Monday, May 30, 2016

Why I Decided to Quit Social Media & You Should Too!

Yep you read that right.

The Queen of social media is telling you she's QUITTING social media. 

NOT permanently (thought you were going to get out of it, didn’t you!), but I'm suggesting you take a break periodically, and re-examine your plan.

I used to keep up with social every single day, whether I was home or traveling. But I’ve learned that I can’t sustain a reasonable social media schedule seven days a week, indefinitely. So I’ve given myself permission to have weekends off and to relax when I’m traveling.
I know it sounds scary, but the truth is—it hasn’t hurt my platform at all—as a matter of fact it has helped it. Here’s two reasons why:
  • My updates are fresher.
  • I have time to expose myself to new blogs and new people.
So how do you know if it’s time to back off on social media?
  • You’re spending more than thirty minutes a day on social media updates.
  • You find yourself investing more energy in your blog than in your writing.
  • You’re updating about the same five or six sites four to five times a week.
  • You cringe when you hear the words social media.
  • You don’t have time to discover new blogs/followers/friends.
Here’s what to do.

Give yourself to quit for 48 hours.
1. STOP. Give yourself permission to quit social media completely for forty-eight hours. Don’t announce it on Facebook, Twitter or even your blog. Just STOP.

2. Rediscover what you enjoy about social media. AFTER the forty-eight hours of rest, spend a day or two just browsing. Take time to really read a couple of blog posts, visit with friends on Facebook, or hang out on Twitter.

3. Determine what you need to accomplish with social media. Then make a plan so you can accomplish it in no more than thirty minutes a day, no more than five days a week.

Restart your social media.
4. Restart your social media. Do it by sharing what you’ve learned. You can update about quitting social media, new blogs you’ve discovered, even new connections you’ve made.

I recommend a minimum of four Facebook posts per working day and four Twitter updates. This is something anyone can accomplish during a quick thirty minute window.

Quick Tip: If you schedule your social media for the day in the morning, get a jump on the next morning by scheduling some of the next day’s updates in the late afternoon. A lot of blogs go live in the afternoon, so you’ll have a chance to que up some fresh material before you stop work for the day.

Now it’s your turn, what do you do when social media overwhelms you?

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


  1. Edie, Thank you for this. I spend a tenth of the time I used to on Facebook. I scroll through the notifications, then check the column of pages and groups to see if there are any new posts. I rarely scroll through my entire page everyday. I always check for birthdays and wish everyone a great day. This keeps me informed of the latest happenings and news, while reducing my time on Social Media. I take 5-10 minutes 3x per day. I will take your advice and get a jump on the next day by scheduling the previous afternoon. Thanks again for all you do. (For those not familiar with Facebook, the notifications icon looks like the world located at the top of the page, to the right of your name. It may have a number over it in red. The column of pages and groups is at the left boarder of the page.)

  2. Thanks for this much-needed reminder about establishing and then maintaining the proper priorities. I was seldom on social media until after my book came out (Confederate Cabinet Departments and Secretaries, McFarland, 2016), then I started reading about how I had to have a presence on it to build and expand my platform. I read that everything I wrote on social media, however, had to represent my best writing, which takes time. I soon found myself spending more time doing social media and ensuring that it was my best writing that I had little time to do my best writing for paying markets. I had gotten the cart before the horse! I now spend less time on the social media, although trying always to write my best while realizing that my real writing is not social media writing. It's like polishing the fine silver inside the house while letting the yard grow knee high! Back to the reality of what writing is most important.

  3. I love social media, and since taking your classes at BRMCWC last year and this year, I've learned so much how to better manage it, not only for myself but for my clients. I have in fact taken time away. When I feel overwhelmed I send my clients a text simply notifying them I'm offline for a few days. I do schedule a few intermittent posts for them first so it's not cold-turkey. And you're right, the return is so refreshing.

  4. You said it, Edie! Pinned & shared. :)

    1. Thank you for sharing on G+, Linda! You always find great posts. :)

  5. What Edie said! And nope, I didn't tell a soul, and I really am one of the queens of social media. I just went to one pinned tweet a day...sometimes several days, and one post on Facebook a day. After doing that, I've been able to do more of this: reading great blog posts and writing more.

    Thank you for the reminder, as I just slipped up and read something I shouldn't have about one of my books. Oh, well...always room for improvement.

    Thank you!

  6. Good for you, Edie. This is definitely a better plan for life and living happily. Hugs, Elva Cobb Martin,

  7. Excellent advice. Instinctively when we began to blog and join the social media the novelty of the experience drew us in, but soon we became addicted to the rush of every "like" and we oohed over every comment - whether favorable or not. But then the din of our growing audience of friends and family began to overwhelm us. Bigger is better, right? Well as our audience and reach grew so did the clamor around us and to compete and keep up we invested more time and posted more and read more posts until we found it necessary to put our social media apps on our smart phones so we would remain 24/7 connected... Social media ADD results and we lose focus on what is most important...We trade time from our work, our creative writing, our real conversation times with family and friends. We find we are a junkie, hooked on our selfish need for artificial attention social media offers. Whats worse now for writers? We are urged to build our social media platforms - build our audience to be successful, but when all your author connections are promoting their books, who's buying whose books? Using the web sites judicially and prudently can be a good use, but if we are there for "self" adulation - whether we admit it or not - we actually are only hurting ourselves. Sorry I missed Blue Ridge this year... hope to meet up in the future. Thanks for all your hard work Edie.