Monday, August 19, 2013

Social Media - Love It or Hate It?




Merriam Webster.com defines social media as "forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages and other content (as videos)."

How do you feel about social media?

Love it? 

Hate it? 

Or, like me, some days like it better than others?

Which ones do you use? Facebook? Twitter? Pinterest? Instagram? Blogs? Goodreads?

It's a good way to meet and stay in touch with people. How many friends have you made through social media? I've met most of you through blogging, and connected with friends old and new on Facebook.

It's a marketing must - to establish a platform and spread the word about our books, writing, or services. Fans and friends (or friends who are fans!) are able to see what's offered and the latest happenings. 

It makes the world smaller and more personal. How many of us have friends from other parts of the country or world? It expands horizons that we'd not have otherwise.

Good things, all.

But there's a downside too. 

Raise your hand if you've gotten sucked into social media when you were supposed to be working on a project, editing, or making dinner. (Guilty.) 

This is the aspect I don't like, the temptation to get distracted and pressure to be or do something we are not. Sure, there are other things that distract us in life. But I think social media surrounds and affects us more than we realize, and it isn't always beneficial. Society expects us to be connected 24/7. This is not good when it takes us away from quality offline life.

The solution? A plan with balance and perspective, I think. Different for everyone, and worth assessing often. Forbes.com shares helpful tips in this article, 10 Social Media Time Management Tips.

Has social media ever overtaken your day? What do you do to maintain a good balance?

Have a great week,

Karen

P.S. If you haven't already, please free to connect with me through my new Facebook Author Page, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Twitter with the buttons on the sidebar. I promise I won't tie you up 24/7. :)
 


Photo credit: Stock Exchange


26 comments :

  1. Karen I have mixed views on social media. It does sometimes overtake my time, as I use FB and Twitter a lot. BUt on the positive side, it is wonderful for keeping up with distant family and/or friends.

    p.s. I figured out how and I am now officially following your wonderful blog :)

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  2. I use Facbook and Twitter. I'm building a following on Goodreads and LinkedIn too for when my next book comes out. But FB and Twitter are mainly what I use.

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  3. Thanks for the Forbes link.

    I try to limit my social media time. I'll go on when I'm too fried to write. The connections I've made have helped me immensely, which then mean it sort of counts like writing time, right???

    I blog, and I'm on Facebook and Twitter.

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  4. Keith,
    Me too. Love the friends I've made and renewed connections with old friends and family. Don't like the time element sometimes. Thanks so much for following! :)

    Stephen,
    Thanks so much for the shout out today on your blog! I appreciate it! Keep me posted on when your book comes out. Be glad to share the news!

    Happy Monday,
    Karen

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  5. You're right that people expect us to be online all the time. I do my best to check in often, but I have a real life as well.
    Blogging, Twitter, and Goodreads. And Suvudu and Google+. That's all I can handle.

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  6. Theresa,
    I really liked the Forbes article. Hope you do too! Yeah, I hear you, it does sort of count for writing! Well, it is part of the package of connecting and all. :)

    Alex,
    I know, and sometimes the real life gets left by the wayside, which is not good. Balance with a good purpose, I'm thinking! :)

    Happy Monday,
    Karen

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  7. Social media is actually what kept me connected to family and friends when I moved to the other side of the country all by my lonesome. I ADORE that aspect of it. Some days though, I want to shoot the person who declared all writers must be social. ;) The thing I've found that works best is setting time limits with an actual timer. Yup. It motivates me to be fast, effective, and get the rest of my daily tasks done.

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  8. I agree with you, Karen--social media has a way of distracting me sometimes, especially Pinterest! Balance is key. I tweet every so often, but I never feel very interesting, LOL.

    I need to look into Hootsuite to help me organize posts.

    Thanks for the post!

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  9. Hi Karen...

    Well, I certainly love blogland and have wonderful blog peeps from all over the USA and other parts of the world.(Incuding you!)

    I use Facebook (a little) and I love, love, love Pinterest.

    Of course, I email.

    I have to put firm limits on the time spent on any of the above.

    In any event, like it or leave it, social media is here to stay!

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  10. Karen: I have a 'love-dislike intently' relationship with social media. I can't get Pinterest to work for me. I spend too much time on Facebook and Linked In. But I like the networking feature of both.

    I recently signed up for Twitter, I am still undecided about it.

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  11. Crystal,
    I hear you - that's how I stay in contact with family and friends too. And I have many days too where I am feeling very unsocial! LOL Oh well, it seems to balance out. Thanks so much for coming by and commenting! :)

    Susie,
    You know, I haven't gotten that into Pinterest yet, but I'm working on it. Balance, yes, we need it in every area, don't we? :)

    Susan W.,
    I know, the friends gained from blogging - just amazing! And you are one of them! :)

    Cecelia,
    LOL - yes, so do I! :) Pinterest was confusing to me at first, and I still don't use it a whole lot. Maybe someday!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  12. I have to admit, the last few months my heart just hasn't been into it. I'm doing the absolute minimum. And even then it feels like I'm struggling to keep up. I have to wonder, does marketing matter?

    I do appreciate all the links you provide, Karen. They're fascinating and helpful.

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  13. After my 6th book came out, I went through a burnout stage. I barely managed to keep up with my blog. Now I try to balance it and not let social media take over my life.

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  14. I love to blog and have met many lovely people on blogs, but they are the major time-eaters, so I don't go on more than one or two a day. I prefer Facebook and Pinterest. Twitter is one big billboard, so I don't like it. I rarely visit Goodreads or Linkdin.

    Thanks for asking!

    Have a great day,
    Jen

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  15. Karen, I was just discussing this yesterday with a friend of mine. She was upset about a status update someone posted on that person's own Facebook page, which status update my friend felt was implicitly targeted at her. And that is the problem with social media from a personal level--it heightens our insecurities! I got rid of my FB page months ago and have yet to miss it. I swear I like people again because of it! :-)

    I think social media is a must for professional purposes. I use social media sites almost exclusively in that regard. If used on a personal level, however, I think social media is cold and can lead to too many misunderstandings among friends. I'd like to think that we should strive to be a community of people, not avatars. Just my opinion.

    Again, social media is a wonderful medium for professional advancement, but I tend to leave it at that.

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  16. One of my writer pals just deleted her Facebook account because it was sucking her time. I have a FB and Twitter because it was strongly suggested for platform building. I mostly ignore them, though, so I'm neither reaping the rewards nor suffering the consequences.

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  17. Karen, though I like social media a lot, especially FB, many times I feel I should not spend too much time on it and instead write my ms. Social media can be a time suck at times.

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  18. Joylene,
    I kind of go in waves too, and much depends on what else is going on in my life, you know? Glad you find the links helpful! Thanks! :)

    Diane,
    I wonder if we cycle through these seasons - and better balance can be crucial to help keep things level. Thanks for weighing in. :)

    Jen,
    I agree, some of it just ends up like a billboard. But then some would argue that's what marketing is. Ah well, you need to do what fits your situation best, I'm thinking. :)

    Janette,
    I can see where feelings get hurt and misunderstandings happen. I really try to stay out of things on FB, and not get political or anything like that. I enjoy keeping up with family and friends that way, but it can be detrimental too. I like your comparison to avatars - I think that's a good one! :)

    Lisa,
    I am tempted to delete FB every so often. And cannot keep up with everything else out there to use them to their full advantage. Guess you've got to choose what works best for your situation, if anything at all! :)

    Rachna,
    Yes, I agree, it can take so much time out of our schedules! Discipline, which is not always present here, lol, is the key! :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  19. I like FB, but I find that's a little more time-consuming so I only check that every other day. Twitter I use ALL the time because it's quick and fun.

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  20. I have a love/hate relationship with it. Some days, like you...too much love. But after all, blogging is how I found a very loyal and delightful friend named Karen...

    Grateful!

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  21. Jennifer,
    Yes, FB really can suck the time out of your day, can't it? LOL I need to work on my Twitter skills; maybe you could teach a class! :)

    Rhonda,
    And I am grateful to have found you as a friend too! You are a sweetheart! :)

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  22. Hi Karen -

    We found each other on a blog thanks to MaryAnn D'Orio. :)

    I love social media too much. The time element is the biggest problem. Now, with a contract and working a full-time job, it's even more challenging.

    Hitting it hard during book launch time and then backing off some has worked well for me. I also link my blog to other venues and cross post as much as possible.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  23. I definitely have a tolerate/despise relationship with it -- a necessary evil, and a time suck. I probably get the most out of my blog. FB/Twitter, not so much. But we need to have our ever-important webprint, don't we?

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  24. Susan R.,
    Yes we did! And I am grateful! :) Ah yes, you are a social media girl, and you are so good at it! :)

    Milo,
    Oh there are many days when I feel that way - that it's something to be tolerated and we must do it. And yes, we do need that presence in today's world, don't we? A conundrum, I'm thinking! LOL

    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  25. The usage of these networks purely depends upon how the user uses these networks. Whether it is facebook or twitter, how we spend our time in these networks really matters. Social Media Agencies can bring a smarter approach by implementing quality posts at a time will be worthy for the user.

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  26. Waliy,
    I think you are right; a smart approach is the way to go. Thanks for your input.
    Have a good week,
    Karen

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!