Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Two social media steps forward . . .

I've been absent.

And yet, I've been more present.  

Yes, I have limited my Facebook, Blogger, Instagram, Twitter, OhMyGodMakeItStop time because I had this sinking suspision it was, how shall I put this, making me a crazy person.

And it was.

The first week of school came and went and right about when I should have begun to regain control of my house, my life, I felt like my head was about to explode.  Why?  Because I was coming off the BlogHer conference where I learned I needed to post to my blog page at least 3 times a week if not 3 times a day.  Because I attended a really insightful SEO workshop that suggested I craft great blog photos to later post on Pinterest throughout the day and to different groups (note: I don't participate in any Pinterest groups and my photos are so-so at best).  On top of all this, I decided that a.) I needed to invest in my freelance career so I signed up for 2 freelance services - one that helps you find work and connect with other freelance writers and one that helps you understand the market.  Then I went behind my own back and started doubting this line of thought.  I sent my resume out for part-time PR work.  Yeah, but that's not the crazy.  The crazy is when I pulled my applications from said businesses because I wanted to a.) work on my freelance writing career and b.) finish my damn MFA thesis!  Oh and those two services that I paid for . . . I hadn't visited either website in weeks.  I was too overwhelmed.

At this point, I took a giant leap back and surveyed the damage:  I was a complete mess.

If I was going to get anything done, whether it was writing for publication or writing my damn thesis or even performing well at a job, I needed to invest time and focus to it, whatever it turned out to be.

So I clocked out of Facebook and Twitter and OhMyGodMakeItStop status updates.

Know what?  I felt invigorated!

The week after I renegged on the job applications, I wrote my first article for a local online publication (I now have 3 more assignments). I also started putting in 4-5 consecutive hours on my thesis (and finished the first draft, which I sent off to my mentor).

Suck on that social media.

I'm not saying that I'll never participate in the sharing and tagging and threading again, but I've scaled waaaaaaaay back.  I check in for a few minutes a day, maybe post a photo or an update, but I'm not chained to it.  I'm not a huge fan of Twitter or Instagram, so I barely log in.  Pinterest, that's another story.  I like my pictures.  Plus, it actually helps me plan projects and gift-giving.  And it's relaxing.  And ocassionally there are hilarious photos that make my day.  That's a huge difference from feeling obligated to comment on every friend's baby photo (and don't get me wrong, they ARE cute).

None of this is revolutionary, I realize that.  But instead of pinning photos of quiet places where I'd love to drink a cup of coffee or tea if only I had time away from the computer, I'm now actually having a cup of coffee or tea and enjoying the quiet space in my brain.  I may even invite you to join me to sit down and relax sometime.

6 comments:

  1. I love this. I've been privy to some intellectually interesting arguments that have devolved into rape and death threats because of twitter. I don't see what it really does for the world except allow everyone to be a bully. Social media is TV on the 21st century. Sarah

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  2. That's awful! I try my best not to engage in online debates. What a time suck. And what do you get out of it? Moral superiority?

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  3. I've felt equal parts energized for new blog content/promotion and drained by all of the additional legwork. I hate the endless sharing everywhere. I constantly wonder why I really need a Facebook fan page when I share to my personal and twitter and Instagram. Ugh. I don't care much for Twitter, yet I find myself on there often working to connect and grow. And now that I have to pin everything, well I'm on overload.

    I just want to focus on the art of writing, but it's almost impossible to be heard unless you blast through every social media outlet available. So now what?

    Balance is definitely important. Glad to read this and feel a little less crazy. :)

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    1. I know, Jen, I know. I just had to step back. It was consuming me and the payoff wasn't worth it.

      Trust your gut on this one.

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  4. Amy, I've been doing some major re-evaluating and strategizing about the time-sucking investment of online hoopla. I think I have a master plan-- we'll see. My problem is, goshdarn, I like visiting all my blog friends!

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    1. Julie,
      I'd love to hear/read your plan!
      I love my blog friends, too, and feel bad that I'm less active on all of your blogs.

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