Social Media: Time Suck or Useful?
I know lots of people who have already reached their 50k word count for NaNoWriMo. (I don’t know how they managed to keep their fingers from falling off, but kudos to them!) I even heard about some (crazy? ambitious? bored?) people who are aiming to write one million words by the end of November.
That’s just plain unhealthy, if you ask me.
If not for social media and the wonders of the Internet, I would never have known about any of this writing insanity. I could never have developed a support group (a group of people putting themselves through the same madness). Social media, especially Twitter, has been awesome in helping me to be remain 1) inspired 2) energetic and 3) relatively sane while I’m writing.
But as with many good things, there’s a dark side. Social media is an enormous time suck. (That’s one of the reasons I got rid of my Facebook some months back – I just spent far too much time on it.) Depending on how many people you follow on Twitter, you get many new tweets popping up every second. If you’re friends with 500 people on Facebook, you’ll have tons of status messages to sift through at any given moment. This can get very overwhelming very quickly.
How do you draw the line between a bit of healthy procrastination and getting totally sucked into the black hole of the Internet?
First bit of advice: DO NOT use StumbleUpon (at least during NaNoWriMo). I hit the Stumble! button a few times and got completely sidetracked on the Internet for a good three hours.
Second bit of advice: Deactivate your Facebook account for the month. You’ll be amazed at how much time you save.
Third bit of advice: Follow fellow Wrimos on Twitter, so that when they tweet about reaching 10k or 12k, you’ll want to be up there with them.
And, as a last resort, go somewhere without Internet access, so there’s only you and your writing. Good luck and have a great day! 🙂