Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

It’s OK To Use Social Media Sparingly

DEAR HARRIETTE: I swore off social media about a year ago because I found it to be a distraction, and I really needed to get some work done. I gave myself a year, and now that I am there, I don’t know if I want to go back. I like being disengaged from the chatter, much of which doesn’t seem real. At the same time, I have a new project I’m working on, and social media can be very helpful in getting the word out. Any recommendations for how to balance if I go back in? -- Off Social Media

DEAR OFF SOCIAL MEDIA: You have the ability to choose how to use social media. It makes sense to engage your public for business purposes. Since you have not used social media for a year, your followers will be happy to hear from you, and you can set the parameters for engagement. You can state that you intend to use social media infrequently. You want to keep the peacefulness that you have established in your life, but you also want to keep in touch with them occasionally. Let your people know that you will pop up from time to time to share news about things that you think they may be interested in. Ask for their blessing for your new terms of engagement.

The reason you do this so graciously is that you want your people to support your upcoming project. You cannot come off as selfish, or you will lose people. To use social media, you will need to interact a bit with your people, beyond simply announcing your efforts. But you can limit it. Decide how often per week or month you intend to engage, and stick to it.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a weak immune system. Whenever my son gets a cold, I get sick. Same for my husband. I have always been like this. In fact, my doctor recommended that I get the flu shot when my son got the flu earlier this year, because the chances were likely that I would get it. When I told my husband about this, he was outraged. He thinks doctors are just trying to pump people up with vaccinations. He thinks it’s ridiculous that I would take that approach.

I’m not exaggerating. I actually do get sick very easily. I think I should follow my doctor’s advice. How can I get my husband to understand? I worry that if I ever do get very ill, he won’t respond in the way that my doctor recommends. -- Health Advocate

DEAR HEALTH ADVOCATE: You must take care of yourself. Following your doctor’s directions is smart. You can also continue to educate your husband about your unique health concerns. Meanwhile, you may want to identify someone else in your life who would be willing to serve as your advocate if you ever need someone to be by your side speaking for you in an emergency situation. If your husband is not in alignment with you about your health challenges, he probably cannot adequately support you if you ever do have a health crisis or emergency.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)