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How to protect your sanity on Twitter

By the time I finish writing this article roughly 21 million tweets will have been sent.

Some of them will be from bloggers like me, shamelessly promoting their work, others will be witty one liners with Arthur memes attached to them, and others will be abuse, tweeted directly at specific users.

Here’s how you can keep sane, and still be active, on Twitter and other social media platforms.


1. Create boundaries. Not everyone on social media is your friend, no matter how friendly they are online. Have a list of things you’ve decided you will never share on social media e.g. pictures of bae, your location, where you work, your political views etc. and stick to it. This will be different from person to person.

2. Find your tribe. What’s a tribe I hear you cry? As Chakayla J. Taylor puts it: “A tribe is a tight-knit community of folks that respect your vision, and in turn you provide resources for their success.” You can find your tribe on Twitter around common interests, like blogging, fashion or sports. Twitter lists are a really useful way to keep track of new content from people and publications you like reading.

 

 

3. Take a break, have a cookie. Or a cup of tea works just as well. It’s very easy to get sucked into Twitter, and before you know it you’ve spent five hours on the app and forgotten to feed yourself or go to work. Make sure you take regular screen breaks and put that damn phone down (sometimes.)

4. Stop when the fun stops. Think of Twitter as a large glass of wine, as soon as it starts to make you feel sad, it’s time to put it down. You’re not missing out on anything life-changing (probably.)

5. Mute, unfollow, block, whatever. There are some people on Twitter that are only there to work your last nerve. Don’t be afraid to use the mute button (it’s my personal favourite) they won’t know that you’ve muted them, or you can unfollow or block. Trolling, online abuse and bullying is not normal and you don’t have to accept it.

 

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6. Get some perspective. “It’s just an app!” Yep, that’s true, but tears have been shed over it none the less. If you’re feeling down, Twitter is not the best place to share that, instead put the phone down and do something completely different (and preferably outside the house.)

7. Hang out with human beans. Go out to dinner with friends, pile up your phones on the table, all face down, and actually speak to each other. (Then you can go and share all the witty one-liners you came out with on Twitter later.)

8. Don’t compare yourself to others. A following of a million isn’t built in a day, so don’t compare your day one to someone else’s day 1,000. Be yourself, have fun, share useful content, connect with people, and the following will come.

9. Spread positivity. Whether it’s a Jay Versace vine, a Kim Kardashian crying gif or a Mr Krabs meme, have some fun and spread some love.

 

 

If you run social media accounts for a brand or company, read on.

First of all, I’m sorry. When they offered you the shiny social media role they probably didn’t tell you about the trolls, constant FOMO when you don’t have your phone on you and the guesswork involved in writing the perfect social post.

My best advice:

1. Don’t feed the trolls (I need to get T-Shirts of this made, or maybe a cute snapback.) That means you don’t have to reply to everything. If a mistake is made, so often companies reply in a rush to try and fix it quickly, and the correction can make the issue ten times worse. Take your time and ask your supervisors what to do, don’t make a decision alone.

2. Don’t take it personally. People don’t remember that there’s an actual person managing social media accounts for a brand, they’re not angry at you, they’re angry at the brand, they don’t even know who you are (no offence.)

3. Take a step back. After a mistake or something controversial, and once you’ve decided what to do with your supervisor or team members, and implemented it, don’t keep watching the hate pour in on Tweetdeck, you might not be able to leave your desk immediately because you need to be available in case something else kicks off. What you can do is take a deep breath, make a cup of tea, pray and move on to another task, it should be business as usual.

 

Further reading

10 Tips for Handling Twitter Trolls – Sprout Social

Community Building 101: How to Build Your Online Tribe – Chakala J Taylor

 

Want to see something else I created? Take a look at my T-Shirts.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ – Colossians 3:23-24

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