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‘Always on trauma machine’: Social media managers grapple with burnout, leaving the industry

Digiday 13 Jan 2021 05:01
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January 13, 2021 by Kimeko McCoy

Marc Phillips was exhausted from being extremely online. The former social media manager worked for award-winning global brands. But by 2017, he had had enough.

Political tensions were high, Twitter bots were multiplying and school shootings were happening more frequently, Phillips said.

What was once his dream job quickly became draining. So he left, pursuing a job as a director-level staff member at a Fortune 50 B2B tech company, which he declined to name.

“I had a moment one evening while commuting home on the subway when I thought to myself, ‘Is this all my life will be — just building social media calendars in Excel and shoe-horning brands into online conversations all day?’,” Phillips said in an email.

He’s not alone. More social media managers are exiting their roles because of the long hours, low pay and endless scrolling through hateful comments. And today’s starkly polarized political climate is only adding fuel to the fire, according to social media managers.

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