When you first hop onto the social media band wagon, it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of discovering people you didn’t know existed, seeing how easy it’s become to find out about local events and goings on or exploring new topics. But there comes a time in each social media explorer’s life when the excitement wears off. You’ve ridden all the rides in the theme park and you need a new adventure. You don’t want to be rid of all of the friends you’ve made along the way, but your evolution to bigger and better things is inevitable. It’s part of the human experience. The challenge then becomes one of balance. How to embrace the new without alienating the old (unless of course you’d like to just let some of the old fall by the wayside) in such a way that the transition is the least disruptive as possible?
You could pull a Wendy and blog your frustrations on impulse… I wouldn’t recommend it. Or, you can refresh your approaches and your networks. This, I would recommend more. It’s what I did after I blogged my frustrations on impulse… and with much more success.
How can you do the same? Easy!
- Identify what you’re no longer satisfied with. My kind of news isn’t typically what I’d find in a local publication. I had resources coming to me through people I followed on Twitter, RSS feeds in my Google Reader and the likes to bring me the information I was seeking. But over time, some of my interests have changed and some of my sources have changed their content. Where I once had an entire network to spark my imagination, I found it growing stale… which brings me to point number two.
- Whether it’s once a month, once a quarter or even once or twice a year, make the time to find new people to pay attention to, new relationships to forge, new niches to explore. It’s like spring cleaning for your closet.. you don’t keep the clothes you haven’t worn in over 2 years, do you? It’s okay to let some of these go. If you’re worried about hurting anyone’s feelings in your more person-to-person networks like Twitter and Facebook, consider using groups and lists to cull out who you’re paying attention to rather than completely unfollowing or unfriending.
- Find your balance. And I don’t mean between reading blogs, surfing the web, emailing, tweeting or watching Youtube videos. I mean the difference between turning your phone and computer on or off, making an active effort to attend local shows, having a “laptops down” rule at home after 7pm… you know, ways to enjoy the stuff that life was made of before the internet and all things digital took over. I’ve been making an active effort to do more and more of those very things in the last 3-4 months. It’s left me time to relax back into being me, rather than trying to keep up and feel “connected” all the time.
Keeping things interesting for yourself and for those in your life is an ongoing process. What are some suggestions you’ve found to be successful in keeping your networks fun and fresh?