Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The distraction of social media

I’ve read a few posts recently where the blogger is considering or has deleted their Facebook page. This seems rather drastic but let’s consider. How long do you spend on social media? I know I spend far too much time. When I’m writing I have Facebook open and sometimes Twitter. Twitter isn’t such a problem as I don’t use it every day and will often go several days without logging in. Facebook is another matter. I have a habit of switching windows to see if I’ve missed anything and then re-posting or commenting. My excuse is that it gives me a break from typing. Ah and there goes a ping as I am writing this, letting me know that I have either a new email or there’s new activity on Facebook! Often I then wing over to see what’s happening.
Occasionally I will be strong and start writing first and not log into Facebook. All too often that doesn’t happen. One time I vowed to go Facebook-free for a week. I struggled. I needed my fix. Yet when I returned and scrolled through the page, saw what posts people had made I realised that I had missed absolutely nothing. Great, I thought, I don’t really need this. But I was soon back there.
I don’t have a separate writer’s account on Facebook. I don’t feel I warrant it yet. If I had a book coming out maybe. It does mean that my  friends get some posts that probably are very uninteresting to them. I have few ‘writer’ friends and I try not to overload my posts with writerly things.
So, I wonder where I stand with Facebook. Yes, I’m often distracted by it, sometimes I get angry with it. What I have done in the last few days is post less. I still read things but I am less active. I don’t think I could delete my page. Writer’s need social media – it’s the thing we are all told to get out there, and one day maybe I will have a proper writer’s Facebook page. Until then I mix and match and will try to monitor my use of Facebook and not get drawn in by the pings and the need to constantly respond. How do you cope with Facebook? Have you tried abstaining from it for a while? How did you find that?

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