Social Media: A Major Distraction? A Useful Tool? Or A Bit of Both?

What’s your take on social media as it applies to being an author?

Is it a distraction for you? Is it a useful and much needed tool? Or, do you believe it is a bit of both? Me, it is a bit of both… Coming from working in the information technology field and being a self-proclaimed “geek”, social media can be an enormous distraction. And for the same reasons, it can be a great tool.

I am able to network with like-minded individuals through social media. Online writers’ groups, forums, resource pages and the like are all invaluable when writing. On the flip side of that coin, I can also go on the forums to research a topic, get feedback and opinions, or get the latest buzz about something and get totally sucked in tweeting, chatting, and surfing the forums to see what my colleagues are up to…

Social media is needed by authors in order to get their message out and to assist them in building their platform. You have taken the time to write and perfect the next blockbuster novel or other written work. What better way to spread the word then the world wide web? It is one proven method of getting your message out to the world. Of course, there are many other marketing methods, tools, and avenues you will take; however, there is no better electronic medium than the Internet, and no better vehicle than social media.

Your website is up and ready to receive visitors. You have been the most faithful blogger. You have worked hard while you were writing to build your following using Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn/every-social-site and have a nice number of followers. Your website and blog statistics are up. You would be remiss not to mention on every social site you’ve used to create buzz for yourself that your much anticipated and talked about work has finally been released — both traditionally and in electronic format.

All-in-all social media is a necessary evil. An evil because writers need nothing else to use in a procrastination or writer’s block cycle — we are already doing whatever we can to avoid writing. Just a simple fact in a writer’s life… A necessity because used properly it can be a vehicle to assist in self and book promotion, as well as a resource for pertinent information during the writing process.

Time to share…
How do you feel about social media? A tool? A distraction? Both? Let’s discuss how we can ensure it’s used as a tool and not a
distraction. 

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6 comments on “Social Media: A Major Distraction? A Useful Tool? Or A Bit of Both?

  1. Writers need breaks from writing, like all workers do, so I don’t think social networking is harmful. But we should set limits on how much time we spend on social websites, or else we won’t be as productive as we’d like to be. Great post, Kym.

    • A break from writing is definitely warranted — else you’ll burn out. Maybe I need to set a timer for 15 minutes when I go off onto social networks so I don’t forget to come back to writing LOL!

  2. i use social media as a tool. On author forums, it’s easy to get different perspectives on the publishing industry all in one spot. After I post something on my blog, I look at other writers’ blogs. Usually they have something useful to say–like a tip for new writers or something. Or I get a feel what they went through before I have to experiment it myself. So I think as long as I keep using social media for that, then it’s cool beans. Besides the best place to network is through blogging, etc.
    If I get distracted, it’s when I search televisionwithoutpity.com to look for spoilers on my favorite tv shows or just to see funny comments left about a show I watch to see if we’re on the same page.

    Keep smiling,
    Yawatta
    P.S. I’m a geek too LOL.

    • Fellow geeks unite LOL!!! I love author forums for all of the very reasons you mention. Problem for me is — I get on and get “lost” surfing LOL! And don’t let me peruse blogs…I’m lost forever…

  3. If you use Social Media Channels for your Business it’s a whole different ballgame… But Personally I think if most people can make a living from being Social Online they would’ve. I think it all depends on IT infrastructure, User Age, Demography and also social psychology…. Because there are so many unique people online, they use social media in every unique way…

    Thanks for sharing the post,

    • I agree — the way that social media is used is definitely different for each individual who engages. My 26 year old uses social media in such a way it makes me cringe! But then so does almost all 20somethings that I know (and I know a lot of them thanks to my son!). However, those who are older utilize it totally differently — not making me cringe, but often enlightening me.

      Thanks for your comments!

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