Detoxes are strange. Well, not the real ones. Not the detoxes that help people kick drug and alcohol addictions, but the trendy ones where people stop eating bacon and burgers, and drink nothing but juice for 30 days. Most people would view a detox as a positive thing, which makes sense. Detoxes are meant to improve your health, after all, and it’s never a bad idea to improve your health. But that’s not what makes those trendy detoxes strange.
What makes a detox strange is the concept of depriving yourself of something bad for a set period of time to temporarily improve your health. People will deprive themselves of sugar, red meat, television, or whatever for a set period of time instead of changing their lifestyle and consuming those things in healthy, moderate amounts. They might “feel great” after their detox and then proceed to flip on the tube or run to a burger joint. It seems counterproductive to take extreme measures to improve your health for a brief period of time, only to fall back into bad habits.
The Oxford dictionary defines a detox as, “a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances; detoxification”. This definition seems fitting for alcoholics and drug addicts who are purging themselves of a substance that is killing them, but it seems a little extreme for those who have trouble turning off a TV, or who want to look better in a bathing suit.
I recently learned about something called a social media detox. This has apparently been a thing for years. People refrain from interacting on social media for a week, a month, or a year. They do it to rid themselves of the toxic plague that is social media, because as we all know, social media is vile and if you allow social media into your home, it will destroy everything that you hold dear.
OK, so social media isn’t toxic or bad. Social media can be a really great and useful tool to help you keep in touch with people or to grow your business, or it can be a huge time drain that causes you to develop creepy habits like obsessively reading every detail about a stranger. That’s not on social media, that’s on the person using social media.
While it’s slightly absurd to call it a “detox”, taking a break from social media isn’t in itself absurd. Some people are better at better at self control than others, and sometimes constant connectivity can get a little overwhelming. If you’re a business, you want this level of connectivity so you can reach a wide audience. However if you feel like you don’t have any privacy any more, or you find yourself constantly checking your Facebook page and tweeting things that nobody but you needs to know, it might be time to take a break.
Let your social media team take care of social media for your business, maybe set up weekly reports from your social media tools if you need to keep on top of things personally, and step away from your personal social media briefly.
Not a break to purge yourself of the social media, but a break to help you drop bad habits and develop better ones. But maybe instead of depriving yourself of social media, learn to find the right balance. Don’t binge on social media, only to take a few weeks off, and then resume bingeing. Keep up with the people who are important to you, and pay attention to the things that matter.
At the end of your “detox,” check your stats. Was it bad for your company to delegate the company social media and to take a break in your personal contribution? Were you more productive? Use this information to determine how to be your best in social media for your company. And consider whether you should, in order to do your best for yourself and your company, give yourself regular breaks from social media. Weekends, maybe. Delegating and taking some days off can keep your contributions fresh.
Then social media won’t be a source of toxins for you or for your company. It’ll be a source of nourishment for your customers and community, a source of leads and sales for your company, and benign for you.
Are you the only person in your company who can do the social media? Then you should have a social media team. Read more about Haden Interactive’s social media services.