January 9, 2012

Can't Get Any Work Done Because Of Facebook, Twitter Or Google+

We log on just to see what is going on and before we know it we are sucked in to the vortex of social networking. Those few minutes turn into hours and before we know it we didn’t get things done we planned and the day is gone.

Pros of Social Sites

Don’t get me wrong, they have their place in life and can be very helpful for many things:

Networking- helping promote your work whether it’s writing, performing, web designing or other career. Social networking sites are a wonderful marketing tool.

Self Help- people with depression or other mental issues talk to people who in turn boost their ego and help their sense of wellbeing. It can be a virtual group therapy session.

Shy people- some wouldn’t have nearly as many friends if they weren’t communicating online. Visiting with the security of a monitor makes it easier to talk to people they ordinarily would not converse with.

Disabled people- those with mobility issues are able to have an active social life and even find love.

Cons of social sites

Wasted time- some lose track of how long they are logged on feeling they need to wait and see what people have to say about their latest clever update or post. They look for particular friends to be online and don’t want to miss funny or interesting comments by their buddies. Interacting with friends is not a bad thing but when it takes us away from obligations and duties it is not so good.

Trolls- these are people who get enjoyment by making other people feel bad. They have been known to cause suicidal actions among vulnerable victims. Basically, they are the scum of the earth.

Viruses- visiting with people across the globe without physical contact protects us from colds and the latest flu bug. Unfortunately it doesn’t always keep our computers from being infected by crawlers some unhappy media user has developed.

Ruined reputation- some people don’t know where to draw the line and post all manner of relationship issues, party photos and rude remarks about employers.

Stolen identity or possessions- giving out too much personal information helps thieves steal your identity as well as know when you will be out of town so they can break into your house. You’ve made it easy for them because your address and length of time you’ll be gone are posted.

Monitoring social media time

So what do you do if you find yourself having trouble tearing yourself away from what’s going on in Facebook world?

Set a schedule.

Make a list of what you need to get done along with duration of the task. Set a timer and when it goes off move on to the next chore. A buzzer or ringing noise has more of an impact than simply looking up at a clock every now and then.

Simply giving yourself a time doesn’t always work. We’ll say, “I’m only going to be on here an hour,” and before you know it you are well into the next one and you figure you’ve wasted part of this segment so why not wait until the next chime of the clock.

Disconnect the Internet

If you are working from home and aren’t sharing the web with other people, simply unplug the cord, if you are wireless, turn off the router.

Sometimes not getting on at all helps us. Logging in for a short time may not do the trick and staying off all day or more helps.

I do this for hours and sometimes days at a time using an old fashioned dictionary to check spelling. Yes, people do still use hard copy books. Imagine that?

The world will not end if you do not check in.

Contrary to the Mayan calendar, the world will not end soon and even if it did you being on Google+ wouldn’t make a difference.

We use our phones, our televisions as well as our computers these days to stay connected to the world at large, worried we might miss something. Look back at the past two days and recall any big news that happened. Even if something incredible did arise, could you have done anything to change it by being online? Most likely not.

People read your blog more when you are absent.

One thing I have noticed is that activity on my blog websites and articles picks up when I’m offline more. People miss you and since they aren’t getting to read your words on Twitter or wherever else you reside virtually, they’ll look for your words on your blog site(s).

In the beginning, you need to gather your social audience and I do not mean you should leave indefinitely but once you’ve collected a following you should notice a peak in views when you are offline for a day or more.

Marketing is great but if you spend all of your time selling and no time creating then what are you promoting?


MissOlive said...

Excellent article! Sometimes we need to learn to just step away. As a teacher I became totally addicted to Facebook over the holiday break. Classes resume tomorrow and I am very glad that our district has a firewall against Facebook. I couldn't log in even if I wanted to. Excellent tips!

Thank you for sharing

Pamela N Red said...

Miss Olive I think we have all found ourselves spending too much time playing online in one form or the other.

Some people get online with their phones so a firewall probably wouldn't work in that case although it would use up minutes unless they have an endless supply.

Thank you for reading.

Word on the Streetz said...

Very good blog Pam. Top class, and you have captured everything to a tee.

Social networking addiction is a serious problem and I think most of us are addicted to it even though few will admit it. I think I spend too much time on it myself and to counter it, have set, as a resolution, a strict fitness and dietary regime that, hopefully, will gently wean me off Social networking, or at least keep my presence online to a reasonable minimum

Excellent stuff

Pamela N Red said...

Word, communicating with friends is fun but all play and no work is not good either. We have to find that happy medium and keep focused.

Mykuljay said...

Very well put and oh-so-true. I remember the very, very early days of the 'net and the home pc. People would stay up for hours and hours, bleary eyed visiting chat rooms. The precursor to today's social networking.

Same thing.

The world will NOT end if we unplug for a while and in fact I find I enjoy it more when I do - and then come back.

JamaGenie said...

Pamela, in some ways the addiction to social networking has replaced having the TV on 24/7 for "company". That if it's not on 24/7, we might miss something "important". I broke myself of that habit years ago and can go for days without turning the TV on except to watch a favorite program or a special on PBS.

But you're right that the internet and sites like FB and Twitter DO keep the extremely shy connected to the world. For introverts like me and those who aren't "social animals" in the real world, the web and social sites allow us to pick and choose whom we interact with. It also allows us to control (and even schedule) such interactions.

That said, I too am guilty of logging on intending only to check email or research an article I'm writing, and get sidetracked replying to comments on FB or a hub. OR, like today, checking out a new-to-me blog that promises to be interesting...and it turns out that it IS. Good job!

Now back to that hub I only logged on to research... :-)

Pamela N Red said...

Mykuljay, I also remember the early chat rooms and forums. We've certainly come a long way. The trouble is we have so many more of them today that keeps us from getting as much done as we should.

Pamela N Red said...

JamaGenie, the Internet is a great tool for research and that also gets me sidetracked. I'm reading articles and blogs and before I know it I've spent more time then I had planned.

Alex Zorach said...

This is one major problem with these sites. The sites are designed to rope people in, because companies profit by having more traffic to their sites.

I think there's a hidden (or not so hidden) cost to society of these things...it's not just that they waste time but I think they can also promote anxiety and not-so-healthy ways of thinking.

Pamela N Red said...

Alex, they are good at luring us into the sites and it can be an unhealthy addiction.