Dealing with digital overwhelm - Kara Lambert

Dealing with digital overwhelm

Last week I wrote about FOMO and how social media changes our brain chemistry to elicit the fear of missing out.

This week I am sharing some tips I have used over time to reduce my feeling of overwhelm. As a social media manager, I need to be across the platforms my clients would use. This can mean a lot of digital information and notifications.

Email
Email was probably my introduction to FOMO. I have used a number of techniques to control it, from: setting email times, categorising emails, using folders to organise emails, turning off notifications for new emails. My favourite has to be for the subscription emails. I tend to use Gmail for the majority of my subscriptions. Subscriptions are collated into a daily digest and delivered as thumbnails in one email. You can check it out at Unroll.me .

Facebook
Ever feel that your Facebook Newsfeed is full of sales pitches rather than friend updates? Don’t forget that you can unlike and unfollow pages, removing them from your feed.
Friends constantly posting updates or stalking your photos? Create friends lists, add them to it and change the settings for the lists.
Speaking of lists, adding pages to lists gives you a way to keep up with their posts but without having to follow them and see them in your Newsfeed.

Periscope
Overwhelmed by notifications of new scopes or invitations to watch other peoples’ scopes?
When I first started on Periscope I followed everyone. It’s even recommended that you follow those on the Recommendations list from your Twitter. As numbers on the platform grew & I began to network wider, the numbers in my list grew and so did my notifications. It got to the point that it would take 5 minutes for me to go through my notifications from overnight. There were those I followed and their scopes and their suggestions to join a scope they shared. Let’s say there were a lot of notifications. So what did I do?
The first thing I did was block the person sending the most notifications, it’s ok you can now mute Notifications and it has the same effect – you aren’t notified when they scope or when they share. This means that you need to actively go into their profile to watch their replays. The next thing I did was to unfollow A LOT of people. Let’s face it, while it’s nice to be supportive, unless I am going on to their scopes and giving that immediate feedback – it’s not supporting.
I have also silenced all notifications, that way I only see a little periscope icon on my phone. I can then choose when I go in to watch them, rather than running like Pavlov’s dog to see what is happening.
Generally
I now have my phone permanently on vibrate. My screen lights up when a phone call is coming in & my phone is open next to me as I work. I no longer have the constant ping of notifications, which removes the distraction of FOMO and allows me to concentrate on the tasks at hand.

All of my actions are intentional. I do this to honour my time – my time for my clients, my family, and myself. I do this to respect my sanity and the influences on my brain chemistry. I do this to remove anxiety, thereby leaving me calmer to achieve my goals. I’m unashamed in this because my time is precious and I want to make sure that every action gets me closer to my goals.

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