Social Media Fatigue

Not me necessarily, but it’s certainly something a lot of us experience! I came across this interview with Ray Wang from Constellation Research the other day. It gives a view across the social business landscape today and makes some great observations about how social business is changing our work.

One point that struck me in particular was the idea of social media fatigue; the sheer volume of platforms and the challenge of keeping on top of them all as a user can become a chore, if not plain exhausting.

I think another factor at play is that we’re also making a gradual transition from linear forms of communication, like email, to more networked and collaborative forms of communication. In other words, social media. This takes effort and can create tensions and stresses, both for individuals and organisations. It means changing working patterns and communication styles, and rethinking how you manage your network of relationships. I think there are a number of layers to the transition, which I would summarise in three broad areas:

  1. Technical: Coming to grips with new tools, personally and from the point of view of the enterprise-wide implementation requirements.
  2. Behavioural: A networked approach requires a change in the way you communicate, from the content of the messages, tone and style, to the way you organise communication in and around your working day.
  3. Organisational: Of course, you as an individual can’t change in isolation, other people have to change too to make the new communication practices successful. At an organisational level this may require some form of framework to provide guidance for workers. What are the policy and procedure changes necessary? Are there implications for governance? How will the culture of the organisation change and what will be the implications of this for workers and teams? What are the implications and opportunities of greater collaboration?

These are questions that people at all levels in the organisation need to think about and play a role in solving. But by taking a collaborative approach the personal benefits and organisational value will be come much clearer. Maybe then fatigue is less likely to set in.