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Do you need a digital detox?

Published: February 2018

How much time do you spend online? Can you remember a time when you weren’t browsing websites, posting on social media or clearing notifications from your phone? Do you need a digital detox?

The digital revolution has been an undoubted success but the online world has become very crowded. How do you sort the wheat from the chafe and ensure your time is spent wisely?

Time spent versus time spent well

It’s unrealistic to expect people to delete all of their social media apps and remove bookmarks from their browsers. Like it or not, online interaction is part and parcel of everyday life and learning how to use that time productively is the key to digital happiness.

  • They can be distracting and entice you onto social media when you should be doing something more fruitful such as work, sport or lazing in the garden staring at the sky. Do you really need to be told when your Aunty Mabel has liked a picture of your cat?
  • On most apps, they are tailorable to your needs. Only get alerts when it really matters and prioritise those friends and clients you wish to hear from.
  • Friends and followers. Cull those you no longer wish to see. There may be some who you don’t want to interact with but it would be politically insensitive to delete them (Aunty Mabel). Muting is your friend here. They don’t know that you can’t see their posts but it removes the clutter from your timeline.

Work life balance

We’re all aware of the concept of a work life balance but how many of us achieve it? In the digital age, it is difficult to escape the office however it is worth imposing some personal rules.

  • Office emails. Remove from your phone or only switch on alerts during office hours. Even if you open your account to look at a personal email, you will inevitably look at the headings of others and open them as ‘it will only take a minute’. Nothing is that urgent.
  • Work social media accounts. Where possible, schedule posts in using a tool such as Hootsuite. Sometimes timing is key and you may need to respond or retweet outside of work hours but keep it to a minimum.

How to avoid being muted online.

Whilst you are having your digital detox, your customers are undoubtedly doing the same. How do you ensure that your website, app or social media account is one of the ones to escape the cull?

  • Know your audience. Understanding what your customers like and importantly, what makes them leave your site, is vital. If your webpage takes too long to open or your Twitter account does nothing but spam them with promotional Tweets, they will leave.
  • Choose your platform. Don’t try and master all social media platforms. Find which one or two your customers prefer and learn to use them well.
  • Social media versus anti-social media. Engage with your customers. Take an interest in what they are doing and they will take an interest in you.
  • Understanding how your customers respond to your online presence can help improve both theirs and your digital experience.

To find out more about how you can stand out in a crowded online world, speak to our digital marketing experts at Newcastle web design company Urban River.

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