Cutting Back

The other day my husband came across an article online talking about social networking, multitasking, and the effects of it all on your short-term memory.  I should have saved the link right when I read it but I didn't and have now spent a good chunk of time trying to find it, but I did!  If you'd like to see the article, it's here.  Basically, it's talking about how people who are constantly online checking Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites are not allowing their memory to hold on to information and filter out unimportant stuff from the important stuff.  It also says that multitasking on said media sites compounds the damage. 

Wall chatter by Youfamizm
It is funny that this article popped up when it did because I have been grappling with Internet time since I opened my shop on Etsy.  I have always been slightly Internet addicted, checking e-mail often and responding right away, but I was never on any social media sites where people I know are updating me on all the things they are doing right now.  I had no need for it.  Then I opened my shop and discovered that in order to get your name and products out there, you have to network, and that means social network for an online shop.  Because of that, I now have a Twitter account, I started this blog, and I have Etsy teams that I am checking up on to see what's new and exciting.  (I decided I didn't want to have a Facebook account- too many old high school faces would be awaiting me.  I buckled and decided to try it, registering as "By The Book Paper" but Facebook won't let you do that since it's not an actual person's name, so I ended up as Bythe Bookpaper, which gave my husband a huge laugh and my dearest friend told me it sounded like a Harry Potter character.  I deleted that account the same day and haven't looked back.)

Anyway, all of these things take up a lot of time!  Right after I opened my shop there was a mildly-obsessive flurry of page reloading in order to see my shop views increase.  Then upon joining teams, I was constantly reloading the threads so I could get in on the discussions as they happened.  The Twitter main screen was left open so I could click when it said, "1 new tweet".  And heaven forbid that I posted something that required a response from someone else because it seemed that I wanted to know when the response was actually happening.  Reload, reload, reload.  It was taking a toll and a chunk of my day.  My husband suggested a month or so ago having "work hours" where I would only check those sites if I was working on Etsy stuff.  Yea, right!  Then I wouldn't be plugged in all the time!  Crazy.

Scrabble Tile Necklance by BrunetteDoll

But then I was finding that stuff I wanted to get done wasn't getting done and I didn't like how that felt.  Then came the article.  I read it and knew I wasn't quite as bad as that, but I must admit with a slight grimmace that I was finding that I was going, "Just let me tweet this," or, "I have to just post this thread."  Not good.  Because of this, I have been pondering how to better spend my time.  Since then I have closed the perma-Twitter page and will just check it once or twice a day.  I actually don't find that I miss it much, and it's pretty easy to catch up on.  I'll post to the blog when I have time to write, but I'm not going to feel like I have to post something every day.  I will keep my team threads open basically if I've posted something and am looking for a response.  I don't check my shop page too much, which is probably the one thing I should be doing (no new items since March 22!?!?) but I'd like to get some other stuff done around the house first, so it's going to have to wait.  Reorganizing priorities is worse than reorganizing the closet!

Do you find you have social media addiction, however so slight?  Do you get Internet guilt?

5 comments

  1. First off, thanks so much for featuring my hoop from my new Etsy shop. I just opened it, and it's still in the baby step stage. So nice to have you feature it here in your post.

    Secondly, OH MY GOODNESS, YES! I don't use Facebook, but I've actually allowed myself to take a blog vacation this month. I just opened my third shop. I'm on a few pretty active teams. I work. I love to make stuff. There's a house to take care of, other things to take care of. You reach a point where you have to give yourself a break.

    I also worry about people who are so addicted to social media and their cell phones that they can't function without them. I'm more attached to my computer than I ever dreamed I'd be. Sometimes, I wonder what that's doing to my brain.

    Thanks for this post! Very thought-provoking.

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  2. I am so addicted to my computer it's not funny! I would be so much more productive and have fewer headaches if I limited my time!

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  3. There are a couple of books you might want to read on this subject. They're by different authors, but they present opposing arguments to using social media and the internet all the time. One is "The Shallows" and the other is "Cognitive Surplus." My husband read them both and it really gave him a lot to think about.

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  4. I find that hours can go by and I'm still in my pajamas. Checking my shop, my blog, my teams, etc. I don't twitter or do much with facebook. I have improved my computer skills, tho. So I guess that's a silver lining. LOL!!

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  5. I do, and I agree it has been compounded by the whole etsy shop thing... I keep thinking that if I get the marketing rolling it will start to take care of itself. It DOES help to have my blog and etsy store set up so they automatically post new listings and posts to my twitter and FB page, but I am still VERY guilty of being on here too much... and I was already a bit of a FB addict on the personal side. UGH... have to do better, thanks for the incentive. :)

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