Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Social Networking is Killing Me

Because I was gone all last week, I wasn't able to do any of my facebooking, twittering, blogging, commenting, forum posting, etc.

And you know what? I didn't miss it. In fact, now that I'm back, the weight of social networking is so heavy, I'm considering scaling back. Like way back.

Because I'm tired of social networking. Are any of you? What are your best social networking stories? Met anyone amazing? Crit buddies? Agent convos? Basically, I need you to sell me on this whole thing again, because I really didn't miss it and just thinking about starting up again has me shaking.



christinefonseca said...

I changed my approach to social networking - limiting the time I spend reading blogs, commenting on them, etc. And yes, I have met some great buddies on line - people that not only write, but work in the same field (psychology) and get those really rough days...and that has made it worth it to me. I have also learned a million terrific things.

Because I am obsessive by nature, I had to restrict the amount of time ofspend on this stuff - and that seems to be working. Maybe that could work for you too. You will scale back, but I think balance works for me.

Good Luck!!!

christinefonseca said...

I changed my approach to social networking - limiting the time I spend reading blogs, commenting on them, etc. And yes, I have met some great buddies on line - people that not only write, but work in the same field (psychology) and get those really rough days...and that has made it worth it to me. I have also learned a million terrific things.

Because I am obsessive by nature, I had to restrict the amount of time ofspend on this stuff - and that seems to be working. Maybe that could work for you too. You will scale back, but I think balance works for me.

Good Luck!!!

Jamie D. said...

Welcome back. :-)

I think the problem with social networking is the obligation we place on ourselves to be connected and "keep up" at all times. Most people out there will understand if you can only check into Twitter occasionally, Facebook once per day, and limit time on forums and blog postings...so I think the heavy overload we get is self-imposed, if that makes any sense.

I check in on Twitter a couple times during the day, but since I'm at work, I limit it quite heavily (I will admit I have it up in the background most evenings at home). Facebook is only at night, and only when I have time. Blogs are my guilty pleasure - I sneak in a couple here and there for a break, and comment when something interests me. I only visit one forum regularly anymore, and limit my time there too. I think as a writer who wants to be published, it's important to stay "connected", but not at the expense of writing time or mental health.

But if I don't have time to get to any or all of them, I don't sweat it. Almost everyone online is trying to find that same balance, so they should understand when you scale back/limit your time online.

WindyA said...

I totally agree with Christine on this! I've also tried to streamline where I can and maybe that can help you. Limiting time works, if you can commit to it. Personally I have a hard time with this ;-).

I've met some great people online crit buddies, old friends I've lost touch with, other writers who just "get" what's going on when you need to vent, agents who really answer your questions and in there I've learned some valuable lessons that I don't think I would have had a chance for if I didn't Twitter or follow blogs!

I think the biggest thing to remember is to not take it too seriously. Yes, you want to try to keep up, but if you miss something, don't sweat it. This is the net, it's not going anywhere. ;-)

Good luck.

Scott said...

It's all about setting (and sticking to) limits. I check the blogs periodically throughout the day. I don't check them at all in the evenings. My evenings are for bonding and writing. I check in on Facebook every now and then. It's all about balance.

So, set some reachable goals and stay in the network. Your presence would be missed.

Set a specific time not to blog, facebook, or tweet - say after 2 PM or 3 PM or 7 PM. Limit the amount of time per day - no more than 2 hours. If I add up all my time blogging, it's probably under an hour. That's not bad.


Morgan Xavier said...

Right now I find the whole thing depressing. I only recently discovered 'blogs' and quickly became addicted to the idea of social networking, until I realized how frustrating it can be when no one responds to a post, or comments on my blog (I know I can't expect much with only two followers).
I guess it takes time to network, and make friends, and unfortunately, that time is cutting into my writing progress.
Well, I love your blog, and I encourage you to keep at it :)

~Jamie said...

You have to pick one and be really good at THAT one... I think.

Find the one people are using right now and make that your primary focus. Don't completely ignore the others... but don't put equal time into all of them either.

IM me later... I have a new story that will renew your faith :)

Lady Glamis said...

Elana, I've scaled back A TON. Why don't you join me in the UNPLUG week every third week of the month? It's absolutely wonderful, and helps with networking the rest of the month. I also don't comment as much anymore. And I don't belong to Twitter. Good luck!

Lady Glamis said...

Also, Elana, I've found that keeping up the strong relationships I already have is the most important thing. :D

Ina said...

I've found in the last few weeks that my time is much better spent writing than it is reading about writing and publishing. Sure, there's a lot one needs to know about writing query letters etc., but ultimately, for me, all that information is distracting. I shouldn't be worrying about it at this stage; I should be finishing my novel! I do think there are useful aspects of social networking, though. I follow some blogs and check Facebook and Twitter occasionally, but I try to limit my commenting so that I'm not tempted to go back and check what other people had to say about that same topic.

Personally, I think if you feel tired of socal networking at this point, take a break! Leave it alone for the summer, then come back to it with a fresh approach when you feel like it again.

As for meeting amazing people via social networking... I met my husband on MySpace ;)

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Everytime I am away for a few days I come back with the exact same feeling, but then once I catch up on my sleep I remember all the things I like about social networking (communication with human beings who are not toddlers, excellent excuse to procrastinate, and keeping up with latest writing news and debates) and decide that I will not move to that cave in the desert after all.

Like many others have commented, sometimes it helps to just cut back a little bit when you start feeling overwhelmed, and give yourself permission not to comment on every new tweet, facebook update, and blog entry.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Ah. Great timing. I just recently found your blog and like it. But then, I just recently started blogging so I am miles behind you. Even so, I already question the time spent blogging.
In my newbie state, I've decided to keep going because I am learning a lot in the process. Not just tips from fellow writers, but topics I discuss with others take me deeper in my own work. That is really valuable.

beth said...

I like Twitter for the links--and the occassional chance to talk directly to agents/editors. It's quick, so not much of a time suck for me.

I hate MySpace. It's creepy and too geared towards pedophiles.

I like Facebook--but not obsessively. The quizes annoy the crap out of me, and there's only so much "I'm cooking X for supper tonight!!! :)" that I can handle.

I love blogging, though. I've found--er--almost all of my writing buddies through blogging, I keep my own writing accountable through it, I keep up with publishing news through it, and I think it's given me a viable bio credit for queries. So I def devote more of my social networking time to blogging than anything else, but I do see a value in it. After that, probably Twitter, but I use Twitter as a short thing to do between brainstorming ideas, so it's not too bad.

Annie Louden said...

Echoing the others, just scale back. Do unplug week, or unplug when you want to. I have some days where I do almost no social networking and some where it's like all day. Just depends on my (work) schedule.

I only check facebook a couple times a day, I still don't understand the appeal of Twitter, and I'm rarely on forums. As for blogging, I pretty much just do the WiP Wed. posts and blog chain. If I had something else to say, I'd say it, but I'm not forcing myself to reach a posting quota.

As for commenting, sometimes I read posts but don't stop to comment. And I don't read everyone's blog every day.

I mean, it's supposed to be fun, right? Don't let it become a chore. And I have met some really awesome people that I can tell are already changing my life for the better, and I would def. not give that up.

Danyelle said...


*echoes what everyone else said*

I've cut back on blogging too. It was hard, because there are so many awesome people out there, but because they're awesome, they're understanding. :) I only post once a week now, and don't check the blogroll excessively. I've moved a notch down to slightly less excessively. :p

It's a hard choice to make, but it's worth it. More than anything, we want a happy Elana. :D

Icy Roses said...

Let go of Facebook and Twitter. I refuse to get a Twitter, because as a personal preference, I don't like getting inundated with every detail about someone else's life. Facebook, I have scaled back on drastically because it's a huge time waster. I can do without both, but I would keep my blog because...I don't know...it feels more educational? More connections with writers? More useful to my life?

Also, you can't leave your blog because I'm addicted to your daily postings. Don't make me go through more withdrawal than I had to last week. :-)

Maria Zannini said...

I'm afraid I can't sell you on jumping back into the networking merry-go-round.

I gave up MySpace and Facebook. Twitter is on the sidelines, something I only check on occasion.

But I enjoy blogging and reading blogs for a variety of reasons, so that stays.

I think many of us get "bullied" into thinking we HAVE to belong to all these social pyramids.

At some point you end up with networking overload. It becomes a chore instead of something useful.

I don't need a monkey on my back. I'm happy with my blog and reading other people's blogs.

Aaron Polson said...

It's all been said and better than I could. The bottom line for me: blogging. I don't actively engage in anything but my blog, and the blog has been a nice way to bounce ideas around with other writers.

Everything else can go bye-bye.

Kat Harris said...

Sorry Elana, I'm not going to convince you to come back to heavy social networking because I agree with you.

It can seriously drain your time.

(However, now that you mention it, I should find you on facebook.) :-)

Oh geez, I have the greatest word verification ever: humblyza

What do you suppose that means?

Eileen Astels Watson said...

So far I do very little with social networking, though I've been told over and over again that it's a great way to build a platform to help sell your books. I think balance is the key and keeping your time spent on it in moderation. If you can keep that under control then it's an awesome tool. I just need to get my ducks in a row and figure out how to efficiently and effectively use the social networks.

B.J. Anderson said...

I hear you on this one. It's sooooo hard to keep up. So, sometimes I let it slide and every third Monday of the month I unplug completely. It is a killer. And I have to cool stories of being discovered or finding critique partners. Although I have made A LOT of new friends, which makes it worth it for me.

Jenn Nixon said...

I don't twitter or blog as much as I used to. Facebook is where all my family and IRL and online friends have converged, so I'm spending my extra time there.

I go back to myspace and twitter occasionally, but yes, I agree it's getting to be a bit much!

Tess said...

Ok, here's a story for you to help you feel re-committed:

- I got signed up with stat counter.

- I noticed someone in Manhattan was on my blog for an hour the other day. They googled "Tess Hilmo" and my blog came up.

- Now, my book is currently on submission...so I am hoping that it was an editor looking me up.

What would have happened if they googled me and found nothing? Or an outdated, out of touch blog? I don't know, but I'm glad they found something, anything.

Plus, I really like the people I have met. I learn stuff from them.

jbchicoine said...

I just spent three weeks away from home, with no internet connection—I braced myself for it, but still had withdrawals. I warned those who might find my absence conspicuous (just to ease my own guilt), and in a few days I was fine. It was actually rather refreshing—sort of like doing a detox. Not a great analogy, but I don’t feel nearly so compulsive about connecting now that I’m back. Moderation in all things…

ElanaJ said...

Wow, you guys are so awesome! This was exactly what I needed. I find myself wasting time on Facebook--playing Bejeweled Blitz instead of networking because I'm just so done with it.

Lady Glam - I'll email you when I get home from my family reunion. I wanna hear that story. You too Jamie.

I do love all of my online friends. I love reading blogs and commenting and writing my blogs. I think that's where I should focus. I also adore facebook because I have family and RL friends there too.

*sniffs* Thanks guys!

Suzette Saxton said...

You met me on a forum. *wink* Hopefully that's a good thing!

P.S. You'll love my verification word: SLINGNAT

Steph said...

Oh, baby, I'm there! I kinda froze up recently and didn't blog or anything for over a week or so. I'm trying to figure out if I can do a routine - you know, give networking an hour a day...

Sometimes I think I get discouraged because of the returns - you network your little heart out...for what? Am I getting any closer to building a following, to getting published, to making some valuable connections?

I hardly ever visit the QT forum anymore...I just don't have time. Myspace? I'm MIA there.

And I worry I'm sucked into it and ignoring my writing. Where's the balance, dude?

I am thankful for the kindred spirits, though...and that wouldn't have happened without doing some networking.

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