What’s your time on social media?

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss an infographic on how we spend time on social media…

When I was a kid in the 1960s, my mother used to tell us the TV was broken. We’d turn the knob and, sheesh, she was right. No picture came on screen.

She pulled this trick for a good three years before we figured out that she’d removed the Cathode-ray tube herself. She wanted us to read. Or, better yet, go outside to play.

Now, TV is no longer the issue. It’s Netflix. Or, even worse, the time-suck of social media. And the issue doesn’t just face kids. It also tortures the adults themselves. So, if you’re a writer, I’m going to ask you to consider your time on social media.

I was reminded of this challenge recently when I went back onto Facebook after a 17-month absence. I didn’t miss Facebook at all during my time away and I went back only reluctantly, because I needed to chair a group related to my upcoming new book, Your Happy First Draft.

But the instant I reappeared in Facebook, messages started to pour in. I tried to put a halt to them with a post saying I wasn’t really back. “I needed to set up the group via Facebook,” I wrote, “so that’s the only reason I’m here (and by “here,” I mean the private group, not the larger one) for the next couple of weeks only.”

But in order to monitor my new group, I had to be exposed to the ‘ping’ of every person who commented on my (regular) site as well. It’s incredibly distracting and I can hardly wait to get off of it again.

Now, I see, thanks to an informative infographic (small detail above) from the people at FameMass that roughly 45% of the world’s population uses social media and 98% of those say they’ve used in the last month. Facebook is the leading offen contender taking 58 minutes of our time each day. Interestingly, the Philippines is the leading country in the world in terms of social media time at 4 hours and one minute.

If you want to write, then write. Don’t spend so much time on social media. Take out the Cathode-ray tube yourself!