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Do you need a Social Media Intervention?


By Karen Yankovich


You’re in the waiting room at the dentist.

You’re at the dog park.

You’re watching your kids baseball game.

You’re having lunch with friends.

You’re watching a movie with your significant other.

You want to check your phone for messages, but you don’t want to look like “that person”.  You know the ones.  You’ve seen them having dinner together, both checking their phones.  Sometimes I wonder if they’re texting each other instead of having a real conversation!

And your KIDS!  They don’t even use their phone to actually talk to people anymore.  When you ask them if they’ve confirmed their plans, they say “they’re waiting for a text back”.  When you suggest they actually CALL the person, they look at you horrified.

And then there’s this guy.  I know I feel like this sometimes, how about you?


Here’s the dilemma.  I’m a Social Media Strategist.  I teach people how to run their businesses virtually.  My business is set up so that it can be run from anywhere, my clients all email or text me.  I teach Conversational Marketing, how to communicate with YOUR customers virtually to bring in more sales.

———-> Look over there.  You can tweet me right now. ————>

How to you do that if you don’t always check your phone?

Before we get to that, I want to first let you off the hook.  YOU’RE AN ENTREPRENEUR!  Of course you’re always checking Social Media!  That’s how you get new business.  So you are going to be that person checking the phone at the dog park and at the dentist office.  You’re a Social Media ROCKSTAR, and you want to be responsive when you can.  That’s the beauty of running a virtual business, so give yourself permission to be that person.

Lets talk about when you’re with your friends/kids/significant other.  And when you have to actually get some work done.

You must be present.  Fully present.  Maybe not all the time, maybe you can sneak a look at your phone while your kids are at baseball practice.  When you stop for ice cream on the way home, leave your phone in the car.  When you’re watching a movie with your honey, turn off your phone.  When you go to lunch with your friends, put your phone on silent.

Here’s the other thing.  You get more accomplished when you unplug from Social Media.  Literally, sitting at your computer WITHOUT your email or Facebook open.  Try it!  Put a timer on and commit to 30 minutes of time, unconnected.  You’re going to be blown away by how much work you get done.  You’ll get four hours of “interrupted” work done in 30 minutes of “uninterrupted” work time.   It’s like giving yourself more hours in each day.

It’s not an easy balance!  We Online Marketers need to be more conscious than most about being fully present.  We need to be fully present when we’re working, we need to be fully present when we’re with the people we love.  We don’t work M-F 9-5, most of the Online Marketers I know barely take one day off a week, never mind two.  That’s a blog post for another day.  So it’s a constant issue.  I suggest you turn off the notifications for all Social Media sites, it makes it easier to stay unplugged when you commit to.

Two things I want you to remember:

  1. It’s OK to often check your phone when you use Social Media to have conversations with your tribe.
  2. Your work and your relationships will benefit by regular “unplugged” time.

It isn’t mutually exclusive.  You don’t need a Social Media Intervention.  You just need to remember that it’s sometimes OK to be checking in, and it’s sometimes OK to be unplugging. 

So tell me in the comments below, what are your tricks for staying present, for unplugging from Social Media?

(you can disconnect AFTER you comment)

karen-signature copy

 P.S.  I would love to help!  Find out how here.


{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Tami Cunningham May 31, 2013, 2:47 pm

    This is great Karen. And that cartoon is hilarious!!

    • KarenYankovich June 1, 2013, 1:06 pm

      I know, right? It’s hilarious because it’s kinda true!

  • Shari May 31, 2013, 3:17 pm

    Another awesome post Karen! Thank you for giving me permission 🙂 it’s an ongoing balancing act, isn’t it?! xo

    • KarenYankovich June 1, 2013, 1:06 pm

      Oh that it is! But it’s fun, isn’t it.

  • Jennifer Kennedy May 31, 2013, 3:52 pm

    Great post, Karen!

    I’m still working on this balance thing! 🙂

    I’ve been working on chunking my time — so only checking my email during certain hours of the day. This allows me to focus on other things when I’m not checking email. I usually tell people my policy — so they know when and how I respond.

    With Social Media type stuff — that’s a different story! I’m on and off all the time. I’ll be taking notes from others on that one!

    Thanks for sharing.

    • KarenYankovich June 1, 2013, 1:07 pm

      I try to do that too Jennifer, I have to work REALLY hard to not get distracted! I try for shorter chunks, that works better for me.

  • Silvia May 31, 2013, 7:21 pm

    Well done Karen. I was a reluctant social media member until I got serious about growing my online business. B school cured that. Do I now need a cure from social media? No. I’m all about balance. But I can see how it can become addicting but your advice is right on! Thank you.

    • KarenYankovich June 1, 2013, 1:08 pm

      Good for you Silvia! I love that you’ve been able to establish that balance right away.

  • Stacie June 1, 2013, 12:12 am

    Thanks Karen, for your always-wise voice. It’s true social media is a part of life as an online entrepreneur, so we’re only shooting ourselves in the foot if we feel bad or guilty about it! But you’re also right that presence is so important. And you also gave me some great advice on another post about having certain alloted times (for LinkedIn) that I’ve taken literally and am practicing applying across the social media board.
    Basically you rock 🙂
    Ok, off to disconnect and watch the sunrise!

    • KarenYankovich June 1, 2013, 1:09 pm

      AWESOME Stacie! Thanks so much for sharing that.

  • Christie Halmick June 3, 2013, 9:33 pm

    Love this topic Karen! I can feel when I’ve over done my computer/phone social media time. If I listen to that voice that’s telling me to unplug instead of that other voice that says “but I’m working” then I’m a happier and more productive entrepreneur.

  • Jen June 3, 2013, 9:39 pm

    I love this post Karen. Speaks to me as well as I’m managing my business and my 1 year old! I leave my phone in another room when I’m with her so that I’m not tempted to check it. That way I can be more present with my daughter when it’s mommy time! 🙂 xx

  • Jenny June 4, 2013, 9:47 am

    Thanks Karen! I love this 🙂 I’m going to shut off….NOW for 30 minutes to get some work done.

  • Christopher James August 9, 2013, 1:38 am

    I don’t have a problem checking in. But I do have a problem with unplugging. Yep. I do need a social media intervention.

    • KarenYankovich August 12, 2013, 1:53 pm

      Funny Christopher! It is HARD to unplug!

  • AJ Wright-McKeever March 21, 2014, 11:14 am

    I know this was a while ago, but I just found this post after browsing a bit on LinkedIn (we’re in the B-School group together) and I love it! I have felt so much social media guilt over the past few months as my business has grown.

    It’s so great to hear another entrepreneur say it’s “okay” to be either plugged in or not depending on my needs and the vibe from my community.

    My one social media “trick” is that I avoid checking my facebook notifications until a certain time in the evening. It’s been decreasing the number of “chatty” conversations that I have, and leaves me open to respond to those comments, questions, and messages that are really important!

    Thanks for the great post,

  • Tim January 24, 2016, 4:48 pm

    Great Article, I find those times I get away for a break is the biggest break throughs.


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