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?