Friday, July 15, 2011

S.M.O.D. (Social Media Overdose)


Until recently, my social media life involved Facebook, my blog, two email accounts, and two writing forums. They all kept me busy. I had it all under reasonable control.

Then Twitter came along.

It was like living in a house for a year and suddenly discovering a room you didn't know existed. You open the door to this new room, and it's full of people. And they're all talking simultaneously and you're sure it's all about stuff that will prevent the end of the world as you know it.

*sigh*

The symptoms of SMOD?
  • headache
  • irritability
  • inability to focus
  • random shouting at laptop to go faster
  • time blackouts (looking at clock and realizing hours have vanished into thin air)
  • inability to reach any goals
  • fits of inhuman growling
My prescription?

I'm going to try to limit visiting forums to once a day. Emails, twice a day. I've surgically removed my Blackberry from my hand (no anesthesia required!). I'll keep my usual schedule of checking and writing blogs. And I'm going to try hard to limit hardcore TwitterTime to select times of the day.

The most important? I'll turn it all off when I'm writing.

(Well. Most of it. #amwriting)

How many social media outlets are you involved in? Do you suffer from SMOD? How do you treat it?

49 comments:

Miranda Hardy said...

It's overwhelming. Google +, twitter, Facebook, blog...not to mention the organizations, critique groups, and forums (which I don't visit). Not only is it time consuming, but it's intimidating. Knowing what the right thing to say, not to say.

But, I've met some amazing people and wouldn't change anything. I have a morning ritual, but it's always changing.

Connie Keller said...

I agree. The amount of social networking is overwhelming, and I suspect stealing a lot of time from writing. But it's so hard to break the addiction. Like you I try to limit my viewings-twice a day for this, once a day for that, etc.

Francine Howarth said...

Hi,

Hee hee, and here I am about to flush Twitter & Facebook down the pan! Both have seriously destroyed my writing. I'm sick of writing drivel and am going back to writing for real effect: a novel!

I still prefer blogging!
best
F

Old Kitty said...

I'm beyond amazed how one individual is able to juggle all these social networks in any given time. I only have blogger and find that it pretty much consumes so much of my time in one day. And it's all I can do to keep up too!

Take care
x

Suze said...

I only blog, sell on eBay and write the occasional review on Amazon. I find this is plenty of time spent online.

Glad no anesthesia was required. ;)

E. Arroyo said...

Ha. I'm in the same boat. I don't do Facebook though. Just Blog and twitter. Haven't found the cure yet.

Matthew MacNish said...

I can get so sucked in to Twitter. That's why I really only mess with it on weekends.

mooderino said...

I have found recently I have very little time after I've checked and responded to all the different media outlets I'm plugged into. Most fo these are fairly new to me so I think a little time getting lost in it is fine, but I think being a bit more disciplined is also important. Just have to figure out how to do that.

mood
Moody Writing
@mooderino

B.E. Sanderson said...

So far, I've managed to hold the line at blogs and Facebook. But that new Google+ may push me over. I'm trying to stay firm...

Carol Kilgore said...

Try joining everything at once. That's what I've done over the past couple of weeks. I. Am. A. Zombie...and I have yet to make my first tweet.

Happy Weekend!

L.G.Smith said...

I have social-media overdose syndrome. I can't help it. I've joined the Twitters now too. Somebody help me.

Jennee said...

I've really cut back a lot on social media. I mostly do facebook and blog but I can actually go 24 hours or more without feeling guilty for not checking in. It is such a great feeling and I get more done!

Emily Rose said...

Not only do I suffer from SMOD from time to time, but I also get neck pains if I sit at the computer to long, because I lean forward and slouch miserably. I really need to be more disciplined about my length of time on the computer...:(

vbtremper said...

The allure of Twitter wore of after several months, so now I only check it once a day and I don't spend long on it. No, the big time-suck for me is reading and commenting on blogs (no offense meant). Sometimes my writing time is so precious, but if I haven't blog-commented all week, I feel guilty and must do that first. I'd love some suggestions on how to manage all this better. Anyone?

Vicki

Magan said...

Is it just me or do you feel like there are WAY too many social media outlets? I've only kept the ones that help me in my writing career and my husband has a facebook. I've debated on getting back on Facebook and Google Plus, but then I realize that I need to step away from my Ipad and have a life.

storyqueen said...

No twitter or facebook for me! I KNOW I would be powerless to resist the time-suck...and I have too little time as it is.

And I have to pay attention to the real people in the house, not just the virtual ones...

Erin Cole said...

That's why I've been afraid to Twitter - I just don't have that kind of time with all my writing goals. I discontinued my FB earlier this year and have no regrets. But blogging...that's my one social media outlet that I indulge in.
Good luck - routines take time to set but they are worth it.

LTM said...

LOL! Love the surgical 'berry removal. There was a time when I threatened to throw hubs's out the window if he didn't stop checking it. Now he threatens to throw my laptop out! *sigh*

I think you've made a good schedule. I'm going to try and keep my SM manageable as well now that I'm back~ :o) <3

cherie said...

I refuse to do Google+. Don't want fried brains for breakfast.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Thank God, I have not succumbed to Twitter. Have not yet joined Google+.
I have my blog, Facebook, Scribblerati and Linkedin and my email accounts. That's more than enough.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Just Blogger, Twitter, and Goodreads - and that's enough!

Bryan Russell (Ink) said...

I keep getting invited to Google+. Doom Doom, go the drums in the deep...

Roland D. Yeomans said...

My job as blood courier is all consuming. Add to that my exile from my AC-less apartment with its sweltering internet access -- and I have no time to Twitter, Facebook, or even many of eFriends!

Much less write!

Great post as always, Roland

Corey Schwartz said...

Oh, I so want to "get" the twitter thing, but as hard as I try, I just don't!

Krispy said...

I'm on way too many social media outlets, and you are so right. They can be huge timesucks. I'm usually the most overwhelmed when I first join one, but then I get used to it. It's kind of freaky how easy it is to absorb the activity into your daily routine.

To control some of the timesuck, some days I just don't go on. I also tend to go through phases - like I don't use facebook as much anymore. It's mostly blogging and tweeting (and tumblring) these days.

Saumya said...

I'm so with you. I need to limit my social sites because they really do eat up valuable time and energy. Turning off the internet when I write helps a lot. Maybe it's just me but I feel like I become more A.D.D. as I get older.

Laila Knight said...

That is insane...^-^...how do you have time for anything else? I barely have time to blog. Hope you got my email. Have a great weekend!

M Pax said...

I just confessed on FB that I'm a terrible FB friend. I only announce my blog posts and rarely do anything else these days.

Love the Twitter. Love the blogging. I'm currently obsessed with checking smashwords for the number of downloads so far.

Schedules help.

notesfromnadir said...

Well done! As long as you don't go into complete withdrawal & allow yourself some SMOD, you'll be able to accomplish your current projects.

I wish I could visit more blogs & do so every day, but I'm limited to 4 days a week right now.

Kelly said...

I use Facebook, Twitter, and the blog. I mostly use fb for family things. I am curious about Google + but how in the world will I have time for it?!

Sarah said...

I'm easily overwhelmed by it, and all I do is blog and Twitter. I've started to turn off Twitter more often because, although I love it, it's really distracting.

Natalie said...

Too many! I have 2 blogs (personal and writing), 3 email addresses, twitter, goodreads and facebook. I don't even want to look into tumblr or linkedin! My solution lately has been to not update anything! It works well. :)

-E- said...

i can't believe you get any work done as it is.

Tamara Narayan said...

I've got a blog and two email accounts. That's it. I'm still too absorbed in reading to delve into social media any more. However, as an aspiring writer, I keep telling myself I need to at least enter Facebook World and Twitterverse and become familiar with them.

Sailor said...

Very interesting! I have never been a Social Media person and I made my FB account just to promote my blog. I stil do not know what the hell am I doing with Twitter.

Now Google + another headache. How do I keep up with all these?

Cruise Pictures

Jennifer Hillier said...

I'm right there with you on SMOD. I'm on Facebook (personal and author page), Twitter, Goodreads, I blog, and I'm on a writing forum. Surprisingly, I enjoy the writing forum the least. I think it's because it takes me too much time to read through threads and think of something interesting to contribute. I'm getting impatient! Which I think is directly related to the fact that I'm getting better on Twitter.

I do fantasize about giving it all up. I can't remember what my life was like before all this SMOD madness...

lbdiamond said...

LOL! It's quite easy to overdose! I think you have a good plan. ;)

Cold As Heaven said...

I'm tryuing to avoid SMOD.I have a couple of mail accounts and Blogger that I use frequently, and various other stuff (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) that I hardly ever bother to log into >:)

Cold As Heaven

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

I don't have a Twitter account and rarely check my Facebook account. I do try to check blogs once a day.

Sarah said...

Haha, yes a little bird told me about your blog, really enjoying it! I totally have SMOD!! Once in a while I have a day on the weekend when I am only allowed to check email once and otherwise no computer, no iPad, and only iPhone use is if I have to answer it because it's ringing.

Steph said...

I don't resist. I go from my work computer to my iphone while on the train straight to my computer at home...Ok, it's not all social media, and I do squeeze in some reading time (not safe to have electronic devices in the tub) but aside from words with friends and chess, most of it is...

Trisha said...

I believe I have maybe...MOST of those symptoms!

Jack Edwards Poetry said...

Good idea. It's easy to be overrun by social networks. Great post.

Carol Riggs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol Riggs said...

Enjoyed this. :) I know what you mean. It can be a real time suck--not necessarily doing one of them, but all of them added together. And soooo distracting. We gotta remember we're writers in between all that!

Ghenet Myrthil said...

Right now I balance blogging, two email addresses, twitter and some facebook. It's a lot to juggle but I try not to do too much of anything so I'm not overwhelmed.

Karen Lange said...

Let's see, I am on Facebook, have my blog, several email accounts, am on LinkedIn, and recently joined Branch Out. Was on Twitter but got off a while back. The main ones I use are my blog, email, and FB. Don't think I can manage any more than that. Definitely have had a few symptoms of SMOD off and on...

Steph said...

Different networks for different things... I think I will use my google+ for my blog and networking that way. I will continue to eff around on facebook and use it for comedy. Twitter bores me.

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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