Social Media: Friend Or Foe?

There’s something about social media that simply demands our attention. Whether we use it as a tool for its promotional potential or we’re sucked into it merely for its social benefits, there’s no denying that it can be somewhat… addictive. It’s also extremely effective, especially this day and age.

As an author, I’ve learned that it’s so important to try and build a social media platform. But that can also be one of those ‘easier said than done’ things, especially considering just how many different platform possibilities are out there. Do I use Facebook or Instagram? What about Twitter, Tumblr, Google+? Then there’s LinkedIn and Pinterest… And of course, we can’t forget blogging. There are so many social media outlets that it all becomes a bit overwhelming.

For the record (and after much trial and error), I’ve decided that blogging is my thing. I like it most, probably because I’m not limited to a certain amount of characters – or a single image. That said, I also use Facebook… and more recently, Instagram and Twitter. But that’s it for me. Sure, I have a Pinterest account and a Tumblr one, too… But I don’t pay much attention to them. I have been trying to be more active on my Twitter-ing lately, because I do see the convenience of the short, sharp bursts of communication. And I enjoy Instagram because other than the odd author-related book update, I mostly post memes. As in, the funny pictures that make you smile. I’m a teeny-tiny bit addicted.

So, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter I understand… But then there’s things like Google+ that I have no idea about. I often get emails like, “Such and such wants to connect with you on Google+” and I just look at the email and figure it might as well be written in Norwegian for all I understand.

I have a similar issue with Linkedin as I do with Google+… Again, with the heaps of emails and me having no idea what they’re for. Plus, sometimes they’re downright creepy.

Then, of course, I forgot to mention the hazards of even the most convenient forms of social media. Take Instagram, for example. How many times have you groaned out loud at the ridiculousness of some of your friends’ posts? I know I have! Despite what people seem to think, I really don’t need to know what they’re eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Twitter also has it’s problems, though some people would see those ‘problems’ as ‘solutions’. For someone like me who goes a little grammar-crazy, Twitter can sometimes be a rather stress-inducing form of communication…

And like all other forms of social media, it’s also not without it’s creepy factors…

Facebook isn’t eliminated from its own list of annoyances. I can’t tell you how frustrating I find it when people ‘invite’ me to play games or try and share other apps with me. No, I don’t want to play Candy Crush. No, I don’t want to share your frustration with Flappy Bird. Deal with it.

And wow, don’t even get me started on what happens when someone I know posts a ‘special’ photo of me for the entire world to see. Thanks, ‘friend’.

Another thing to consider with social media is the hashtag disease. As far as I know, there is no known cure.

That said, I have a few friends who are hashtag pros. They crack me up with some of the stuff they post. I’m a sucker for a sarcastic hashtag. :-)

At the end of the day, social media is important. It’s a way to stay up to date with the most important things in life (like #thedress – *eye roll* – it’s totally white and gold, btw, just to throw my opinion out there) and it helps us stay in touch with people (because heaven forbid we actually see them in person).

In all seriousness, social media can be a really useful promotional tool. Because of that (and for a number of other reasons), I really do love it. But it’s also extremely distracting. Some days I get up and I’m all like, “Right! I’m going to have an entire day of writing today!” But then all productivity flies out the window as soon as I turn my phone on and log in to the Wi-Fi…

Cue: sigh. I guess that’s where self-discipline comes in. I’m a work in progress.

So, on that, if you want to follow me on Instagram and see my funny memes, you can do so here:

Or Twitter here:

Or Facebook here:

Don’t worry about the others… I don’t really check them all that much.

And now I have a question for you: Do you have a preferred social media outlet? I feel like we should cast a vote. I’m curious!

51 thoughts on “Social Media: Friend Or Foe?

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