I went to dinner with some writer friends a few nights ago to one of their favorite restaurants, The Melting Pot. If you’ve never been, their menu consists (only) of various kinds of fondue. You know, melted cheese, oil or broth, heated in pots so diners can dip (or cook) bits of bread and raw food. The Melting Pot is apparently very popular, with dozens of locations across North America, where people can enjoy the whole fondue experience.
I am not one of those people. I have tried it three times now, and it is simply not my thing. The bread and cheese was nice, because I could dip the bread cube, put it on my plate, and eat it immediately. But the plate containing slivers of raw meat was more of a challenge, as were the vegetable chunks piled into a tiny square bowl. And then there were three different cooking liquids, and fourteen (okay, five) dipping sauces. Completing the scene was my three long- handled forks, which were fortunately a different color than anyone else’s.
I am really not OCD, and I make complicated business decisions all day long. But unless I am cooking the entire meal, I just want to relax and have it served up all pretty on a plate. However, I love hanging out with my girls, so with the help of large glass of Sangria, I gave it my best shot.
First, I speared a morsel of duck breast with a fork and set it in the pot in front of me. Knowing that it would take a few minutes to cook, I speared some pork, and passed it down the table to go into the pot of oil. Pretty soon we were all passing forks back and forth, cooking our supper. One. Bite. At. A. Time.
It was nothing like the yummy cheesy-bread dipping scenario. It seemed that I either lost the meat off my fork, forcing someone to perform a diving expedition with a slotted spoon to scoop it out for me, or I pulled it out too soon, finding the meat still raw in the center when I went to eat it. Or I forgot it altogether and burned the crap out of it.
It was the same feeling I get, trying to juggle all of my social media accounts. I have a “fork in the pot” over here on Twitter, one on Facebook, two over on Google Plus. Did I answer that post? Did I remember to retweet a friends’ tweet? Oops! Blog post is overdue….what was it I read about that algorithm change?
I have multiple social media accounts for business, another set for personal, and yet another set for my writing. I have a routine, and most days it is manageable, but dang! Sometimes it can be overwhelming. Not to mention the multiple email accounts and the texting.
I end up feeling as though I had all of this good food in front of me, but I can only eat a bite of it at a time. And as soon as I get the hang of it and learn how to cook this stuff and what sauce to dip it in, there’ll be a new dish I have to learn to master, because everyone is flocking to it now.
The only advice concerning managing social media that made any sense to me recently was “pick the ones you like and/or are good at, and focus on those.” It does not hurt to try everything on the menu, but a person can go crazy trying to keep up with every fad, or at the very least, be ineffectual and waste valuable time. I try to remember that when I feel myself becoming overwhelmed and slipping into Social Media Fatigue.
So I guess that means- next time we go to The Melting Pot, I’m sticking with the cheese dip.