In my home there is a desktop, a laptop, a smartphone and a PS3. All of these are connected to the internet 24/7. If I am at home, odds are my laptop is on and TweetDeck and Trillian are running in the background while I check my email and Facebook simultaneously and watch something on Netflix via my PS3 while keeping an ear open for my phone to ring or denote I have a text message.
A few months ago it dawned on me that I was posting far too many status updates on Facebook. No one really needed (and probably no one cared) to know the mundane details of my life. With nearly 200 friends (after scaling back a year ago from nearly 500), I realize I probably only regularly communicate with less than 20.
So why do I still have 167 friends on Facebook? Why do I follow 206 people on Twitter?
Because social media is changing the way we communicate, and as someone who hopes to work in the field of communication I need to stay up-to-date with social media trends.
Social media has so much great potential. It’s too bad that more often than not, it serves to feed our growing egos. I am just as guilty as the next person when it comes to posting utterly ridiculous status updates.
But I’m learning quickly that to be taken seriously the constant updates on every minor thing I am doing need to stop.
I may be connected to the world 24/7, but I am not connected to myself.
With so many ways to stay connected to family, friends and colleagues, I sometimes forget to take time for myself.
I’ve definitely been cutting back on my Facebook time, and the less time I spend on Facebook, the more I realize that it doesn’t bother me. Everyone is pretty much posting the same useless crap that I was anyway.
Next, I need to teach myself that it’s OK to disconnect TweetDeck during the day and that it’s OK to miss out on Tweets. For now, I’ve turned off the TweetDeck chirping sound and the alerts that pop up in the corner of my screen. I’m also beginning to turn off TweetDeck when I know I am at my computer to focus (either on homework or writing).
And therein lies the key.
Removing the distractions so that one can focus on more important tasks.
I want to be a better writer. To do that, I need to write. Everyday. In order to focus on writing everyday, I need to remove the distractions that keep be from writing. TweetDeck. Facebook. Trillian. My phone.
It’s a bit difficult to make these changes this week while I have finals, but beginning Thursday (after my last final), I’m going to disconnect myself from the world for at least one hour every day to write.
It doesn’t necessarily even need to be writing to meet my Story a Day goal (which by the way, I have not been updating. I’m blaming finals, but really it’s my lack of motivation/inspiration). I just need to get into the habit of writing everyday.
If I am to become as serious about writing as I want to become, I need to begin dedicating time to myself and my chosen craft everyday.
So if you are a writer, I ask this, what tactics do you employ to ensure you get some writing time in each day?
If you want to write, I encourage this, disconnect from the world and write. You may feel you are writing crap, but consider this, you will not improve a craft if you do not practice daily. Your writing will not improve if you do not write everyday.
To everyone, writer or no, I still encourage you to disconnect from the world at least for a little bit everyday and take some time for yourself.
When you’re connected to the world 24/7, what time is left for you to connect with yourself?