Social Networking: Am I Still Wasting Time?

I’m about to take a break from expressing my healthy and respectful fascination with Social Networking, media darling that it is. But just tomorrow!

In fact, I realized just how much attention and focus I was giving soaking up all things social media, reading more and more articles and unearthing new blogs to scan, comment upon and digging deep into new divine web finds (as I call them) bookmarked for later examination.

So occasionally I make myself stop and unplug for a day–and it’s challenging; voracious reader that I am.

All the time spent, soaking up unending content, has been affecting my sleep and quite frankly, my productivity. Can you relate? Are you ever a bit obsessed with new shiny objects like me? And in some ways history repeats itself.

I overindulged when I first discovered MySpace. I originally established a profile so that I could befriend my musician friends and cheer them on virtually–for all the times I didn’t get to attend their shows. Me, the musically inclined, music loving amateur and strong first soprano–who could no longer really play my guitar well: I was simply happy to be linked to my favorite indie musicians and a few worldwide favorites via this new space called MySpace. Never did it occur to me I’d conduct business through this kind of network back then!

My most beloved local band, Ala Zingara tried a virtual version of their travel game for road trips, Pass the Cup, a spontaneous and collaborative effort to build a story (online at their MySpace page), written on a (virtual) blank paper cup till it was full. On our neverending MySpace cup, I took my turn at building on the story line on and off for a week before I got DISTRACTED…and returned to being focused and productive. I didn’t waste that much time I told myself, it was my tea break activity. And the story we co-created had its funny parts but mostly a lot of puzzling seque ways. CLEARLY a great use of time and creativity (LOL)!

MySpace was not my first time with “friending” people I didn’t really know. Ryze.com was on my radar in 2002 when it was a fledgling site. A site before it’s time perhaps? It’s among the array of social networks used, but being that it was a Business site first, it was never as sexy as Twitter and still only boasts a half million members according to Wikipedia. But, hey, I got a lot of birthday wishes that year I worked at staying tuned into my friends and their friends and so on.

In truth, early Social Networking experiences for me were fruitless ways of passing time in front of a computer. Me, someone who hasn’t owned a TV since 2004.

Things are distinctly different now while they also are still the same. How can that be you ask? Well, I overindulge in Facebook time and reading blogs some days. I am not drawn to Twitter and tweeting but I get that micro-blogging is useful. I clearly appreciate reading more, not less. I don’t mind long blog posts on content of interest to me. I allow time for it. AND, I am beginning to remember to update my LinkedIn profile–but it’s mostly static.

My “plan” is to stay active on at least two networks with hopes of adding a third and monitoring a few email accounts…am I crazy? Who has time for that every day, says the voice of reason on my right shoulder? When will you be making the calls that must be made? Who now has time to actually talk? I do, I say to myself. I make time!

The battery of questions goes on as I try and quiet my mind.

It can be a problem when the “to do and be completed today” list is left unattended because I found another great red hot post on some freshly discovered blog.

AND I realize that playing in the big and very wide open field that social media is, is a fine way to build personal brand awareness, stay connected to friends and find great alliances. And I can say that I have met some great new people thanks to Web 2.0 tools.

So I have authored my own simple recipe for what I call success to keep me motivated! OR at the very least occasionally up late at night!

For me it is about Content, Consistency and Courage.

COURAGE: Be like Nike and Just Do It. Try being vulnerable and share an opinion. Let your thoughts be expressed as they want to be. Inspire a dialogue as best you can. Sure, proofread and edit but post it, post it, post it as soon as you can release it from that grip of perfection.

CONTENT: What lights you up or what gets you mad? Something does and you are the one who knows it. Will you though be willing to share it? I find my heart to be a true barometer for identifying topics. You are probably thinking of one right now. Yes. Write about that! Or ask your best friend what they want to see you write about…bet they tell you. Then go write it!

CONSISTENCY: You know those people who go to the gym often, or yoga, or run miles and miles in training for a marathon and get fit and have great legs and stamina to do it again, even on an off day? Yes, be like them. Be a devoted follower of your own blog, and be the one who writes and shares and takes risks so people can find you and get involved in a dialogue.

And the journey that I call my ongoing fascination with and practical education in authentic marketing continues. After a day’s rest!

3 thoughts on “Social Networking: Am I Still Wasting Time?

  1. Deborah

    Nice post and yes it is difficult to figure out where to spend time and where not to. Sometimes I wonder if LinkedIn or Xing are worth the trouble. Twitter I use for information only – collect and distribute of which I then post a weekly summary on my blog:

    Very interesting links: BarCamp to Morgan Stanley via eBay

    Nevertheless, I have to admit that through a LinkedIn discussion I found a blog post where you had a very insightful comment about Key Performance Indicators or KPIs and social media.

    I commented on your comment and then we connected through e-mail. We decided that this was not enough and used Voice over IP —- and this all within the last 3 days. Only social media can do that for you for sure!

    To our new friendship may it grow and last.

    Urs
    @ComMetrics

  2. Deborah,

    Didn’t know you were so passionate about music. Just another side of you I’m getting to know. : -)

    I love your three C’s, especially “courage,” That one took me the longest. We were talking about this on Twitter today.

    (I know, how can you talk in short 140-character bursts, right?)

    A writer I follow posed the question,

    “Why aren’t puppets allowed in high-level meetings?”

    I laughed, but then I remembered a story of a younger me who, as a manger at an international nonprofit, was stressed out to tell my boss that I was going to quit. So I took a hand-held puppet named P├ępe to the lunch and made him quit for me. Well, I was the voice but he actually did the quitting. Difficult situation, but it broke the tension and my boss ended up doubled up in laugher.

    We got talking more about puppets, and the place of humor in general in the workplace. And now my next blog post will be about that experience and when and how we should let our real selves shine. In our businesses, with our friends, in our life.

    Don’t know where I was going with this except to say that social media allows me to be my true self and I love that.

    Wonderful, thought-provoking post, Deborah.

  3. Pingback: Very useful links: White House to Google Groups - Google Groups, hashtag inventor, hashtag pioneer, open source, Obama goes open source, Twitter tool, Tele2, social media measurement, benchmark, free Twitter tools, - ComMetrics: social media monitoring =&

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