What Not To Do Wednesday on Over-Doing Social Doings (or Pardon Me, There’s A Media Monkey on Your Back)

I watched one of those packaged specials on the news last night about people spending too much time on Facebook. Something like “Facebook Addiction–Where Will it Lead?” The piece had a rather ominous tone, I must say.

I suppose there are folks out there who can’t do without their Facebook fix. Or Twitter tips, or listening in on LinkedIn, or connecting with any of a dozen other social media messaging. Whereas I can walk away anytime I want.

Sort of.
Here’s the thing, grasshopper. From a business standpoint, social media has value. I think Twitter might be better for massive marketing, but I like Facebook for blogging connections. And I like Facebook for personal connections, too. So I want to stay social media savvy. But when I jump into Facebook or Twitter, or even blog surfing, I can easily use up hours.
HOURS. And though I come across tons of informative posts (because seriously, there are a ton of brilliant folks out there, sharing their expertise), I may get a teensy bit carried away, reading one post, zipping to another…then another…then another.
Until I look up and dang. It’s lunchtime and I haven’t written a single word (unless you count scathingly brilliant comments here and there. Which I’m counting. So there.).
But pithy comments do not a manuscript, essay, or short story make. And so I’m forced to face the ugly truth: I may…okay, okay, I have a social media problem. I usually deal with it by going cold turkey for a week or so. And then I ease back in, using moderation.
So don’t over-do the social doings, grasshopper, at the expense of your writing. Write FIRST. Or if you need a little warm-up, set a limit for how much time you’ll spend, media socializing. Then stick to it.
Because when you think about it, it’s your brilliant writing that you’re trying to promote and sell. Pour hours into that, grasshopper, and then use social media to tell the world.

(We shall discuss the proper way to exploit one’s self, using humility, dignified grace, and monkey-mad media marketing skills at a later date.)
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10 thoughts on “What Not To Do Wednesday on Over-Doing Social Doings (or Pardon Me, There’s A Media Monkey on Your Back)

  1. I think it's a balancing act and everyone has to find what works for them. I have a website and a blog. I'm not planning on getting on FB but I'm considering Twitter. How much is too much? How much is not enough? Who knows? Maybe that monkey in the picture has the answer. He looks pretty smart…or, at least, happy. 🙂

  2. That's my graduation monkey, Madeline. I pull him out for porch picnics to celebrate. So he gets to hear a lot of chatter. Not sure he's smarter for it, though. :-)I agree about media…finding balance is the key, and finding what works better for each writer's specific marketing needs. If I could just stop at the marketing, but alas! I'm a Curious Cathy. 😉

  3. My thoughts exactly! And I'm so sorry I missed that show because I've been thinking we're going to start hearing more about this.It's such a temptation for me cuz it gets lonely sitting at the keyboard all day. But it is such a time waster and there are times I wish it didn't exist. The last thing I need is one more thing to "manage." lol!Great post!

  4. Amen back at'cha, Melissa! :-)Thanks, Kathy. You're absolutely right, though, about the temptation. The people interviewed on the news talked about the fact that w/out FB, they felt completely alone.Writing can be a bit lonely–maybe that's another reason why so many writers use social media!

  5. It's definitely an issue. I just finished a book where the author recommended using an old fashioned egg timer. Plan your social media time, set the egg timer, and when it goes off you stop, no matter what. I'll let you know if it works. Not via twitter, though. . . 🙂

  6. Hey Cathy,Love the monkey!I'm trying to limit my time social networking. I rarely tweet any more and don't use Facebook as much as when I first started, but I do check blogs almost every day. But—I've discovered another way to waste time–playing solitaire. Is there any hope for me?Donna

  7. I always tell myself I'd get off facebook if I wasn't trying to stay connected with other writers. That sounds good, right? :)But I've also noticed more and more that facebook is replacing email for communication for lots of people. But yeah, I have a love-hate relationship with fb. In the end, nothing is as gratifying as getting through a new chapter!

  8. I don't have an egg timer, Lisa, but I do kinda watch the clock. Maybe a timer going off would get my attention better? :-)Thanks, Donna! Um…I play Mah Jong. I think of it as…hmmm. I'm going to write a post about it next week!Vicky, it's YOUR FB posts that always suck me in. You find some fascinating stuff, girl!Oh, Deb. So right about that finished chapter. Fine. I'll get back to it. 🙂

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