Social Media Moms

Guest Post by Social Media Dad, Brian Wallace from NowSourcing

8 Comments 10 September 2008

Brian Wallace - NowSourcing Today’s guest post comes from Brian Wallace, founder of social media consulting group NowSourcing and the social media rockstar blog, Collective-Thoughts.

Social Media Time Vs. Family Time

Social media sites, for those that already consume them, take up a great deal of our day. I don’t mean this in any negative light: it’s just a matter of fact.

So, once you really become a strong member of a community, it’s your duty to keep up that commitment. Then, the next new new thing comes along. Take Plurk for instance - you can actually lose karma by not participating! Microblogging brings the social media time management conundrum to a whole other leve, as it is something that you feel compelled to keep pace with not just from day to day but minute to minute! Whether social media is your work, play, or both, they really can take up a huge amount of work, family, and sleep time. This raises a powerful question…

Where does family time fit in?

Thankfully, I have a large family. It’s important to keep balance in your life, or you can really burn out quickly. I’ve seen far too many driven people that have driven straight up the wrong tree.

Here are 5 tips to help you come back to earth:

1. Be a ninja, social media style.

Tools like will allow you to quickly make your mark and let you say what you have to say, when you need more time for your kid’s baseball game than to sit there watching the Twitter public timeline.

2. Get your family involved.

Kids can wear Mixx hats, can’t they?

And no, that doesn’t mean that you need to make them wear social news site hats 😉 It means that since you’re at the cutting room floor of world news all day long, you can relate some amazing, breaking, shocking, or just plain odd news that happened to your family at dinnertime. Just don’t overdo it.

3. Avoid burnout at all costs.

Social media burnout ain’t pretty. I’ve seen some take a break and recover, while still others just never come back. And not coming back is just such a shame, considering the time and effort that some people put into the game. Exercise, take walks, sit by a river, knit a sweater, hug your kids - remember what is important in life. We aren’t here to live to work; we should be working to live! I’m a social media dad, and my family is counting on me. Burnout is not an option.

4. Let go of some control, get time back.

So let’s say you are a blogger. Guess what? Lots of people are as well! If you are a solo blogger and you are always feeling the pressure to produce, this may burn you out just like any other social network. Learn to relinquish some of the “perfection” in your own blogging and allow some guest bloggers in. It’s a real win-win: the guest blogger gets a new audience to get their name out, and your family gets you back! Once you have this abundance mentality, you’ll be in much better shape for the future.

5. Learn time management.

If you don’t have some concept of what time management is and you work in social media, you’re toast. Maybe not today, but soon. I’m not suggesting that you need to ascribe to the Getting Things Done (GTD) mentality, just that you should be careful in your time commitments, especially social media ones. Social media has a habit of growing on you and taking up more time than you expect. So, it may be worth just setting aside specific times of the day for social media and staying off it, dare I say :) for other times. The late Randy Pausch gave a great talk about time management and has some tips here.

Brian Wallace is a social media consultant - get it touch with him on his blog, or follow him on Twitter and Plurk.

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Your Comments

8 Comments so far

  1. Glen Allsopp says:

    Thanks for the link, great guest post Brian :)

  2. steaprok says:

    I can totally relate, having 2 girls and working from home it is a dilemma I am faced with everyday. And one that causes conflict within me on a regular basis. I appreciate your post and insights on this Brian.

  3. Social media for news is great. News is updated quicker than tv and radio, but for socializing I’d rather do it in Real Life vs. in cyberspace.

    Work, family and real-life friends make it almost impossible to spend time on social networks.

  4. Social media marketing, done correctly, is extremely time consuming. I have a time schedule, I work normal office hours from 8 am until 4 pm Monday to Friday.

  5. Jeff Flowers says:

    Awesome post. My biggest problem is juggling my work on social media sites, with my real-world job…not to mention my personal life.

    With my disabled mom and my girlfriend, I have two beautiful ladies that I want to spend my time with… but, I often find myself going home and getting right back to work. Most of the time, I have to put off my social media work until I get home, just because I have so many responsibilities with my real-world job. Time management really is an essential trait, if you want to be succussful.

  6. @Glen Allsopp - you bet, Glen…I really like the new blog :)

    @steaprok - I’ve got more kids than that, and can definitely appreciate your position!

    @Jaison Williams - “Work, family and real-life friends make it almost impossible to spend time on social networks.”
    Well, sort of. We just have to be more careful with our time when we have many other commitments and not let social media overwhelm the rest of our lives.

    @Tom At The Home Business Archive - you bet it is. It is an entirely new field of marketing and requires its due attention!

    @Jeff Flowers - I applaud your efforts. That’s not an easy situation, and shows that you have good character and time management traits. Keep up the good work, social and otherwise!

  7. Twittonary says:

    Fantastic post! I know I most definately struggle with time management issues and family life as well. I have one little kiddo and the time we spend together is so precious. Working from home part-time definately has its challenges with him around as well, the guilt often times is enough to make me second guess things at times. Thanks again for the tips.


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