Social Media and Priorities

Social Media and Priorities

If you had asked me a year ago if you or your business should be engaging in social media, I would have responded with a resounding ‘YES!’ I believed that it would give you a ‘leg up’ on your competition. That you could’ve easily engaged with your customers. That you could’ve started conversations.

Recently, my schedule has changed drastically. I use to go to bed every night around 1 AM to 2 AM and then I would wake up around 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM. I noticed that when I would allow myself to stay up that late, I would procrastinate my tasks until the end of the night, sometimes forcing myself to stay up until even 3:00 AM. Now, I get up around 4:45 AM and go to bed around 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM. But every weekday, I get up at 4:45 AM. I now feel that more than ever, I must prioritize my time.

When I look at my Facebook status stream or Twitter feed, I’ve noticed that most people post pointless shit. The exception on Facebook is, that I can hide all updates from people that I’m not as close to; also, I may be a bit more interested in my close friends inane updates.* However, on Twitter, it feels that 99.9% of the updates from people are pointless. I doubt many care that you got a flat tire or that you just bought a super new laser printer. I’ve come to realize that most of social media is just noise.

I first thought about this after Leo Leparte wrote about how no one noticed when he stopped updating. What does that say? To quote Leo (emphasis mine):

It makes me feel like everything I’ve posted over the past four years on Twitter, Jaiku, Friendfeed, Plurk, Pownce, and, yes, Google Buzz, has been an immense waste of time. I was shouting into a vast echo chamber where no one could hear me because they were too busy shouting themselves. All this time I’ve been pumping content into the void like some chatterbox Onan. How humiliating. How demoralizing.

Coincidentally, as I was about to write this, Jonathan Fields wrote something similar today. He says:

I’ve recently spent a lot of time interviewing some of the most productive and successful creators on the planet. And, I’ve noticed something…many hardcore creators aren’t on social media.


Social media is great for building my tribe, seeding my creations and fanning the flames once they’re in the real world. It’s great to stay connected with friends, rant and blow off steam. But, the process of taking an idea from my head into the world requires intense periods of focus and action…and in that context, social media seems more distraction than catalyst, fueled by obsessive fits of intermittently-reinforced attention-switching.

That’s just it. It’s a distraction. It’s noise. This doesn’t mean that it can’t be useful. It all comes down to priorities. If you’re trying to build a small business and you have three hours a night to do it. Where do you spend your time? Do you write code? Do you respond to customer emails? Do you Tweet? I see it as an issue of priorities, and at this time, social media is not one of them.

What do you think?

*I realize that this is a two-side street as I probably also post stupid shit to most people.

You might enjoy:

  1. Social Media Is Not About You
  2. It’s Not About Time, It’s About Priority
  3. The Best Exercise Any Entrepreneur Can Do


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