Without a doubt, we are well and truly living in a digital age. There are gadgets at our disposal for almost every task imaginable, and for the most part, it’s truly amazing. One large aspect of the digital age which we are surrounded by, is social media, and for most, the idea of shutting it out would be wholly unrealistic. Social media can be extremely advantageous in the business world, as well as on a personal level, allowing us to reach far-flung corners of the world and make connections at the click of a button.
When working in an online business, this is when it starts to become difficult to juggle between using social media for personal and professional purposes. How do we keep the two separate? Do we keep them separate? When working online, how do we resist the temptation to quickly log onto our private accounts?
Create separate accounts.
Having clearly defined accounts for professional and personal use is vital. If it is a blog you which run, you will want to keep some aspects of your life private and so from a posting point of view, the two should be separate. If you have a certain number of followers for example, you don’t necessarily want them knowing every part of your life.
There are always going to be connections between one and the other, and therefore posting something risqué on one could damage the other so it’s important to think about what you’re doing and who has the potential to see it.
When you work online, it might be a sensible idea to not allow yourself to dip in and out of your personal accounts whilst working. It’s probably still a good idea to treat working online, or indeed, within social media, as if it were any other job. For example, if you were a teacher you wouldn’t dream of logging onto your Facebook account in the middle of a class, and so it is important to remain in that state of thought. You might even want to opt for a ‘day off’. Leave your phone somewhere safe and simply have a day off using it. No checking emails, social media, constantly texting friends, it might be quite liberating! Giving yourself allotted time to access social media could mean you utilise this time better.
Go old school.
Make connections with people how we used to. Physically talk to their face! Tone and sarcasm do not translate that well digitally. Talking to someone in person allows us to reconnect with each other, to read body language and gauge people’s reactions. Make a phone call instead or, I might even be so bold as to suggest putting pen to paper. I relish in the idea of becoming pen-pals with someone, writing a long letter detailing things I’ve been doing recently, I think it’s romantic, nostalgic and a dying art I want to keep alive. My grandma also loves receiving postcards from the kids when we go on trips away.
Putting some restrictions on usage can be very beneficial. Send your goodnight texts and then leave your phone in another room. Spend the hour or thirty minutes before you go to sleep reading a book or talking to your partner. Less screen time before bed has been proven to aid a better night’s sleep. Ban devices from the dinner table so everyone is more present during a meal.
We spend over half our days ‘plugged in’, and it was only five years ago that we were spending twice as much time present in the physical world around us. A worrying thought, or just the inevitable advancing of society? I’ll let you decide that one…