About two years ago I deleted my Twitter account. A few weeks later, I dumped my Facebook. I had burned out. Recently, after a long conversation with a mentor, I reactivated my Twitter feed. I made it about a week before I shut it down once again, thinking to myself, “Nope, can’t do it.”
While this may not seem all that shocking to some, this is practically unheard of for a marketing professional in 2015. Especially for someone who spends much of their time curating social media campaigns. And yet, that’s exactly why I decided to get away.
Sure, my personal brand is important. I recognize and embrace that. But here’s where I’m at: I’m a marketing professional, born near the beginning of the millennial generation. In college my face appeared in newspapers around the world in an article that began “Kate Achille grew up with the Internet.” I was in the first wave of Facebook users, activating my account sometime in late 2004. Before Facebook, I was an avid user of MySpace, Friendster and LiveJournal. I picked up Twitter sometime around in 2007. I’ve spent my career tracing the development of social networking, building accounts and developing a presence for different companies and clients along the way. I firmly believe that social media marketing and social networks are a crucial part of brand identity – while I’m at work.
This is not to say that I shun all social networks. I check my Instagram more than I’d like to admit, keep my LinkedIn profile up-to-date and even have a Pinterest board or two. However, in the years since I decided to disconnect from two of the world’s biggest social networks, I have used time previously spent refreshing my Facebook feed to keep my free time free. Whereas I used to click through photo after photo of someone I barely knew in high school’s wedding to someone they met at a college I didn't go to, now I explore new but related fields to keep my skill-set sharp and current, rather than use my brain cells to think up some witty repartee in 140 characters or less. That’s what I do from 9 am – 5 pm.
The point is, I am still very much the marketing professional I was two years ago when my life was plastered across every social platform known to man. Now I’m just a bit more selective, and perhaps protective, of keeping my main asset, my brain, in tip top shape. And I’m more than OK with that being my brand.