Tuesday 9 December 2008

Facebook, the Time Thief

Technology astounds me. There’s iPods and iPhones and Xboxes to play with. There’s Blogger and Skype and MSN messenger to keep in touch .

Then there’s Facebook.

It is the modern world’s equivalent of the back fence in a garden. One logs in instead of leaning over, but the experience is the same. Exchanging tips and quips with people who before have only been names on book covers or little faces on a blog post is all part of moving in to a new community. When you've finished chatting, you feel like you belong. You are An Author.

But the danger is that, before you know it, an hour or two or three has slipped away. Most days, those few hours are the only spare time you have for writing so, ultimately, any time spent on Facebook is time stolen from your writing.
Unknown source. Please contact me if you are the owner of this image.
There are advantages, of course. It’s a convenient way to belong to a writing community and, as writing is essentially a lonely occupation, the sense of linking up to like-minded people can be exhilarating and rewarding. Marketing will never be the same again: there are gadgets, widgets, and links galore to advertise your work.

So how do you take advantage of Facebook without allowing it to rob you of precious writing time?

The key lies in time management. Decide on how much time you can comfortably afford to spend on Facebook. Then stick to it: a natural extension of the discipline necessary for writing.

There may be friends you cannot reply to; or photo albums you are unable to view. But learn to differentiate between what is urgent and what’s important. You can answer the rest another day, knowing that your Facebook friends are undergoing the same dilemma and will understand your need to prioritize.

In the end, what will always be urgent and important is that your focus remains firmly on the only thing that matters: your writing. Technology is a writing tool and must remain as such, or else your Facebook will become a time thief.


Gottawrite Girl said...

Hey there, and nice to "meet" you!! Saw you on Jill Wheeler's blog... and was thinking, maybe you'd like Absolute Vanilla's blogsite, too, another fellow South African!!!

: )

Ann Victor said...

Hi GG!! And it's nice to meet you too! :):)

Thanks for the heads up...will wander over to the Absolute Vanilla's blog for a browse.