“I can't manage the information overload that comes with participating in social media. How can I possibly read all of the tweets, LinkedIn, and Facebook posts from people I am connected with?”
I hear these statements all the time.
Just because the information is flowing doesn't mean we have to read it ALL! When you are experiencing INFORMATION OVERLOAD, it is due to FILTER FAILURE. Trying to read every social post is like trying to watch every television show that is broadcast across the airwaves.
Try applying these 5 TV habits for a little more sanity:
- Subscribe to your favorite channels: When you sign up for cable or satellite service, you typically do not pay for the sports tier if you are not a sports fan and the, so-called, premier movie channels are left for the movie buff. Don't connect with every person that connects with you on social sites. If they only post information about sports, and you are not a sports fan, they are not adding value to your stream. If they only tell you how to save money on weight loss products and you would never buy a fat-pill online, get them out of your channel line up!
- Record your favorite shows with your DVR: Just like being able to record every episode of GLEE or the OFFICE, so you can watch them when you want, you can do the same thing with tools like Sprout Social or Hootsuite (two of my favorite social management tools). You create columns for your favorite topics or people on Twitter and on Facebook you create LISTS for favorites, and you read those specific posts and tweets when you are ready to sit down with that bowl of popcorn and watch back to back episodes.
- Fast forward through commercials: The beauty of today's television tools is the ability to pause, rewind and fast forward…especially through commercials. Let's admit it, even your favorite peeps can get a bit self-promoting at times, and that's okay, just scan through and move on.
- Only scan mindlessly through every channel when you have time to kill. Sure there are those days when you need to just turn your brain off and sit in a vegetative state for an hour, or perhaps you are stuck waiting an extra 40-minutes in the high school parking lot when basketball coaches forget that parents have lives too (Oh sorry, I'm venting…). This is when you can go channel surfing through Twitter and Facebook posts that are not on any of your lists (especially when you are using your mobile device) and look for new favorites. I actually try and do this a couple times a week to find new treasures I may have been overlooking.
- Occasionally turn the television off & go for a WALK! There are times when you need to UNPLUG and let the information flow move on a bit without you. You can catch up later. Step outside and take a deep breath in. Do some social research at the park.
What other tips do you have for managing the massive flow of information? Please share them here…we need more information!