
Tina, you rightly said that we see what we are. If we are real we find real people and real connections. Limiting time is what we also do as staying online active always makes us miss our personal and writing goals.
Thank you, MeenalSonal. Everything done is moderation is good. 🙂
I second your thoughts Tina, it entirely depends on us whether we make it the beauty or beast in our lives.
Absolutely, Roma! We control technology and not the other way around. 🙂
Each channel is a full time work. SO agree on being YOU! This is the most comprehensive post, for every blogger to read.
Oh yes, you said it! That is why I genuinely respect content creators on every social platform because it takes a lot of effort staying consistent. Thank you for the appreciation. 🙂
Wonderfully penned Tina! I completely agree social media seems to be very overwhelming at times, but the onus is completely upon us as to how we create this balance. While many fake it out to be on the limelight, we also have honest, no nonsense accounts/profiles who practice what they preach and create their mark, make a change in the way we live in, etc.
Thank you so much, Amritha! Yes, there are content creators who are creating some amazing content and using social media as a constructive tool for change. 🙂
Very informative post
Thank you, Priyanka! 🙂
Wonderfully penned Tina. Every point pertinent and worth considering.
Thank you, Sonia! 🙂
Omg! You aced this. I loved reading this article. Honestly, I’m in complete alignment with everything you have written. We need to monitor our usage, master social media rather than being a slave to it. Keep up the good work.
Aww, thank you so much! So glad you found this article resourceful. 🙂
So glad that I came across your blog post. Its a very well-written one that is the need of the hour. Especially choosing the platform wisely is so critical.
Thank you so much, dear Mayura! Means so much coming from you. xo
You’ve nailed it in this post. it’s well written and has great tips on social media management. i just love it.
Thank you so much, dear Richa! 🙂
One needs to be clear about their role on social media.
They can be content creators as well as the consumers.
Also keeping a tab on the time we spend online is important
Thank you so much, Swati! You’ve summed up the article so well. 🙂
Thank you so much, Neerja! 🙂
great post, But I find social media more of fake and I have lost many friends because of collaboration. They love to detach friend for brands But that’s also nice you come to know about true friends. social media being active is very important.
Hi Gurjeet! Sad but truth of people in general. It’s unfortunate, but at least you know who your true friends are this way. I agree being active on social media is important.
One of my favourite things about social media is to get the algorithms to work for you. So I engage in only those posts that I want to see more of.
Ah that’s a very interesting point you highlighted there, Suchita. Yes, algorithms are fun and that’s something I’m trying to decipher. 🙂
A good post on how not to get overwhelmed with social media.
Thank you so much, Milan! 🙂
Agreed! We can always make it fun and know our goals to avoid mindless scrolling and use the platforms wisely.
Yes, Leha! I genuinely enjoy social media, and try to have fun. But it can be all-consuming when one isn’t careful. 🙂
That’s a wonderful post Tina. Social media is something that we all should use wisely. Loved each point you have written here. It’s hard to avoid social media if you are a content creator but we can always set boundaries for ourselves.
Thank you so much, Abha! Social media is important and has great benefits. But it has its dark side too. 🙂
Very sane and wise counsel. It’s tough to navigate the world of social media and yet today no one can ignore it without missing something.
Thank you so much, Tomichan! Social media cannot be ignored and one needs to move with the times. But, it’s important to unplug and wind down too. 🙂
For the longest time I have wanted to be off from social media. But as someone who works with social media day in and out, I cannot take that break. But what I try and do is take the weekend off. It is extremely important for me so that I retain some ME time. #MyepicaReads
Yes, Pratibha, we live in such a fast-paced world that slowing down is important. At least one or two days in a week. 🙂
Totally agree with you. Very useful tips. Thanks for sharing this informative post.
Thank you so much for kind comments, Smita! 🙂
Thank you so much, Smita! 🙂
People are loosing ethics to collab with brands and everyone wants to be influencer and if they fail to do that then it is affecting their personal life. Even children are victims of it. Bache paida hote hi nahin hai unko likes aur shares ki race mein laga dete hain.
That is another dark side of social media, Paresh. Yes, it’s getting unnecessarily competitive vying for brands and bringing complications in personal life. I’d rather keep children away from social media exposure. But to each parent, their own. 🙂
“But it’s important to understand that life’s not a rat race. And neither are you a rat.”
This sentence made me chuckle.
This post has come for me at the right time. I have been trying to promote my book on Social Media and believe me when I say that I have been feeling overwhelmed.
Social Media is tricky and requires a balance, it is something we all need to understand and plan accordingly. I too try to limit my time on Social Media, infact have turned off all notifications on my smartphone ( another double edged sword). that helped me in reataining my sanity!
Hi Harshita! I’m happy that you found some solace and clarity in my article. Unplugging for some time is important. 🙂
Wonderful post! We need teens and youngsters to be more aware of social media right now, as they seem to take their social media presence way too seriously.
Thank you so much, Kiranmayi! As parents, we need to be their role models in our judicious use of social media. 🙂
Responsible social media use is crucial. I only use it for my content creation work and that too limited.
True, Amrita! I have noticed you and so many other professional use social media constructively. Being a medical doctor, you are a responsible role model too. 🙂
I guess being authentic with your content on social media is the key, there is no point following trends just for the reach when you cant relate it to your content – it is almost cringe to watch someone too hard without any conviction.
I agree with you about the time and knowing what platforms to use for what part.
Yes, Pooja, I agree about trying too hard on social media. Being authentic is what I suggest too. 🙂
Completely resonate with your thoughts. Much needed share
Thank you so much, Seema! 🙂
Social media can be a boon if we know when to cut off from it. Good points. I’ve done most of these myself.
Absolutely, Varsha! Yes, I’ve noticed how well you use social media. 🙂
Very true. We should be in our right minds ourselves so that we are not totally depressed with social media. We need to learn how to not get influenced completely by the lives portrayed on SM.
Yes, Cindy! You summed it well. Keep reading! 🙂
True. Social media addiction creeps so fast entangles so strong that it’s difficult to free urself. Your post is insightful.
This is a very useful post, Tina. I used to post every day on Instagram FB and Twitter. But since January this year, I rarely post on Insta and FB. Twitter as you mentioned is much better. I find Insta very toxic, I dunno why. I want to start posting again but I am not able to. Can you help me?
One of the best posts on how to use social media without getting carried away by the glamour of it.
You have made some valuable points. I rarely find Social Media overwhelming, even though I use it extensively. I guess it all depends on what we seek on Social Media.
Very nice post…sometimes, I also mute unwanted people on social media 😉 ..that works wonders too!! 🙂
Social media can be very overwhelming. You shared some great tips from your own personal experience.
Love the tips!
This was an absolutely wonderful post. I loved your perspective and especially the part about fakeness.its correct that all if social media is not filled with fake people. You have to filter what you take in and what you dont!
This is such a timely post. As content creators, we need to be active on social media. But it can be equally overwhelming. One should take a break once social media begins to control our lives instead of us controlling it.
This is exactly the time when this should be talked about. This is wonderfully written. Social media can go both ways in your life. You need to understand how to use it.
Thanks, in the times when we are overwhelmingly taken over by social media and the time given to them. Very nice points given helps us to take balance view of the situation.
Everything has its pros and cons however, we need to focus on what we need. A very well explained post.
I absolutely adored this post. I have always tried to look at the bright side of social media. It could be tiring and overwhelming sometimes trying to put out quality content on a regular basis. But as content creators it is work! I’ve tried to find the fun side of it <3
Very well put Tine. We all should understand that social media is not for getting social. Now it is used track users, their personal information, their likings and their way of using it. This details is sold for doing even horrible things. So we should be very clear about the usage of social media.
Exactly! We have to use our time smartly and according to our goals.
Well said, Tina. Social Media is a double-edged sword. It has its own pros and con. All we need to understand is the disciplinary mode to use it in an optimum way.
Such an interesting post, Tina. All points are so beautifully explained.
“You cannot be something you’re not in real life or social media for too long. People will see through you sooner or later eventually.”
Very very true