Writing vs. Social Media

I spend a lot of time online. I’ve broken down my day before, and even now, mentally doing it, I know I spend a lot of time online. Some of it is valid social media/networking/getting myself out there.

Some of it is many hours of Tumblr. Which isn’t productive, but often is a good stress release. Right up until you feel obligated to not miss any posts. Aaaand then it’s a problem. And it can become more complicated when you have multiple masks. I try to keep my Writing Self separate from Average Me. So separate blogs, Twitter accounts, emails. And I have multiple tumblrs. (And more email accounts than you can shake several sticks at.)

When does it become too much? I was just re-watching an episode of xxxHolic where the ‘case’ for the episode had internet addiction to the point where she was not playing with her son because she was too busy online. The answer was to cut her off completely from the internet, but she had to be the one to want to do it and for herself.

I don’t think I’m too that point (I would hope my friends would say something), but the internet definitely lets me saturate myself in my vice: keeping busy. I hate not being ‘productive’ and the internet always makes me feel active. Productive. Even if it’s not.

The setting of monthly goals is helpful, because it obviously keeps me on task, but I wonder what else I’d be able to do if I put my mind to it instead of scrolling endlessly through Tumblr. On the other hand, I have few vices or “relaxing hobbies,” so what harm is it?

I may trim back in the future, but I need to take a look at what needs to get done that isn’t getting done. What’s wearing me out and what’s keeping me from burning out.

When do you think it’s too much?

Writing…or not?

The other day I had an epiphany.

I was online after doing some work and checked my mails, my tumblr, facebook, twitter, RSS feeder, private forum, work email, twitter, tumblr…

Wow. I waste a lot of time online.

Twitter is good for networking and just being social with people, so that has purpose. Facebook I use to stay in touch with RL people (and let’s be honest, it takes the least amount of my day), email is important (although I should probably consolidate the 7 email addresses…), but the RSS feeder has plenty of things I barely look at, but that takes time every day to check. And tumblr. Sweet, tempting tumblr.

I started my tumblr as a creative playground. The plan was that when I (or a follower) wanted to do a quick free write, they could go to the site, click “random,” get an image, and then write that story. A few hundred words or so. It’d be a good exercise.

Then my tumblr started focusing on sexy guy images. And I started following more tumblrs. And more. And more. And then I created a tumblr for my writing stuff. And then another and another and another. The problem isn’t the tumblrs I make. It’s the ones I follow. And I like to make sure I see everything, because some great things get posted. But it takes time.

And what’s the point? Are the images inspiring me? Rarely. Entertaining me? Sometimes. Just cute? Mostly.

Sometimes it’s a nice way to sit back and relax. In most cases, checking tumblr takes no more than ten minutes if I haven’t checked in 24 hours (and my computer isn’t being super slow). Not really a huge waste of time. Except when I check every 10 minutes. And then check twitter again.

Obviously these are all just things I use to put off what I should be doing (whether that’s working or writing). But the point is, I complain to myself that I never get time to write, but then I waste all that time on tumblr and such.

It needs to stop. So here’s the plan:

1. Check all my sites 1 or 2 times a day (am and pm), except on weekends, when I get more freedom. (And maybe check tumblr one more time before bed, just to chill.)

2. Write. Every day, at least 100 words. If I don’t feel focused on one of my stories, then I’ll click a random item from my tumblr, write up a flash fiction, and post it on my writing tumblr.

That’s the plan. We’ll see.