Social Media: Cleaning House

Last week, Debbi Michiko Florence blogged about online time management, how to find the balance with keeping up/keeping in touch and, yes, well…overdoing it.

This discussion comes up a lot, but I think Debbi hit on one of the important points–how it feels when we find ourselves doing what we “should” versus what we want. Basically, it feels wrong.

I think things like this go in cycles. MySpace made way for Facebook and Twitter, and who knows what will dominate now that Google+ is here. Blogs seem to have staying power, although I’ll bet you, just like me, find yourself sticking with a few bloggers that matter to you, for content or personal reasons, and watching others come and go on your blogroll. I also think that Social Media changes for us as our lives change. We shift where and how we want to spend our time.

With my son getting older and more independent (yikes!), I recently added one more piece of life to my weekly hours–a step that (hopefully) inches me back toward real-income-earning work. The step comes with a lot of mixed feelings, mostly good, but is also making me take another close look at how I spend my time. And how I want to spend my time. And I’m with Debbi–I think less of it has to be on social media.

I love my blog. I love talking about writing and critiquing and life, and I don’t see this piece going anywhere soon. I do think you may see a few less posts, which I keep telling myself has to be fine. I also, like Debbi, enjoy reading other people’s blogs, but I do find myself commenting less and less–another thing I think I may have to just accept.

And then there’s Facebook and Twitter. I love Facebook. It’s the big reason I haven’t jumped ship to Google+…I just like it on Facebook. I like the feeling of being connected, and I like how the connection works there. Twitter not so much, and I’m considering if/how I should ease myself away from that world. Honestly, I “know” and interact with some great people there, so it’s not going to happen overnight, but the idea-seed has been planted.

The one thing I have done was get rid of my Goodreads account. I haven’t updated that account with a book review in I don’t know how long, and it’s easier for me to post reviews here & just put up a link at Facebook (and Twitter). I had whittled my Goodreads “friends” down to a very small list, and–you know–I keep up with all those people at their blogs or–you got it–on Facebook and/or Twitter. Goodreads was feeling like one of those niggling little time-consumers, in that I’d get friend requests in my email that I felt bad saying “no” to, or updates that I’d feel guilty about not reading. Yes, I get my book recommendations…other places!

So, for me, I guess this is what it comes down to. What really can go, without you missing it? If you’re happy where you are, with whatever social media you’re using, keep it up. If something’s nagging at you that it feels excessive or unnecessary, take a closer look. What would it feel like to get rid of it? Can you run a test? I’m thinking of a Twitterless September, as a trial run, to see how it feels (I’m guessing just fine!).

How is Social Media feeling to you today? Are there any changes to your commitments/use patterns you’re thinking of making? Any “drastic” shifts you’ve made in the past? Drop a note into the comments and share!


  1. suelder says:

    I know I will miss you on twitter, which is pretty much where we overlap.

    Of course, I could always figure out how to work out an RSS feed…


    • beckylevine says:

      I know, this is why I’m still ON Twitter–the people. Now, in a beautiful case of do-as-I-say-not-as-I-might-do, I tell you that you could always ADD Facebook to your social media! 🙂

      I don’t do RSS feeds much–just add subscriptions through my Google Reader. Less coming into my inbox, more there when I want to go look at it. 🙂


      • suelder says:

        I made a decision not to do facebook because of my job. I teach at a museum and work with kids a LOT. They don’t need to know my personal stuff.

        So far, I like G+ because I have more control over filtering what museum folk can see and what friends etc. can see.

        I’ll look into google reader, actually – thanks 😀


  2. Jenn Hubbard says:

    This is one reason I never started on Facebook–it sounded like a tremendous time suck, and the difficulty with privacy settings worried me. I started on Google+ because it seems like it could have the potential for replacing a bunch of other widely-scattered networks.

    I manage my participation by visiting some sites daily and others only weekly. I pop onto Twitter, send and receive a few messages, check the latest on my lists, and pop back off. On Goodreads, I clearly post my policy that I don’t review books; I have my blog feeding there and I post some basic info, but I don’t use it as a social network.

    I plan to keep blogging as long as blogs are around; that’s my favorite so far!


    • beckylevine says:

      Yes, I do love blogs. And IF I go off Twitter, I’ll miss seeing your tweets, but will definitely catch up with you at your blog. Facebook just feels more comfortable to me than Twitter, still.


  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Becky! I hope I was clear in that I wasn’t admonishing anyone for using social media – rather that I wanted to make better use of my own time. 🙂 And like you, I’m taking a hard look at things that matter most to me online – and for me it’s emails and blogs. I never started a Twitter account, and while I like FB enough that I am not planning to log off permanently (how else will I keep track of my adult step-son and my teen daughter? LOL), I think I’m fine with not constantly checking everyone’s status updates. I’ll be blogging a follow up to this/my post some time this week. Cheers! And here’s to doing more of what we want! 🙂


    • beckylevine says:

      Absolutely clear. I really do think we all struggle with this–how much we’re supposed to do, how much we want to do, and how to set the pattern. I’ll be looking for the next post!


  4. Julie says:

    I’m where you are – trying to figure out what’s good and working and getting rid of what’s not. Also, having the discipline to not get distracted! So hard to do when there are so many outlets for online socialization.

    Don’t even get me started on Google+ I shake in my shoes at the thought of trying to master yet another tool.


    • beckylevine says:

      I have a feeling that, for me, it’s the discipline rather than the different outlets. I’m guessing I’d do better to limit time, rather than back off Twitter, but I’m still going to give it a go next month & see how it feels. Then maybe I’ll look at actual time!


  5. I think a lot of us are in this place, Becky. I know I certainly am! And I really appreciate hearing your thoughts on where to go from here.


    • beckylevine says:

      Well, I’ll talk about anything, obviously! But it helps me get my thoughts in order to put them out here, too–plus, I know I like it when someone else muses out loud about it. 🙂


  6. Did you know that you can get anyone’s Twitter feed in your Google reader? 🙂


    • beckylevine says:

      I didn’t know that! Boy, that could be overwhelming–would it be a “post” for every tweet?


      • Yes, it would be overwhelming if you tried to do it for everyone, but if you picked a few people who tended to aggregate the Twitter news, and then just made a Twitter folder to check every so often…it’s an option.

        The only reason I know that is because I put my own Twitter feed in Google Reader so I could keep track of my own Tweets.


  1. […] while ago, Debbi Michiko Florence blogged about Online Time Management. Her post got me thinking, and I decided it was time to get rid of my GoodReads account. It also started me wondering about […]


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