There are articles all over the Web that focus on managing your time while staying connected to your many friends and followers across various sites. Unless you work on the Internet in some fashion, it can be difficult to remember to log into more than 2 or 3 so-called social media sites or even reply to email daily. The black hole of email is a whole ‘nother topic, best left untouched today.
Sonia Simone (article referenced below) only uses two sites (Twitter and Copyblogger) and divides her day into discreet blocks of time. I’ve tried this method, but it just doesn’t work for me. One phone call or critical email, and my schedule gets blown out of the water, not to mention that different social sites offer very different content.
I do block out my time, but in one specific way: My physical therapist has asked me to get up and stretch once an hour. This helps keep me alert and also reduces repetitive stress on my spine, hands, knees, and neck from sitting and typing for hours on end. When I take 10 or more minute breaks, I usually end up cooking, washing dishes, or doing laundry, so they don’t really feel like breaks at all.
As for limiting social media site time, it really depends on what you like to read and whose prose you want to follow. I think setting time limits feels too regimented and may just frustrate you in the end. (This, of course, does not cover game playing, which may need self-enforced time limits or your life oozes away on a virtual farm or in a war on birds.)
Sites of Value
I find Facebook is good if you want to read about what your friends and family are doing. I tend to use it only when I want to relax and catch up. Most people tell me that their Facebook friends are people they know from personal contact, as it is with me.
Twitter is great to keep in touch with news of the day and how your colleagues and friends digest that news. I follow a much wider variety of people on Twitter than on other services. Some are company reps, wildlife enthusiasts, photographers, Apple-industry related professionals, writers, bloggers, educators, artists, and two movie stars.
I love LinkedIn groups because the people in there often ask good questions and you can learn new things from many of the intelligent answers. I belong to groups associated with Apple pros and former staff, Adobe products, photography, social media, and writing.
Google+ is a veritable paradise for photographers. Every time I log in I’m met with a mixture of a gallery of photos and links to most interesting photo tutorials and tidbits. Most of my circles deal with photography in some way and of course Apple/Macintosh things. What content you see all depends on the circles you’ve created and the people with whom you’ve connected. I have a much wider geographic base of connections in Google+ than in any other service.
I also check into MySpace and Reverbnation, because they contain a wide variety of musicians. My son is on both sites and it’s nice to pop in to hear his music and hear what’s new.
I can’t check each service every day, but when I do, I’m never disappointed. There are other sites I also visit periodically, but none that I feel compelled to check regularly.
What services do you prefer? How often do you log in? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below.
Also if you haven’t left a comment yet in my post about product review ratings, please do! I value your replies. Thank you!
Leggatt, Helen. Americans resolve to spend less time on social media. BizReport, 1/5/12.
Simone, Sonia. How to Get Any Work Done (When Connecting Is Your Job). Remarkable Communication, 2009.
Allen, David. Time Management in the Age of Social Media. Bloomberg Businessweek, 3/10/09.
A bit of music that gains in energy, to help you get psyched for the coming weekend. Click the album covers to link to Amazon to sample the music.
Morcheeba. “The Sea.” Big Calm. 1998, EastWest U.K.
Stuart Duncan, Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer, Yo-Yo Ma, and Aoife O’Donovan. “Here and Heaven.” The Goat Rodeo Sessions. 2011, Sony Music Entertainment.
Lifehouse. “Halfway Gone.” Smoke & Mirrors. 2010, Geffen Records.
(Disclaimer: The music links have my Amazon Associates code embedded in them, so anything you buy after you click results in my getting a small kickback. Thank you!)
I forgot to mention Flipboard. It allows me to keep up with multiple web sites and multiple people in one easy to scan interface. An d it has links to instapaper and readitlatter. Saves hours of time.
I would HIGHLY recommend Feedler Pro and Zite for the iPad/iPhone. These apps east save me 500 clicks or more per day. They make keeping up with Social and Work related happenings and news a lot easier and more enjoyable. Initially, I was doubtful, but in addition to the click savings, the time savings has been noticeable.