Social Media: Devourer of Time

The current wisdom is everyone from the writer to the musician to the actor to the small business entrepreneur needs “a platform.” A platform is your social media foot print. And there are many to choose from including Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, and Tumblr. If you want to be taken seriously in the modern age of technology, I am told you need to be online as much at three times a day. The idea is to get “followers.” The more you have, the more credibility you have in the cyber world and the real world.

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I don’t know about you, but I find it difficult some days to juggle my pay-the-bills job, my writing, and social media. After a rather dramatic panic attack two weeks ago, I decided I needed a break. And today, I’m returning from a social media vacation. While on my little holiday from the cyber world I didn’t visit any the social media sites where I have accounts and the only posts on these were scheduled before my taking the time away from the internet.

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Did the world come to an end, because I wasn’t posting? Did anything earth-shattering occur?

Okay, there was a small earthquake in Southern California, but I don’t think you can blame me for that.

In the quiet solitude, I found something I had forgotten – time. Social media and the internet, in general, devours that precious commodity.  A quick “I just need to post this,” becomes two hours sitting in front of the computer. I’ve lost track just how many times I sat to do something that should have taken but a few minutes and found myself rising from my chair hours later stiff, sore, and wondering where the day had gone.

With less time in with my backside glued to the office, chair some things changed around the house. I got more writing done (yes, technically that’s done at the computer, but the internet was turned off), I finished a book I’d been trying to read for months, I cleared much the programming on my DVR, my house was cleaner, and my dogs got walked more often. And since I was up and moving more, I had less stiffness, less pain, and I lost five pounds.

Did I miss some things? Yes, I did. I missed a podcast I listen because I didn’t get Facebook or Google+ reminder they were starting. I also didn’t a funeral for a ninety-eight-year-old woman from my church; I didn’t see the notification on the church’s Facebook page.

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So, what did I learn?

Moderation and balance are needed. I require a plan to keep the things I enjoy and desire protected while maintaining a presence in the cyber world. Perhaps setting a timer would help, for every hour in the seat, I must get up and do something more active for an hour. There are also websites that you can use for scheduling posts, a short session and the week is done. It seems simple, but it requires commitment and be accountability. Feel free to ask me how I’m doing on this in a few weeks.

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