Fitness (and food and family) before social media!

I’m still relatively new to the whole social media thing.

Yes, I’ve been blogging for just over a year now. And Tweeting (@fitknitchick_1). And Pinning (fitknitchick). And updating my Facebook status (fitknitchick).

All of the things that allow me to reach more people with my message about exercise and healthy living.

But lately, I’ve been spending far too much time with my keyboard and computer monitor. Time that I could be spending with my family or in the kitchen or at the gym.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the conversations I’ve been having with readers and followers and other bloggers. There are so many interesting and talented people that the Internet has introduced me to. I have more in common with many of my online friends than the ones I’ve known personally for years πŸ˜‰ .

But here’s the rub. All the time spent interacting and promoting and engaging on social media is time unavailable for creating the blog content that contains the message you come here to read!

I know that I’m not alone when it comes to putting the brakes on internet time. E-mails and tweets and DM’s seem like they need to be answered right now. But let’s be honest, very few digital communications are urgent; if there’s an emergency, they’ll call you on the phone!

In an attempt to regain some balance in my life, I’m imposing some social media rules on myself.

  1. E-mail, Twitter, FB and blog comment responses will be limited to 15 minutes each morning, after breakfast is finished and children’s lunches are packed for the day. No more running out the door in a panic (and without my own lunch) because I ‘needed’ to respond to ‘one more tweet’.
  2. Blog reading, writing and maintenance will not occur until after my morning workout (and I will not ‘skip out on the last set’ to make more time for the above).
  3. Mid-day and pre-dinner Twitter and Facebook time will be limited to 15 minutes each.
  4. After dinner internet time will be limited to evenings with planned Twitter chats (and when children aren’t interested in spending time with me!).
  5. All electronics will be unplugged at least 2 hours prior to bedtime (otherwise I find my mind racing when it should be winding down)

So, if I don’t answer your e-mail or DM or tweet within a few hours, don’t despair. It doesn’t mean that I don’t like you or want to hear from you or am (gasp!) ignoring you. It just means that I’m unplugged, doing some of the other things I love to do and I’ll be back online in a little while!

Do my rules sound overly harsh to you?

How do you balance social media time with ‘real life’?

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  1. i like your rules. My own addiction to social media has gotten out of hand as well and I really need to sit down and reevaluate. I think the constant connection that we have of social media has made life (at least mine!) more stressful!

  2. excellent idea, we all get too caught up on what’s happening and what people are up to or saying that we start to neglect what’s actually of more importance to us…Our families, children, and even the upkeeping of a tidy home.
    Thanks Tamara, this gives me a great motivation to follow up on the same. As of right now I’m within my 15 minutes for the morning!

  3. well social media is my income so I’m on all the time, except for few hours to sleep, spend time with my teen daughter and workout…otherwise I’m online…emails/tweets/updates/blogs/etc. for myself and clients πŸ™‚

    for ‘normal’ people who have other jobs (not social media management) then your schedule rocks! and you’re not losing perspective of the important things & people in your life πŸ™‚

    • Of course, if you work in social media, my rules won’t work, will they? I envy you to be able to do this full time Tara; I so enjoy the time I spend online (but need to address my classes and clients too!).
      Have a great rest of the day!

  4. All tweeting and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

    This is a serious challenge normal people could not have imagined ten years ago. It’s tricky balancing real life, online friends, and new acquaintances. I think we’re all struggling toward a new etiquette and haven’t figured it out yet.

    I guess we’re all headed in the same direction as you – fully engaged wherever you are, but not always easily reached. I run a similar schedule to you, but also take a complete day away from all electronics. Helps keep the lights on inside.

    And thanks for the follow. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Mike for the thoughtful response.
      I like the idea of a day off; I’ve been trying to take one day a week off exercise and work too. It’s not been going too well!

  5. I like your rules…it is so hard to manage “social media” time. I am constantly tweeting form my phone.

  6. I think your rules are great. It’s something we all struggle to manage. I’m totally impressed by Mike @roadbug who is able to take an entire day free of electonics each week! I don’t think I could do that πŸ˜‰

  7. I am loving your rules and might have to implement them myself πŸ™‚

  8. I’m online with emails, social media only for 2 hours in the morning, usually early am. I’ve just started blogging – learning the wordpress platform, etc. so are private updates to some friends. I only blog on Saturday morning. If I have some “extra time” I may go on and browse around. I had the same problem you spoke of so had to do the same thing.

  9. Couldn’t agree more. I totally need to do this as well. In comparing my internet time to yours, I would need to scale back even further- and I definitely need to make sleep a priority.

    i realize that I’m very late to the party on this one and this post is several months old now- did you get to unplug to your satisfaction?
    Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) recently posted…Frosted Raspberry Cheesecake Protein MuffinMy Profile

    • Thanks for checking in with me!
      My screen time has crept up as of late! Now that I’m trying to follow LinkedIn and Instagram as well, I need a few more minutes with my computer!
      I’m aiming for 30 minutes morning, noon and night and have learned to schedule some of my Tweets via HootSuite; very useful for concentrating your online time!
      And weekends, I tend to take off (sometimes I sneak on for a bit, but only when the kids are busy on their computers!)