The Pit of Lost Time – Social Media Update

It’s been a week since I deleted social media off my phone and I can’t tell you what an eye-opener it has been. The first day after The Big Delete I found myself picking up my phone, staring at it blankly and then putting it back down with a confused look upon my face. Checking my phone had become something I did so unconsciously that it shocked me. I’d developed social media muscle memory. That freaked me out.

But gradually I found myself less attached to my phone. I’d set it down and forget where it was. I started seeing – really seeing – the world around me. I felt less anxious. I suddenly had more time. My creativity began to spark and I started writing again. Yay!

So where does that leave things? Well, as a writer trying (desperately) to build a platform, I realize that social media is necessary. Agents and publishers are taking note of those who are winning at building an audience. Yes, I just used a Charlie Sheen quote. Let’s move on. As someone who often feels as if they’re whispering in a crowd of yelly people, I know I have some work to do.

Photo: Flickr/Martin Gysler
 Image courtesy of Martin Gysler via Flickr

Just as a side note, for those of you who read my blog, interact, like and share – I love you! You make this world feel less lonely. Thank you xo! (Maybe you leave comment now? Yes?)

But what I’ve realized from The Big Delete is that there has to be a balance. Yes, I need and want to use social media to promote and interact with others, but I need to set limits. Facebook is a trigger for me. It sucks my time and energy. While there are loads of great posts from very great people on there, often those important tidbits get lost in the shuffle. I recently read a fantastic post by Kristen Lamb talking about this very subject. She has some really great points on why social media and technology are killing our muse. Go check it out, it’s worth it.

But since this is an update I suppose I ought to get down to business. Below is my social media strategy, which I hope will correct the imbalance.

Photo: Flickr/mkhmarketing
Image courtesy of mkhmarketing via Flickr

Facebook

Oh, how I love to hate Facebook. As I mentioned this is a HUGE trigger for me. While I want to stay connected to my friends/family, I don’t want to fall down The Pit of Lost Time. You know the pit, it’s lined with kitten videos, political unrest and memes a’plenty. It’s sort of like The Pit of Despair but with more furry cuteness.

Verdict: The Facebook app will not be uploaded to my phone. At least for the time being. I’ve yet to check in (though by the time this post is out in the world I might have) but when I do I’ll be limiting this to computer login only and setting a timer. I’m not exactly sure how long I’ll allow for each check, though I’m thinking less than 20 minutes every couple of days.

Photo: Flickr/mkhmarketing
Image courtesy of mkhmarketing via Flickr

Twitter

Of all my social media, I’ve missed this one the most. Twitter has always been fun for me. I’ve met some amazing people who have turned into great friends. I find that using lists and hashtag searches has allowed me to filter out the crap.

Verdict: I will be uploading this app back on my phone. Okay fine, I already uploaded it yesterday. However, like Facebook I will be limiting the amount of time I check in. Let’s go ahead and say twice a day for no more than five minutes each check.

Photo: Flickr/Blogtrepreneur
Image courtesy of Blogtrepreneur via Flickr

Instagram

Ugh, this is where things get mucky. Unlike the other two platforms, deciding what to do with Instagram isn’t an obvious decision for me to make. It can most definitely suck away time and trigger me in very unpleasant ways, but I really do enjoying posting photos. And yes, the ability to take a glimpse into someone else’s world is deliciously satisfying in the most stalker-ish way.

Verdict: At this point I don’t have an answer. I fear that uploading the app to my phone right now is too soon. I’ll have to check back on this one in another week or so.

Tell me your thoughts on social media. Do you love or hate it? Do you have balance or are you outta control?

And now my pretties I’m off to write some words. 🙂

 

Featured Photo: Flickr/Magicatwork

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6 thoughts on “The Pit of Lost Time – Social Media Update

  1. I agree on Facebook – this is the biggest time suck for me. I can spend 2 or 3 hours and not do anything constructive. I sometimes use online alarm clocks to stop me using it more than I have to – when I need to. But it is not only a time suck, it sucks you into a world of despair (with news items) and warped perspectives (how people live their lives). Whereas twitter, you can only do what you need to do on there – check friends, check hashtags that interest you and that’s it. I don’t get led into loads of …. well, honestly irrelevant, articles and posts that I wouldn’t read normally. Fortunately I am not a photo person so instagram has never been a place for me. but I have no smartphone of any kind, and have resisted and glad I did. I only have a desktop and laptop and restrict that use around my children schedule. I use an alarm clock to warn me when I need to get off to go and fetch children for that too.

    None of this, of course, has stopped my procrastination, but it has reduced it! 😉

  2. Social Media time suck is something I’ve struggled with too. I haven’t deleted apps from my phone, but it is tempting at times. Especially when I have 10 things to do with deadlines I find myself getting stuck in that lost pit for hours. What I did do a couple months ago was turn off all social media notifications on my phone. I find I check it way less now. I did keep my notifications on FB messenger and my FB Page app because I get the majority of my orders and client inquiries that way. That being said I also realized that not replying to someone right away is not the end of the world either. I usually reply within 24 hours which I am comfortable with. My favourite app of the three is Instagram. Facebook is my least favourite. That’s one I would love to just get rid of completely, but I just can’t at this time because that’s where my sales and clients are.

    1. I hear you on all of that. When I was selling art and Jamberry, my orders came through Facebook too. I’ve kept messenger on my phone along with Twitter. I also added Instagram because I really enjoy using it, but I need to minimize my scrolling time. It’s all about finding out what works best for you. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

  3. It’s a fascinating subject! My FB app is so rubbish, I don’t think I need to remove it from my phone, lol! But I do need to set limits. I need to rethink my social media strategy. I use Wednesdays to go social media crazy, sharing, tweeting, posting and promoting my blog posts – which are posted every wednesday – and checking out other peoples’ stuff. But on other days I need to set that time limit and Turn It Off…to encourage my muse.

    I’ve never seen Instagram as a time suck, I check it first thing in the morning and during ad breaks in the evening, and love posting photos. Twitter on and off for a few minutes during the day. Facebook is my pit!

    Thanks for starting the ball rolling, Angie, I may use your inspiration to set my own limits!

    1. Thanks for commenting Lisa! Yes, Facebook seems to be everyone’s pit. Setting limits is a great idea. I’ve found myself feeling so much better now that I’ve done that. You’re welcome and I wish you the very best in your social media balance.

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