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Do You Have Social Media Fatigue?

How much time a day do you spend on social media sites? An hour? Two? Six? If you’re me, and social media is your job… ten? Please don’t make me actually check how many hours it is. I’m begging you.

According to the Nielsen Social Media report, most folks spent the vast majority of their online time on social networks – 22%, far exceeding the 10% of gamers and even the 8% of folks using email.

But if you add in email? WHOA. We spend about 30% of our online time communicating.

Gartner Research in the UK found evidence in a survey that users are experiencing social media fatigue.

“The trend shows some social media fatigue among early adopters, and the fact that 31 percent of Aspirers [younger, more mobile, brand-conscious consumers] indicated that they were getting bored with their social network is a situation that social media providers should monitor, as they will need to innovate and diversify to keep consumer attention,” said Brian Blau, research director at Gartner.

Personally, I know I’ve experienced  boredom with ‘older’ social media sites. I nearly always love a social network at first, but then the mixture of usage changes by the site (Facebook is the worst offender here) and long exposure makes me bored with a site. Of course when a new site comes along (hello, lovely Google+) I get enthusiastic again, at least for a while.

In addition I know I suffer from information overload, particularly when it comes to bad news. I can find myself feel compassion fatigue too, when I’m on social networking sites, where I just can’t find the energy to weep for another tragedy (although I usually do manage it, eventually).

So how do I combat social media fatigue? I know that one of my best weapons against it is BOOKS. Lovely, crappy paperback books that are based on nothing even remotely resembling reality, where I can get swept away in a world of someone else’s imagination. I also close my computer and play with my daughter. But my biggest trick? I take no technology to bed. No laptop, no smartphone, nothing. That stuff is simply not allowed in our bedroom. Makes a difference.

How about you? How do you combat social media fatigue? This New York Times article offers some perspectives. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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