How Much Time Are You Spending On Facebook

In yesterday’s blog post we talked about the time we spend vegging out in front of the TV or computer and how that time slips away from us. Today, I want to tackle another big time thief – social media. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an amazing tool, but it can also be quite distracting. It doesn’t matter if it’s Facebook, Pinterest, Tumbler, Instagram, or your social media platform of choice.

The biggest problem with social media is that it’s everywhere. We check in from our computers, tablet, and of course the ever-present smart phone. We get alerts, we check in when we’re bored, or have a couple of minutes to kill. Before we know it, thirty minutes or more have gone by that we’re not getting back.

Here’s an eye-opening exercise for you. Carry a pen and paper around with you, get a click counter or an app on your phone and start keeping track of how many times you access social media per day. Include any and all devices you use and add to the running total even when you’re just looking at it “for a second”. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be a bit shocked by how high that number actually is. This is one distraction that isn’t usually caught by the time log we talked about a few days ago since the social media interactions are so quick and frequent. Trust me though, no matter how briefly you access each platform, it all starts to add up and distracts you from other things.

How often do you miss part of a conversation or a fun moment with your kids because you were busy commenting on a Facebook post, retweeting something, or pinning a fun craft idea that you likely won’t get around to trying? Is it worth missing all those important little moments in life? And think about what you would have time and mental energy to do if you weren’t constantly distracted by social media?

The goal is to live more intentionally and do things with purpose. We don’t want to let social media posts distract us from that goal. I’m not saying that there isn’t a time to use social media, far from it. They are a wonderful tool and a great way to connect with people. But they are also dangerously addictive. Don’t believe me?

Here’s another exercise for you. Commit to not using social media at all for 48 hours. Turn off or ignore the alerts on your phone and don’t allow yourself to go to the sites on your computer. How does that feel? Do you miss it? Does it make you nervous or anxious?

It’s time to take control over social media instead of letting it control us. What can you change starting today to make that happen?

Promoting….it’s about being friendly: Shaun Allan Guest Post

I'm honored to guest host the incredibly talented Shaun Allen. I think we started our indie journeys around the same time, and it's been fun to watch his meteoric rise. His latest book is Darker Places. Read the other posts on his tour at the Darker Places Tour Hub.


darkerplaces_96dpi_100-199x300I’ve spent the last few weeks really looking at my social media profile and talking to my friends about the things that horrify them.
Which, to be honest, is how I’ve always spent my time online!

Many years ago, when I launched Sin, the indie community was just pulling itself together.  I really enjoyed making friends and talking writing, but I watched other writers spend their time in different ways, and I wondered if it worked.  I briefly looked at posting to the groups everyone was using, and to be honest, it kinda felt like it wasn’t worth it, even back then.  While others were posting the same stuff, over and over, I used my blog to feature other writers, and began writing on Wattpad.
Wattpad, which receives over 14 million unique hits a month, has been an amazing place to share my writing. I've received humbling comments, a massive number of reads and been given fantastic opportunities – not least being commissioned to write for NBC Universal.  They call me one of their most influential writers, something which is mind blowing, and continue to include me in their ongoing new ventures.

Social media – the clue’s in the name

When I’m asked for my one big tip about promoting, I tell people to stop looking at their social media as a mine for sales that they’ve got to slog at to dig out, and find maybe one or two willing buyers for a lot of effort, and instead treat social media as a place to be social, connect and to talk about books.
I’ve spent a lot of the last few weeks talking about Darker Places, it’s true, but I also share memes from the hairdresser I recently purchased with my wife, about the books that I’ve been enjoying by others, sharing funny and interesting stuff and giving back where I can.
Looking at the other successful writers around me, they’re doing a lot of the same things – some of them talk about other businesses, in conjunction with their books, some just talk books, but every single one of my successful friends use social media to be social.

And why wouldn’t you?

Social media is one of the biggest places that we can make friends and influence people, but it’s important to me to make sure that it’s not all ‘sell, sell, sell’.  Instead, my social media leads to my pages, my pages lead to my newsletter and blog, and everything leads back to hanging out and having fun.  I’ve made many friends on my journey, and I learn something new every day.  And I get to hang out with some of the most incredible writers out there.

Shaun's latest book is Darker Places. Read the other posts on his tour at the Darker Places Tour Hub.


6 Ways to Share Your Experiences with a Wider Audience

My dear friend and sassy bald woman Pam Fitros hosts me for week 9 of my 10 Weeks of Technology Blog Tour, with 6 Ways to Share Your Experiences with a Wider Audience.