Frustrated because you haven’t blogged in a week or a month? Barely tweeting in Twitter? Haven’t checked out LinkedIn for too long? Missing face time in Facebook? Stop fretting. Social media won’t come crashing down if you get bogged down with work, become ill or take a vacation.
Last week, I barely had any presence in the world of social media. I missed every Twitter chat. I scheduled most of my Twitter replies, with little live interaction. When I needed a thinking break, I read a few blogs without leaving any comments. But I didn’t feel guilty, even though social media is my No. 1 marketing tool.
It took an extreme case for me to learn that panicking about missed social media and blogging time does you no good.
Learning from an Extreme Example: My Thumb Story
I’m a writer. That means I need my hands and all of my digits. Then the unexpected happened: I tore a ligament in my thumb in a tennis match. (The injury details for those wanting it.) I couldn’t type with two hands for several months. Single-handed typing was painfully slow. I tried to speed it up by just using the index finger of my injured hand, but my sick thumb swelled from the movement. I had to stop or type with one hand.
I tried speech-to-text software, but that experiment failed for me. I blogged just a couple of times in four months (as opposed to my usual couple of times per week). At least I could still tweet on a fairly regular basis since I could handle it with one-handed typing. In the meantime, to make matters worse, I couldn’t even read a book.
My injury occurred shortly before the American Thanksgiving holiday and winter break — fortunately, a time when things slow down. But I couldn’t even send holiday cards, something I had been doing for over a decade. By then, my guilt had climbed to enormous levels as I had all this time on my hands and little I could do with it, in either my personal or professional lives.
However, I found that when I could type again and returned to all the activities I had skipped, things fell in place as if I had never left. And following doctor’s orders ensured my thumb healed properly so I could jump back into my routine.
Accept that You’re Human
We’ve all had times when we missed a workout or accidentally skipped a meal. So don’t beat yourself up if you miss out on some social media of blogging time. If Rebecca Blood, one of the earliest bloggers, could stop blogging for seven months and make a comeback, the rest of us can, too. We’re humans, not machines, and sometimes we all need to take a break, whether that’s by choice or not.
It’s OK. The world understands. It’s so busy with information overload that it won’t notice. Not that you’re forgettable, but your connections will be there when you come back. Really. Take care of yourself first.
How do you handle it when you can’t “get things done”?
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