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Are You on Social Media Overload?
By: Aprel Phelps Downey
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You arrive at the restaurant where you quickly check-in on Foursquare before joining your dinner guests. Pictures taken during dinner on Instagram go straight to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Once home, you search Pinterest for that delicious recipe everyone was talking about at dinner. Social media involvement doesn’t end with personal connections. An evening spent at a networking event sends you straight to making LinkedIn connections. Meeting a new client has you on Facebook reading customer reviews and learning more about their company.

Social media makes the world go around these days. Like everything else in life, it comes with benefits and drawbacks. It provides a great way to stay in touch with long-distance family and friends. Business deals can be hammered out with a few clicks of the mouse. At some point, however, you have to take a step back and ask yourself if the need to stay in constant contact with online life is really worth it.

Yes, all of this social media interaction will send your Klout score skyrocketing. Yet it might also bring your stress and anxiety levels along for the ride!

Chances are you have no realistic idea just how time consuming all of your social media interaction really is. You would like to think that it may only be a few minutes here or there as the day begins. Engaging on the social media big dogs alone — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest — eats up a large portion of your time during the day. Spending a minimum of a half an hour on each of these five sites adds up to two and a half hours per day. Take into consideration that the connection doesn’t stop upon clicking "log off" from your laptop.

Your smartphone, which goes everywhere with you throughout the day, is most likely set up to "ding" every time a new social media action occurs. The same can be said for your tablet computer and the email account associated with a particular social media profile. Without even realizing it, you may be so connected to your social media networks that you are receiving up to three notifications for one new action. All of this adds up to social media overload!

Social media is a vital part of our world that is unlikely to change in the near future. Start making small steps to manage your connections in a way that still allows you to engage with the physical world around you. Utilize a social media management program such as HootSuite to keep track of your networking circle in one place. Turn off your smartphone and tablet notifications, learning instead to live with one notification via email.

Consider bravely going where few have gone before and completely disconnect from social media for one day. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all your other social media friends will be quietly waiting for your return with no hard feelings!

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About the Author
Aprel Phelps Downey is a writing/marketing professional who holds more than seven years marketing experience, including all aspects of promotional and informational campaigns and website development.  To learn more about Aprel please visit her website at www.aprelphelpsdowney.com or follow her on twitter: @aphelpsdowney.
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