Monday, September 13, 2010

Why I Hate Social Media - But Will Do It Anyway

"Can I Friend You?"
"Did you see that last tweet?
"I have to update my MySpace Page"


And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Social media is really beginning to take over our lives and I am really learning to hate it all, and yet I will continue to use it. In fact, isn't it a bit funny that here I am blogging about something that gets a bit unnerving to me daily. Still here I am.

I have said this in the past and I will restate it again. Writers have to spend time with their writing. The time we spend on this social media really does suck up a lot of valuable time that could better be spent making sure that the characters we create are real and the world they live in is believable. We all have to find a healthy balance for all of this.

Now, don't get me wrong. I do think there is a place for some of this social media. Getting our projects out there to potential readers is very important and whatever we can do to increase sales is great. For me on the agent side of thing, I do see an great potential for educating writers around the world on how we see things. The more writers know, the better the chance that maybe they will find success when they submit to agents and editors. The tidbits they pick up every now and then from agents and editors might be just the thing they needed to get them through a hurdle on their stories.

What concerns me about all of this social media is that we are seeing professionals (writers included) spending far too much time on this, especially with some of these social media sites that are duplicates of one another. To add to this, I see many people spending time telling us about things that really don't matter and, in no way, will ever increase the sales of their books.

Do me a favor this week. From Monday through Friday, log in how much time you spend on your social media. Reading, writing, posting, blogging, tweeting and the like. At the end of the week, think about how much writing you could have done? It might shock you!



  1. Very well stated. I have to limit the time I spend trying to get my name out there or I'd never finish a story. And only having the option of dial-up internet makes this more of a time suck--one of the few pitfalls of living rural. I tend to stick to connecting with friends and visiting sites with information I'll actually use in writing and getting published.

  2. It's a real time suck no doubt about it. I get on to do something thinking it will be 15 minutes, and an hour later I'm still here.

  3. That's a really good point. I often feel the pressure of keeping up with blogs, but am so aware as I'm reading that I could be writing!
    I try and get through my blogging work as quickly as possible so I'm not wasting time.

    The flip side is - if I don't keep an eye on blogs and social media then I never make writing connections and can miss out on some awesome teaching.

    What's the right balance?
    Do have a rule of thumb for time management?

  4. I'm guilty! I can't tell you how often I find that the afternoon has come and I am still not writing because I have had to update my blog, respond to comments, update FaceBook,tweet,read tweets, and everything else you said.It is a horrific timesuck. BUT, I think that as aspiring writers we are so often encouraged to make a web presence that we get pulled under the tide. It's definitely a struggle. Thanks for the encouragement to step away!

  5. I know I have a social media network problem.

    Sometimes it seems like it's less about monitoring time online, and more about disconnecting. Take for instance a job. I highly doubt most employers would appreciate their employees twittering on company time. If a writer has time dedicated to writing, consider treating it like time on the job. Disconnect from twitter, facebook, whatever and concentrate on the job at hand. Twitter can't be a distraction if the application isn't running in the background. When the job's complete, then have a bit of fun. :)

    Simple solution for me. It's just forcing myself to do the deed sometimes which gets in the way. :)

  6. Wait, do we have to count the time we spend on your blog? ;-)