The social media can spread the good news about you, bring you traffic to your blog and the brand you painstakingly cultivate. Alas, they can also make you less productive.
Atop my to-do list is to build a fair number of future posts for this blog. It’s like saving for the rainy days when inspiration ebbs. Or when life wrests you away to deal with real life problems and other emergencies.
But of late, I find myself becoming sucked in a black hole called Twitter. My reasons for going there are unassailable:
1. I’m on a treasure hunt for valuable links I can take back to this blog – seedlings of future post ideas.
2. I’m networking – connecting with prospective readers and online friends.
3. I’m taking the pulse of what’s out there – news, new trends, emerging technologies that might impact on my writing.
4. Of course, I’m also striking a pose and somewhat liking it.
Should I be happy? No. I’m practically scrambling to beat my posting deadline, a clear case of blogging hand-to-mouth. It’s taking me a lot harder to get into my writing groove. My attention span is shot. I’m even beginning to think there is a sliver of truth to the notion that online interaction is rewiring how we think and make decisions.
Gosh, can it be this technology overload is turning my brain into a flat pancake? You know the symptoms. You pick up a reasonably good book to read, but you can’t concentrate. You keep throwing anxious looks at your desktop or your blackberry. Can’t keep pace with what the author’s driving at. His multi-layered subtleties don’t send delicious chills down your spine anymore. You’re impatient – how you wish he’d get to the point and give you the lowdown, preferably in bullet points.
Facebook and other social bookmarking sites
I rarely check to see what’s up with Facebook lately. I used to like it a lot because interaction in Facebook is a little laid back. You can almost describe it as pastoral. I can play games, check messages, approve the occasional friend request and move out. That’s the lovely part. Then it happened. I got poked a lot. What’s with these people? Send me a message instead. I hate to be prodded and poked like so much sidewalk merchandise. And I don’t need to hunt for Easter eggs. That and getting friend recommendations of half-naked punks – what am I now a casting couch or something?
It’s good that whenever I twit this gets published as well in Facebook. Whenever I hit the stumble button this gets shown in Friendfeed and Twitter as well. Good. Efficient use of technology and all that But it’s weird – like I shouted something and this echoes and reechoes in the vast Grand Canyons of the internet.
For all its benefits the social media have the power to make your productivity toast. I find it gobbling up large chunks of time that would otherwise have been put to better use: like actually living. And writing.
Over to you now, friends. How do you deal with these online temptations? What system do you have in place that guarantees productivity and optimum social media presence?
I’m all ears for your suggestions. And of course you can join me in Twitter later. Let’s spook some people there, okay?