Campaign teams should take social media breaks

Operators of social or political social media campaigns occasionally need to take breaks online to avoid being emotionally worn down by the stress of hate comments. When individual members of an organization take turns at social media communication, the campaign lasts longer and is also more successful, according to a study by the University of Bath.

An English study says taking time out from hate comments restores energy and creates a more lasting effect. (Symbol image: Unsplash)

"Pauses are important not only for the emotional recovery of campaigners, but also for the viewpoints they represent. Over-intensive use of social media ensures that people only ever have one frame of reference, creating filter bubbles. By taking a breath, they can get back to work with better critical faculties and mental hygiene," explains media psychologist Jo Groebel from the German Digital Institute in an interview with news portal Press release.

For the study, the researchers examined the British "No More Page 3" campaign as an example. The campaign, which began in 2012, aimed to make the newspaper The Sun to remove the nude pictures of women that had regularly appeared on the third page since 1970. Despite massive hostility on social media, the campaign actually achieved its goal in 2015. According to the researchers, regular time-outs from the social web were important for this.

Profiles temporarily deleted

Members of the campaign regularly did not visit their social media profiles or even deleted them completely for a time. The periods of time varied, some were no longer active on social networks for only an hour, some even for several weeks. This not only helped themselves, but also their action. The breaks strengthened them emotionally and gave them energy. In addition, the relationship between the campaign operators has improved because they have shown understanding for the time off.

In order not to disrupt the dynamics of the social media action, the operators took turns with their breaks. Thus, individual players were always active on platforms such as Twitter, while the others turned their attention to offline tasks. This division of labor ensured the long-term survival of the campaign. Also important, according to the researchers, was that the operators did a particularly great deal of persuading of the fiercest attackers. This, however, required a lot of emotional strength, which was only maintained by time off. (pte)

More articles on the topic