Social media is a good thing if used for the right reasons….misuse it and you can forget ever finishing that current book you are working on. Let’s face it folks…social media can be an addiction worse that drugs for a writer.
It is easy to get hooked on the drug “social media”. You try it once and are almost instantly hooked and why wouldn’t you be, it speaks to the very primal part of human nature…the part that makes us innately nosey. I mean, what a great invention…we can go on, spy on our friends, potential new partners, we can even stalk someone and they are none the wiser until the rabbit is boiling in the kitchen. Social media can be a dangerous tool.
For the writer a “tool” is what social media should be. We can get some great PR off of it and what a great way to announce current and future projects. Facebook even allows you to do separate pages to promote just your work…how cool is that? The thing is, just as it can be a great tool, it can also take over your life. I have seen writers get literally obsessed with their web stats, visitors and even followers. (This applies to all social media by the way, Twitter, Myspace, all of it) You can spend so much time on your social media sites that you never actually do any work. I have one writer friend who hasn’t actually written a book in four years and she blames Facebook. She says that the pull to check her Facebook status is so strong that she sits down at her desk, logs on and it is hours before she looks up again.
As with any “drug”, social media needs to be a thing handled in moderation. It’s okay to use the sites to promote your work but try not to get sucked in to all the social interaction that goes along with these sites. (By the way, hopping up on my soapbox for a sec…it isn’t really “social interaction” if the only interaction you have is online. I know that many people say that it is, but it isn’t…it’s simply you on your computer, alone…it’s creepy if that’s the way you live…stop it! Hopping back down now) While these sites are a great tool it is important to ensure that they stay that way and not take over your life. I have found that the best way to deal with the time loss these sites cause is to schedule the time you spend. Visit, check it out and then leave closing the virtual door behind you and then don’t visit again until the following day. If you don’t handle it this way you will soon find yourself hemmed up in Candy Crush hell along with the zillions of other people spending real money for virtual items. (THAT’S a whole other column)
So keep your social media interaction in check. If you don’t you will look up one day to discover that you no longer have a life and the kids have even moved on without you. Get your nose out of Facebook and back on that book project.
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