A to Z Challenge: Twitter et al, and two bits of fluff

During the 2013 Blogging from A to Z Challenge I’m posting what I like to describe as “semi-useful” procrastination strategies for writers and others who may need a little break from the task at hand from time to time.

I was going to bring this up yesterday, under “S” where it properly belongs, but I must have been distracted by the lure of Stickman or something. Still, I can’t let 26 days of blogging about procrastination pass without at least a mention of Twitter and its posse of social media pals. (See how neatly I’ve turned “social media” into a “T” post? Impressed? Think I’m a big fat cheat? No matter. It has to be done.)

Out of all the links I’ve posted and will be posting, there’s no doubt that the biggest temptations and time sucks are social media. My personal downfalls are Twitter and Pinterest, with occasional forays into Facebook. I’m not a heavy user of any social media site, but that’s because I’m very strict with myself, and, if I’m being honest, I suffer from periodic bouts of interwebby muteness when I can’t think of a single original, amusing or interesting thing to say, and so I escape into silence for a week or four, hoping I’ll still have a few friends and followers when I return. So far, so good. It was through Twitter that I started connecting with other writers, through flash fiction challenges, following writing links and basically just saying “hey.” In my experience, writers are some of the friendliest, most welcoming and most inclusive people in the Twittosphere, and I’m grateful every day to have found them.

It was also through Twitter that I solidified my friendship with the warm and wonderful (and massively talented) @jtvancouver, which is amusing since we were working for the same organization in adjacent offices at the time. She delivers awesome tweet, and even more awesome friendship,  and if you’re not following her already, you might want to rectify that forthwith.

In the mood for something completely silly? It doesn’t get much sillier than Take Me to Another Useless Website. Really. This is the zenith of silly. Or perhaps, more accurately, the nadir. You just load the webpage, click please and it will take you to–yep, you guessed it–a completely useless website. Rinse and repeat. One supremely silly website after another until your eyes glaze over in bogglement at the sheer volume of silliness available at your fingertips.

By now your screen’s probably looking a bit mucky from all that hard work, so maybe you should duck on over to TheSlurps.com to have it cleaned. (I know, I know, it’s a blatant ad and I shouldn’t reward them, but how could I not? It’s so adorable!)

So, how about you? What’s your social media booby trap? Or are you one of those admirable people who can ignore the siren song of tweets and likes and pins? In which case, please–PLEASE–do the rest of us a favour and share your secret in the comments.

24 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge: Twitter et al, and two bits of fluff

  1. Twitter can definitely be a time suck. I like it more than Facebook though, which can get a bit silly at times. I am never inclined to spend too long on Twitter because there is not much to do there.

  2. I started reading and when I got to jtvanouver I went to her Twitter page, then her website – did not pas GO. You were right! Now I follow her, look forward to more good stuff.
    I read the rest of your post, most of which does not apply to me. But I love my Tweetdeck – will miss it when it’s gone soon. It’s always on and alerts me to news so I can hop right on it. Have got on-the-spot streaming scoops several times that way. I want to be more active in Twitter but didn’t know how. You made good suggestions.
    Did you realize the blog title in my signature is a link? It is not highlighted in some browsers so you might not have noticed. Mary at Mary A to Z

    • You will not be sorry for following her!

      I keep forgetting that Tweetdeck is going to disappear. Argh. I love it too–makes it so much easier to stay organized and view multiple lists at one time. Sigh. I guess there’s always Hootsuite.

      Mary, you’re right, I’d overlooked the signature. For some reason my eyes were just seeing it as A to Z Challenge and I didn’t click on it. So silly!

  3. I too am a social media junkie! Facebook is my downfall and Pinterest is how I keep all of the great ideas I get from other blogs organized. Twitter I don’t use as much as the others, though. After social networking for my blog and for myself, I go to work and do their social networking! I am going to check out that useless website, too, lol. See…junkie…! Come by my blog to visit sometime!

    • Pinterest is just so yummy! So much pictorial goodness over there, and it’s soooo very addictive. I try to limit my time, because, honestly, I can spend crazily long stretches of time poking around and pinning.

      That’s too funny–social networking at work and home! Multiple avenues for stoking the addiction!

      Just visited your blog–glad to meet you, Laura. 🙂

  4. Twitter – I have an account. I never go there. Facebook I remember to read about once a week. Pinterest is where I store all the things that capture my attention but I don’t spend as much time there as I used to. I am loving the A to Z but didn’t realize how much time it would take. Good learning experience. Now if someone would just stop posting stuff to distract me.
    http://completelycalifornia.blogspot.com/

    • Ahahaha! I can’t stop! It’s like a sickness! The A to Z really does take a lot more time than you think it’s going to. I was a bit more prepared this year (although I still didn’t pre-write any posts), but I wouldn’t exactly say I was ready for it.

  5. My social media booby trap is probably Facebook (amazed by some things posted on there — how many shots of one cat/baby/plate of food are there in one day?), but I’m getting better managing my time. Haven’t gotten on Twitter … yet

  6. Shoot, there’s been no TIME for Twitter what with the A-Z blog challenge. Once I’m on twitter, that’s it – I’m a goner. FB is fun but cats are ruling the world it seems. It’s enough already. I want to check out Pininterest at some stage – not sure of its value but it seems it’s a great contender

    • A to Z has gobbled up all my Twitter time, too. I pop over once in a while, but I’m neglecting my Tweeps woefully! Pinterest is surprisingly engaging–and useful for writers, if you’re at all visual in your writing process. I use it for inspiration, for collecting images of things that intrigue and amaze me, and for a few practical things as well. Be warned, though: it’s a whirlpool of time eatiness. 🙂

  7. I don’t do Facebook, and I don’t follow back everyone who follows me on Twitter. I also try to keep the blogs I follow to a number that’s reasonable for the number of hours in a week. I think this helps me have a life. 🙂

    • It’s very smart not to follow back everyone who follows you on Twitter. That whole teamfollowback thing is incomprehensible to me, but to each his/her own, I suppose. And, yes, having a life is definitely preferable to the alternative. 🙂

  8. Ah, you are a tricky one, Ms. Kern :))) I felt like a rockstar today when I checked the visitor count on my blog – whoo hoo! I should have know it was because of your kind words. Thank you so much for the mention. Hugs!!

    I shall fess up to the painfully obvious. I am do love the Twitter :))Twitter is an amazing way of connecting, gathering information, keeping up to date on news events. I’ve met several of my very favourite people through Twitter, even though they live in diverse parts of the world.

    I don’t like facebook really but I find Pinterest very calming, especially after difficult work days. It is also so very useful for writing research.

    • I responded to your comment yesterday, but it looks like the interwebs ate it. No matter. You ARE a rockstar, Ms. Jo, although sadly not a billionaire one–yet. It’s nice to know that people clicked that link. They won’t regret it.

      You? Love Twitter? Shocking! I don’t think I ever would have connected with as many writers as I have if not for Twitter.

      Pinterest is calming and I agree that it’s a useful tool for writers. So easy to get stuck there, though, for embarrassingly long stretches…

  9. Words with Friends is my downfall. And I have to think, so it makes me feel creative and useful to boot! sigh.

  10. My social media life is compartmentalized and Twitter is the “politics” department. Since I have friends from across the political spectrum, I spare them my politics, for the most part, on facebook. So Twitter is where I let the political fly. By the way, I have a new favorite procrastination aid, http://en.akinator.com/ Trust me, it’s a hoot.

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