Like many people in society today, we know we spend too much time online — but as social media managers it is our job to be there. Social media managers, a position that was unheard of a decade ago, experience tremendous stress.
Social media can be a toxic place — especially for those of us who work in that space. Angry users on social seem to forget that a human being is behind the brand’s account they are screaming at or the story they are criticizing.
At the most recent Online News Association conference in Austin, Texas, I asked social media editors, “How do you manage your mental health while managing social media?” The universal response was, “Wow. That’s a really good question.” I quickly realized that we share experiences, anxieties and coping mechanisms, up to and including check-ins with mental health professionals.
We spend countless hours online not just scheduling tweets, but also sharing and reading comments, crunching the analytics and creating reports on audience reach and growth. We relish seeing our stories go viral, prompting lots of discussion and increasing our followers. But it’s a lonely place — and often frightening. Our professional profiles — either public or private — often lead to harassment and abusive online attacks.