I’ve long doubted the productivity of being a member of social networking sites. I feel that for personal use they’re little more than a distraction, and that they’re ineffective for business purposes as well.
I quit Facebook over a year ago and after several months of having no social network presence I created a Twitter account. I liked Twitter better than Facebook because someone could follow me without me having to follow them back.
Because of that Twitter had a much better signal to noise ratio than Facebook ever did. I also loved not having to deal with the pressure of deciding whether to accept old classmates or distant relatives as friends.
With that being said, I’ve also put a tremendous amount of time into Twitter with very little to show for it and it’s made me question whether social networking is a waste of time altogether.
For the majority of my time on Twitter I followed only 70-100 people, which from what I’ve seen is a pretty modest amount. I checked my tweets 2-3 times per day and felt that although I derived few benefits from Twitter, the time spent on it was so small as to be irrelevant.
I was wrong. Recently I checked my monthly stats on WasteNoTime and found out I’ve used Twitter for 960 minutes over the last 30 days. On a daily basis, that comes out to be 32 minutes per day! I could be publishing an extra post per day here if I spent that time writing!
Of course, there’s benefits to Twitter as well, such as being more connected with others, and perhaps being slightly more visible, but I just don’t think the time invested is proportional to the benefits derived, hence the creation of this post.
Starting now, I’m going 30 day Twitter fast. This should allow me to gain some perspective and see how I could otherwise be using those 32 minutes per day. I’d encourage you to consciously evaluate your use of social networks and consider doing the same.
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