How To Enjoy Social Media Enough To Stick Around

From Yuvi Zalkow’s Unsavvy Twitter Code of Conduct:

I haven’t been on Twitter long but I find it a fabulous place to loiter. Though in order for me to enjoy it, I follow some rules. Now keep in mind that my goal is just to enjoy the thing, not to maximize followers or sell something. Sure, it would be nice if three or more of my followers bought my book, and I’m sure that I’ll occasionally mention book release details, but it sounds painful to think about making $$$ on Twitter. My goal is to enjoy the experience enough to actually stick around.

Since giving up Google+ and not noticing one bit of difference in the enjoyment of my life, I’ve found myself taking a honest look at social networks and how I use them. Like many good web junkies, I find myself balancing a desire to play with all of my digital shiny objects alongside this strange growing urge to make something a bit more substantial on the web.

When you decide to make things in addition to whatever work and family responsibilities you’re already juggling, your time for filtering photos, repinning pins, checking in places, catching up on Facebook and connecting on Twitter becomes more limited.

You have to choose what matters most. Now the obvious answer is to eliminate the social, focus in on the work, but frankly I enjoy the hell out of some of my experiences on Facebook, I’ve built some amazing friendships on Twitter and some of my favorite pictures of my kids were taken using Instagram.

Can I convert that into a tangible ROI? Probably not. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great when someone ends up visiting my site or asks me to do something because of my “online presence,” but that’s all tied to my interests more than it is my livelihood. Using Yuvi’s logic, my true benefit is that I enjoy these experiences enough to stick around.

Then there are these other services, the ones I use to ensure I’m staying on top of the latest and greatest trends. I once enjoyed these, but now feel obligated to update occasionally. Now some of this may be “social media burnout,” but the more I think about it, I wonder if I was so busy using the stuff that I never bothered to question if I was enjoying it. After reading Yuvi’s post, I’m coming to think that things like Foursquare, Path, Pinterest (sorry Gini) and even LinkedIn aren’t passing that test and may need to go.

Hopefully I can put the time I’m spending there to better use. Speaking of, if you’re looking for a simple and useful list of tips to get more out of your time on Twitter (or most social networks for that matter), give Yuvi’s post a read. It will be especially helpful for those trying to juggle the desire to enjoy with whatever awkward “need” to capitalize on efforts.

And if I were to add my own rule to Yuvi’s (or more accurately turn his idea into a rule): Whatever you’re not enjoying enough to stick around, shut it down.

What are you enjoying enough to stick around these days?

  • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

    I LOVE PINTEREST!! I know it’s not for everyone, but man! I do love it. More than any other social network. 

    That said, I agree with you on determining where our efforts are most efficient. If a social network isn’t working for you, why use it?

    • http://michaelschechter.me MSchechter

      Dont get me wrong, I think it has value. It just likely has more value for Honora than it does for me. GimmeBar or Evernote do a far better job of what I want, which is storing things for latter use. The social aspects are just lost on me for that, but it’s value to others is apparent.

  • http://www.writerightwords.com/ Erin Feldman

    I find it odd that almost everyone I know is talking about joy and enjoyment lately. How did you all get inside my head?

    I’m thinking about leaving Google+. As far as I can tell, it does nothing for me, and it’s still the chore that it originally was. I made some new friends via Google+ when I first joined, but I can’t say that that’s been the case recently. Twitter and Facebook probably have the most return in terms of enjoyment. 

    • http://michaelschechter.me MSchechter

      We’re all getting to that point where the shiny newness (even the shiny newness of shiny new things) is starting to wear off. We have far too many options and far too little time (and folks like you, me, Yuvi, Gini are looking to make some pretty big darn things).

      I was right there with you on G+ and that’s why I quit. Have a feeling this isn’t the last any of us has spoken about the cross roads of enjoyment and usefulness…

      • http://www.writerightwords.com/ Erin Feldman

        Probably not. I already have a video about the intersection of the two and am planning a post to accompany it. :)

        And, yes, we all seem to be planning some big things. It’s going to be a wild year.

        • http://michaelschechter.me MSchechter

          Link or it didn’t happen.

  • http://twitter.com/yuvizalkow Yuvi Zalkow

    Nice. I really like how you stepped back from my particular twitter rules and turned it into a larger philosophy to live by. I think you’re absolutely right. 

    I also think it’s good to really scrutinize the complexities and nuances to all this stuff. For instance, I don’t like Facebook, but friends who are important to me are hardcore Facebook users. If I drop Facebook, I’ll lose some access to their lives. I don’t want to lose that, and so I (mostly) unresentfully stay on Facebook. Or another way to put it: it’s more fulfilling than it is problematic.

    • http://michaelschechter.me MSchechter

      I think you just hit the nail on the head. It’s a matter of finding your line in the sand and using that as the benchmark. Facebook makes the cut, something like Pinterest or G+ may not. Sure I have my problems with Facebook just like any other geek, but I get a hell of a lot of use out of it.

  • http://dempseymarketing.com/about-robert-dempsey/ Robert Dempsey

    I’m a huge Twitter fan and have been using it practically since it launched. You’ll never get me off of there. I’ve started using Google+ a bit more and jump on some conversations there, but don’t use it too much. Facebook is about the same as Google+, though I can keep up with family and cousins there which is cool.

    My main rule of social media and building relationships is to take them out of social media as quickly as possible. I like reading books, writing blog posts, engaging in conversation via comments, and then taking those conversations to Skype or the phone.

    When I get back to the US though I’ll again be able to meet with people in person, which is where it’s really at for me.

    But back to your question, I stick on Twitter constantly as well as a few blogs. Outside of that I’m building.

    • http://michaelschechter.me MSchechter

      I haven’t quite mastered the skill of taking them out of social. I’ve done it on a small and very meaningful level, but it doesn’t quite come naturally to me. Something to work on!

      • http://dempseymarketing.com/about-robert-dempsey/ Robert Dempsey

        Small and meaningful is a great way to go.

  • http://dannybrown.me/ Danny Brown

    I have three simple focuses in life: family and friends, work, everything else. Look after these and in that order, and whatever else happens happens.

    Like Robert Dempsey, I love Twitter and use that a lot. Same with Facebook. My blog will always be my hub from where everything starts. Everything else social? Meh, I can take it or leave it, especially the boring piece of crud that is Google+.