Social Media FatigueD. Todd Smith, appellate lawyer / internet hipster / writer out of Texas, taps into the same vein of Internet overuse we’re seeing a lot of in 2010 writing.

In his article for Texas Lawyer, also posted on JD Supra, How Lawyers Can Avoid Social Media Burnout, Smith echoes the growing fatigue many of us have with the overload of Tweets, Status Updates, and whatnot constantly streaming in at us. Smith writes:

Turn off notifications. Because of the sheer number of updates in almost any size network, social media can be even more distracting than e-mail when it comes to desktop notifications. Productivity experts like Timothy Ferriss, author of “The 4-Hour Workweek,” recommend turning off notifications and handling e-mails in batches no more than a few times per day. A lawyer should protect her sanity and stay on task by batching social media, as well.

When Facebook and Twitter started taking off in 2008 and 2009, users engaged in a mad scramble to embrace the networks, amass a bunch of followers/friends, and stay highly engaged. Now, as the dust begins to settle and we understand the utility of these tools, we have the opportunity to ask “what have social networks done for me lately” and scale back activity accordingly.

If social networks are driving hordes of leads to your site, then by all means do whatever works for you. But if you’ve discovered diminishing returns with your activity and find it encroaching on aspects of your life, perhaps it’s time to pull back the throttle a little. Resist the temptation to think you’re doing something wrong, even if your consultant (I’m using that term mockingly) tells you you are.

A kindred spirit with the folks here at Legal Productivity, Smith echoes in his article some of the things we’ve discussed here on this blog: email batching, unplugging, and deemphasizing your number of followers. In our 24-7 gotta know everything and everybody world, this advice seems counterintuitive. But if you’re approaching burnout, hangover, fatigue, call it what you will, give it a try.