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On the calendar for today I have a post called “The Least I Should Do,” which was supposed to be about making a plan for social media that becomes a kind of checklist of all the things you have to do when you finish a post (pinning to Pinterest, promoting on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.).
But the more I tried to write such a thing, the more I didn’t want to write it. The problem is that word “should.”
I hate the word should. It’s one of the most awful words you can label you work with.
Because it makes it feel like work. Shoulds come with pressure and guilt. And I really feel like social interactions — even of the online variety — need to be authentic, and to be authentic you have to want to do it.
Not feel like you have to. Or even like you should.
If you don’t want to do it, stop.
If you hate Twitter, don’t use it. If you’ve got issues with Pinterest, stay away.
Of course we need to learn about the different social networks, and we do need to play with them and see what works for us, but the point is we need to play.
Try new things. Experiment. Be playful.
Don’t should yourself out of enjoying those opportunities to interact with other people.
Don’t should yourself out of enjoying blogging because you feel the pressure of all the promotion you feel like you have to do.
If it’s all gotten to be too much, you have permission to step away.
I’m writing this for myself as much as for you. It’s so easy to get caught up in being everywhere all the time and sometimes — most of the time — that’s not the right or healthy approach.
This month (once the girl goes back to school, anyway) I’m focusing on social with the aim of working smarter, getting a system, understanding what works and what I enjoy and why.
Is it possible to have a system, maybe even a strategy, without shoulds? I’ll let you know.
In the meantime, if you have resources about making social fun or tips that have worked for you, I’d love to hear them!