May 7, 2013

Facebook and Twitter and Blogs (et al.)

Most of us know how easily social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads can become time-sucking vortexes. Sure, some of those sites are great places to network, but they are also places to lose a full day of work. Or a full week. In order to build up a following on any networking site, you must post regularly, as well as respond to your followers’ posts because obviously, it’s important to give as much as you take. While you’re busy posting, sharing, reading, and responding, you have less time for actual working.

About 6 years ago, I got sucked into Flickr. As a hobbyist photographer who likes to take nature pictures, Flickr was a great place to showcase my photos and get feedback on them. I spent many hours posting my nature photos, then basking in the ego-stroking comments viewers made about them. I loved getting those comments, and of course, I’d return the favor by commenting back on other people’s photos. Meanwhile, I was spending less time writing and more time taking pictures, uploading them, posting them to different Flickr groups for the extra exposure they’d get, and commenting on other people’s photos, hoping they’d comment on mine too. Appropriately, my screen name on Flickr was writergoofnoff. The more I got involved with taking photos for Flickr, the less I spent on writing.

Once I weaned myself from posting there, I moved on to another time-slaying social site—Facebook. At first I could justify spending time on Facebook because I was promoting my vintage toy business there. However, it didn’t take long for the promotional stuff to be overtaken by the need to see what everyone else was posting on Facebook—their family pictures, their latest venture, what they ate for breakfast. Soon it became apparent that I couldn’t let the day go by without finding out what all my Facebook friends were up to, not just once a day, but all day long. Naturally, checking all those statuses was cutting into my writing time.

Around the same time I also started my blog—which initially was a place for visitors of my website to get to know me better as a writer. Only instead of spending time writing stuff for my own blog, I ended up reading everyone else's. And commenting on them. By the time I finished reading all the blogs my constantly-clicking mouse led me to, I was overdosing on higher levels of the recommended amount of information a person should consume in one day. After all that blog hopping, I was usually too incapacitated to work on my own blog.

Don’t even get me started on the more recent time sucking vampire known as Pinterest. While I haven’t (yet) signed up there fearing there aren’t enough hours left in the day to start pinning photos, I’ve spent more time the last month perusing photos other people have pinned than I’ve spent making meals for my family. Every day there are new sites out there vying for my attention, causing me to put off other things of lesser importance—like doing laundry…or eating.

As if visiting writing sites, posting on discussion boards, reading blogs, facebooking (that’s a verb, right?), tweeting, twittering, tracking, and tapping into every social networking site isn’t taking up enough of my time, I managed to find another way to be unproductive—by creating fun stuff like this nifty cover for the book I really should write some day:




If you want to be unproductive like me and want to see the cover of your book (or your dog, your boyfriend, or yourself) in a museum,



if you enjoy making custom post-it-notes like this,



...or if you want to see your picture on the cover of a magazine, your face on a different body, or want to play with a random insult generator so you’re fully armed for the next jerk who comes along, add the site http://www.customsigngenerator.com/  to the online places you visit—just in case you need one more excuse to keep from working or cooking dinner for your family. Or writing your next book.

4 comments:

Marta said...

Hello from Spain: thanks for visiting my blog dedicated to Barbies. I really like your posts. In this post I think Face book, and such online platforms are a waste of time. People do not have shame. People post up a picture of the plate of food. I think those photos are not interesting. I only blog because I have it published pictures of everyday life starring dolls. I became a follower of your blog. - Keep in touch

carmen gutierrez said...

me gusta este blog y muy interesante la muñeca sindy mu parecida a la chabel de feber, me quedo por aquí.


http://cosasdecosturadecarmele.blogspot.com

besosss

loverofwords said...

I only blog. I de-faced myself from Facebook; it was too much like high school to me. During last year's election, the comments on both sides were so vitriolic that I left. i am not writing books, but I do like to write and this is one way to keep in touch with bloggers from all over the world. I have a few followers, just the right number.

Sandra Riffero said...

Pinterest is the worst time sucker, but I love it. I add at least a few photos every week and when I go there I literally set a time limit in my head so I don't wake up from that dreamworld and find that I lost an hour of my day. I use it to plan things for my future, make note of the coolest ideas and share some of my own. Just pinned my lastest project (forcing you to go there, haha): http://pinterest.com/pin/545146729864871929/