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Ready, set…PAUSE!

The world of social media regularly changes in a nanosecond. As managers, we’re expected to analyze data, interpret the data to improve relationships, and engage people over multiple platforms. All at the same time.

It can be exhausting. We’re almost always in a hurry.

Our Brains Are Changing

The Millennials have been called the first truly digital generation. We don’t know of a life without computers. The Dewey Decimal system, Encyclopedia Brittanica, and long-hand multiplication are things that we learned when we were children but abandoned once smartphones came on the scene.

For many of us, our smartphones are our external brains. We don’t learn systems, we learn how to manage them. Because chances are, there’s an app for whatever we need.

Studies have shown that our brains are changing. And not in a good way. According to research our attention span has gone from 12 minutes to 5 seconds. The fact that most of our information is presented in bite-sized infographics instead of old fashioned paragraphs shows that yes, we are changing.

We have internet addictions. Compulsive Facebook checking. Twitter withdrawals. As a social media manager, we can’t get away from social media. It’s our job. 

You have the time. Really. 

We’re living in the state of NOW. Everything was supposed to happen five seconds ago and we’re constantly battling our reactionary state. 

As tempting as it is, it’s important to take the time to check yourself. Recenter yourself. Instead of always being reactive, make time to be proactive. Have a long term vision instead of having the attention span of a hyperactive chipmunk.

This means pausing before you hit the send button.

I learned this lesson the hard way. My first week on the job as a social media manager, I did the unthinkable. With one simple click, I sent an email to 800 of the wrong people.

You know that wonderful feature on MailChimp that makes it easy to send newsletters to thousands of people with a single click? Yeah. It works. 

It works better when you pay attention to which mailing list you selected. Make sure it’s the right one. Otherwise, you can accidently spam people, anger potential clients, and get enough complaints to get yourself kicked off the IP. 

Thankfully, that didn’t happen in my case.

A few days later, something else happened. I sent a personal tweet from my corporate account.  Oops. Talk about embarrassing. Not paying attention to which avatar was on created some trouble for me.

No major fall-outs have happened but I did learn an important lesson.

Take the time to do things right. The extra few seconds or minutes isn’t going to make the world fall apart. It may just save your sanity, your company, and your reputation.

Image Credit: Bigstock Photo