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  • Patricia Hollett

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Social Media vs. Productivity

TwitterYep, blog topic this week! Does social media affect your productivity?

I’d say yes, although others may disagree with me. Since this is my blog, I think it’s absolutely okay for me to express my opinions about it. We all use social media, Facebook, Blogging, Twitter, Linkedin, writing groups, etc., but how important is it to maintain an online presence? Is is necessary to further your career or does it just decrease your productivity because you’re spending so much time blogging, chatting, socializing and just generally interacting with other people?

I spend way too much time socializing. More than I care to say. But, at the prompting of some of my fellow writers I started a Twitter account. In about two weeks, I’ve probably made over 700 tweets. A twitterholic…definitely on my way! I’m hoping there’s help for me…Twitterholics anonymous? Maybe.. But, seriously, I need to govern my own actions better.

I’m not a published author. I have several short stories published, working on my manuscript, and seriously that should be taking priority for me right now. Not social networking! But, I love chatting with the people I know and interacting with them. Writing is a lonely business, and it’s easy to ‘wander’ off and before I know it a couple of hours have flown by just travelling from one site to another checking and chatting and generally just seeing what’s going on with everyone. I like knowing when things are going well for my friends, and yes, equally disappointed or sad when things don’t go so well for them. But….

I’m not getting as much of my work done as I could. And I know my productivity has dropped because of social media. Do I need this online presence? No! But, I like it. What I need to do is get my priorities straight. Set targets and not allow myself any social media interacting until I reach my targets. Like Pavlov’s dogs…a reward system of sorts.

At this point I don’t need to establish an online presence to promote myself or my stories. And if I spend too much time on social media I’ll never be able to achieve my goal of completing my manuscript. Solution: Set priorities, use social media when I need it, and limit myself to surfing and socializing so I can reach my goals with my writing and other life goals.

Social media is important. And keeping in touch with fellow writers is wonderful. But, I know I need to keep better track of my time so that one day I’ll need to make social media an important part of my on line presence. Until then, I’m going to try and be better at controlling my use of time.

Happy and productive writing this week fellow writers! 🙂

p.s. Thanks for the blog topic Tammy Crosby!

10 Responses

  1. Balance is the key. All work, no play, makes for a dull writer’s existance. It’s a very isolating passtime. But where would I be without the support of my writer friends? Still in the storage box, that’s where! LOL!
    Setting limits and working towards goals is the key to success – in any field. Don’t let twitter swallow you whole, Pat! Don’t make me call for an intervention!

  2. I agree, Twitter is so addictive! But, I’ve also made some excellent contacts there and some great friends too!

    It is important to have some balance and to set goals…I would never allow myself to be detoured from a goal because of my need to socialize.

    Besides…we love having you on there Pat!

  3. To be honest I don’t tend to use the media as much as I should. Its finding the time in my current schedules (which to be honest is a little crazy at the mo.)

    Maintaining a presence is key to getting your stuff out there, however its making sure that the posts are key and won’t come back to bite you in the Bum that you have to think through.

  4. Eugh, so true. Great post on a very hot topic.

    The direct time consumption is a big issue but I also find the whole Pavlovian reward system, the constant feedback and interaction, has a detrimental effect on my concentration levels in general, which goes beyond just popping away to check twitter.

    I’ve learned a lot through putting myself out there and I’ve gained a lot of confidence and explored who I am. Now I need to find a balance point where I can reap those rewards without it stifling my progress.

    My mind was apparently in the same zone as yours today – http://chrisseysgreatescape.wordpress.com/2011/10/13/a-conversation-with-my-boss/

  5. Probably good news for your WiP, but not so much for us… we shall miss you when you are behaving and working hard, while we are goofing off… or are we?

    Social media, and whether it’s the best use of your time is entirely dependent on where you are as a writer. For me, I’ve met people who now beta read my pieces, a writing forum that I get and give critiques on, I get advice on software, books, writing websites, hints and tips… In short Twitter (my online fix of choice at the moment) has brought me a wealth of information and contacts I would not otherwise have.

    Has my productivity dropped, undoubtedly… BUT the quality of what I write has gone up, and a lot of that is due, directly or indirectly, to spending some time on Twitter…

    When I am a ‘mature’ writer perhaps Tweeting so much will be a hinderance, but while I’m learning the ropes I have a brilliant excuse ;).

  6. The power (and fun) of social media is huge. But as DW said, it’s about balance. I’d love to say I’ve found the right mix but as they say, the first step to recovery is admitting the problem. LOL.

  7. I’d love to be able to spend less time on twitter but….can’t….stop…it’s….my…..drug….gahhh *tweets* For those of us *tweets* who lack self *tweets* control social media can *tweets* *tweets* be a real time suck. It’s my little dark pleasure. Come, join me. *cackles* *tweets cackle*

  8. I agree about setting limits and managing your time. That latter item is one I struggle with. But….as TJ and Angie, Twitter at least, is good for making connections. I’ve reviewed books as the result of making connections on Twitter, and blogging and reviewing were directly responsible for my landing ajob as s part time copy editor. I also have a lot of fun on twitter. Heck, twitter is where I started chatting with Tammy and Angie. 🙂

  9. Ah…social networking. Hmm…I find myself far exceeding the recommended dose for authors of one hour a day or one day a week, as suggested by publishers to maintain an online presence.

    It’s addictive, but darn it, so very positive. As mentioned above, it’s where we all meet, share ideas, encourage each other and learn to take chances.

    Moderation in all things. That’s the ticket!

    Thanks for opening up this discussion Pat.

    Without Social Networking, you and I wouldn’t have met!

  10. This is such a hard one. I’ve met so many wonderful people and awesome critique partners through social media, so it’s not a waste of time, but it can be when you let yourself run wild. I’ve had to limit my #fridayflash to just two weeks a month because I just don’t have time to comment back on everyone else’s posts every week. It takes hours to read through 20-30 posts each weekend. I love writing and reading flash and I love checking out everyone’s blogs, but I have to use my free time focusing on my writing. It’s all about balance.

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