Day 26 of the Writesofluid #wpad July blog challenge.
Social media? I don’t get them.
Well, perhaps I should qualify that statement a little. True, I am a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to technology. “A bit?” I hear my teenage daughter snort. And I apologize if in the following I confuse my readers by using the wrong terminology! But I am using social media as much as I can. And here is the dinosaur gap: as much as I can seems rather little compared to what others accomplish.
1. Which ones?
Here are three I can sort of handle: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. About two years ago, I created a profile on Skillpages because I prefer their approach to LinkedIn – it’s more about what you can do rather than what your diploma or other “official” papers say, but it does seem that LinkedIn just gets taken more seriously.
I’m on Google+ but have never used it. I see it as just yet another distraction that syphons off my time. But perhaps that is more because I don’t know how to manage my social media-ness – guess I should investigate hootsuite or bitly for bundling. It’s just that I don’t want to spend time on that – posting or reading or even organizing so I can save time in future – because I’d rather do some real writing! But I’m afraid that if you want to be out there, as an author, you have to know how and where to be present online.
One note on the evil nature of Facebook & Co. Is it plain wrong that they share data with government agencies? Yes. Am I disgusted that they support GOP climate change deniers? Yes. Am I not betraying my own principles if I continue to use them instead of, I don’t know, bing? Yes. But that, and what I could be doing differently, is currently beyond me and beyond this blog post.
Political moment over, let’s move on.
2. What for?
I do use Facebook for staying in touch with friends all over the world and for news about issues that matter to me. I also find more and more groups that help me in my writery professional development, such as the Script Advice Writers Room or the London Screenwriters Festival.
I do find Facebook easier too use in one particular way – that is, I usually see at a glance whether the link will interest me. It’s the way it’s set up, with headline and picture. On Twitter I actually have to read (and often decipher) each tweet before deciding whether to click on the link. On the other hand, I find Twitter more focused – or perhaps I use it in a more focused manner – for business purposes.
And that’s the point, I think. You can waste endless hours especially on Facebook looking at funny cat pictures or playing stupid games. It requires discipline to go only for the useful information.
3. How do they do it?!
Here’s one thing that totally amazes me: even if I am disciplined, even if I follow only half of the interesting and useful links, I can easily spend hours every day. And there are people out there who not only read all the stuff and comment on it and retweet and link to fifteen interesting articles a day, they also get their own writing done and sometimes have a day job! How on earth do they do it?
If you know, please tell me. In the meantime, I’ll try to have a bit of an online presence, follow a limited number of links and for the rest, get some writing done.
PS I am on holiday and have pre-scheduled this so I won’t respond to any comments until late August.