Armchair BEA: Social Media

Today’s topic is very timely! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my usage of social media. Time to use today as an outlet for those thoughts to spill out into a blog.

Lately I’ve been feeling fraught about my relationship with social media (not just in relation to blogging, so please bear with me as I ramble a bit). Usually I get in this mood a couple times a year and clear out the blogs, YouTubers, Facebook feeds, Twitter users, etc. that I’m following, but in the past few months the feeling’s been at its strongest. I recognize the value of social media (primarily, in networking and connecting, as today’s prompt notes) but often I feel like I let it have too much control over me. Recently I stopped using Tumblr (directly…). I deleted the rarely-used Tumblr that I set up to accompany my blog, but I couldn’t bring myself to delete my main Tumblr and I still follow some blogs through RSS. I have resolved never to set foot on the Tumblr website proper (surprisingly, so far so good!). I also scaled back the users I follow on my main Twitter account, and should really do this with my blogging account. Do I really need to follow so many publishers, booksellers, etc. when I already have so many ways of getting book news? I think I concern myself too much with missing out.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I want to use my time and when/why I started spending so much time on the computer. It’s difficult to tell if it’s when I got my own personal computer, or if it was just an inevitable progression of my interests, tied to ‘growing up’ or something else entirely. I just know I spend far my more time online now than I did before high school. Sometimes I can’t fathom how people live without Twitter, YouTube, etc. but isn’t that a silly thought? It’s definitely possible. When I’m forcibly cut off from these things (generally by going on a trip) I have no problem marking everything from while I was gone ‘as read’ and picking up from there. Anyway. Essentially, I want to spend less time online and more time reading (including comics and short stories and things I don’t usually ‘have time’ for), writing (which I rarely do nowadays・, and leisurely past times like listening to music and colouring. Being in Japan hasn’t made it easy for me to loosen my connectivity addiction, because I use it as a sort of coping method. I rarely used Facebook in Canada, but here I’m on it all the time because so many other people here use it a lot. Hopefully I will be able to sever some of these constant connections and come out refreshed when I return home.

Getting back specifically to social media and its relation to my blog・I made a Facbook page just to claim the name but probably will never use it. I don’t know what to do with it. I want to be careful not to let my blog become more than it is. I like writing reviews and sharing my thoughts, and I only need the blog for that, not all the extras. I do like Twitter mostly for having conversations (and entering contests ;)). And of course, there’s GoodReads. This is definitely my most favourite of the social media websites and the one I find the most value in. I love seeing exchanging thoughts and recommendations, reading different perspectives on different books, following discussions in groups, and keeping track of what I’ve read and what I’m going to read. This is one website where I never feel I’m wasting my time.

What I can conclude from all these rambles is that social media is more important to me than I would like it to be. Trying to ‘network’ and ‘find connections’ is why I get sucked into it, but most of the time I’m not really using it for that. I’m just wasting time reading snippets and articles that I’ll soon forget about. Clearly this is something I’m going to have to work on!  What‘s your relationship with social media like? Do you ever have times where you feel like you‘re being pulled under by it?