How’s everyone doing? Boy, it’s been a tough week, hasn’t it? It’s been, at the very least, anxiety-inducing. So, in order to try to preserve what’s left of my sanity, I am beginning a new relationship with social media. I’ve been fairly active on Twitter since I joined in 2010, which has been both good and bad. On one hand, I have met some really really fantastic people, but on the other hand I’ve also seen some truly ugly stuff go down.
Lately it’s become a constant toxic stream. This is not a put-down to anyone, it’s just that it’s a constant barrage of (mostly) righteous rage, and very little else. I’ve also been dismayed and disappointed by some I thought were a little more enlightened than they now appear. It’s funny, the sort of back-handed tactics they employ to try to tell you what you should be tweeting, what they find acceptable. Well, you never really know people on Twitter, do you? I’ll tweet what I like, when I like. If someone doesn’t like it, they are free to unfollow me. I didn’t get on social media to argue. And as far as I can tell, arguing with people online never changed anyone’s mind.
But, that aside, Twitter has been consuming far too much of my time anyway. I’m always griping about trying to find time to write, so removing that time-suck seems the logical thing to do. Years ago I resisted joining, even though I had writer friends encouraging me to check it out. I finally caved back in 2010. So seven years later it’s sucking up my life as I feared it would. My fault, of course, for letting it. I don’t intend to vanish entirely from Twitter, but I am going on a Twitter-diet, and will be more strictly regulating my time there. I considered automating my Twitter feed, but I really hate when people do that. It’s more likely I’ll have a couple bursts of activity during the day, then shut it down again.
Additionally, I’ve been busily unsubscribing from a host of email newsletters that I signed up for in the dim past and never seem to actually read. I spend more time deleting them than reading them. I cleared out probably 1000 old emails (I know, I know…) this morning, and it’s just a colossal waste of time. New rule: read it or delete it immediately.
I only recently joined Instagram, too, and though I really enjoy it, it too is a time-suck. All this social media may be fun, but it’s not writing. As with most of these things, you follow some people to be polite, then find you never interact with them, or even read their posts. It’s just silly. If we’re not really interested in what someone is saying, why the pretense? So, I unfollowed a bunch there. I expect to spend far less time on Instagram as well.
Indie authors like me are encouraged to have accounts everywhere, but it’s absurd. I have accounts on Ello, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Wattpad as well that I’ve all but forgotten about. There’s no way to keep up with it all. Even this poor blog is terribly neglected. If anything, I may try to get back to blogging on a more regular basis, but the rest will likely be very much more on the back burner.
Social media is not all bad, but it’s largely unproductive. I’ll be around, but not as much as I have been. At least, that’s the plan. Let’s see how long I can stick to it.
7 thoughts on “Backing Away”
I always love seeing you around the Twitter, DD, but if you tweet less I’ll just look forward to it more 😊
Ha, I expect most people won’t even notice if I never tweet again.
We’d notice! But I understand backing away; I’m going to do a bit of that too. The online world can bring some real world stress and times are getting scary.
Yes. Yes they are.
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I think you’re ahead of the curve, DD. Enjoy your own time and thought (we’ll get to enjoy the product in new work from you). XO
Twitter is a time suck. I spent a lot of mindless time on there today when I could have been writing. Unfortunately, authors need social media. What’s funny though is when I research what authors need, Twitter is not among them. I repeatedly hear about email lists (for a newsletter) and a FB author page (that you DO update at least twice a day). My friends on Twitter have helped me tremendously through the publishing process, but Twitter does not sell books. I sold more books announcing on FB to friends and family I had a book out, than what I sold on Twitter. Those avenues I’ll be exploring a little more when I have more to publish.
Ha, and I don’t like FB any better! I sure don’t have time to update it twice daily! I realize I have to do some marketing, but this expectation of constant social media presence is unrealistic. No wonder so many people automate their feeds. I know the popular advice is to have a newsletter, but geez, how many newsletters can people stand? I just unsubscribed from quite a few. I started to work on one, set up a MailChimp account, got a PO box for the address, and then never did got around to actually creating the newsletter. Maybe I should revisit that idea.
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