Social media is such a big part of life these days. It was such a short time ago that people didn’t spend so much of their time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Periscope, and of course, blogs. To some extent, I enjoy all of these. Well, not really. I don’t use Snapchat or Periscope and only rarely look at Twitter. As a blogger and Etsy Shop owner, it is pretty much mandatory that I maintain a presence on Instagram, Facebook and my blog. But wow, it can be such a time suck. Trying to balance how much time to spend on social media vs time spent actually creating isn’t easy. I try to minimize time on media or I lose out and don’t have enough time to create which is what this is really all about for me.
Blogging was substantially more popular before the advent of Instagram and Snapchat. I can see that it has declined over the past couple of years. My conclusion is that blogging takes longer. Instagram gives the user immediate gratification. Post a picture and followers start liking it. Learn the right hashtags and more people notice. And so it goes. However, that is the crux of the issue.
Because of smart phones and the many outlets of social media, people are relying on instant gratification. This immediate response, constant exchange of information, colorful screens, videos etc have been shown to reduce the overall attention span of users. I actually had an interesting conversation with Julia yesterday. She has always been an avid reader. Since she was very young, she has loved books. This summer, when she has so much free time to indulge her love of books, she hasn’t been reading. She received a stack of books for Christmas and her birthday but hasn’t touched them. When I asked her why, she said that she kept trying different books and none of them held. her. attention. Right away, we sat and had a chat about the use of her phone and iPad and how it is such a distraction. I explained what I have been reading about shortened attention spans. She went in and picked up another book and started reading. I was thrilled to see her on the couch with a book and, soon after, to hear her talking about the plot, the author and how much she liked the book.
Back to my original point though, I am a tiny bit disheartened to see some decline in the blog world. For me, I think of Instagram as a quick conversation. Meeting someone on Instagram is akin to those days when you stop somewhere to grab a cup of coffee and as you walk out on to the sidewalk paper cup in hand, you see an acquaintance. Hellos are exchanged and a quick, enjoyable visit occurs. Along these lines, meeting someone by reading their blog and conversing back and forth over time is like walking into the coffee shop, seeing a dear friend and sitting down together with your mugs (not the paper cups) and chatting for an hour. The relationship is deeper and, for me, much more gratifying. I will continue to use Instagram, as I do enjoy seeing photos of work that others are involved in. But it is certainly a different experience. I much prefer blogging. So I continue to write and take photos and publish blog posts because I really enjoy and appreciate the relationship I have with my online community of friends.
Thanks for the reminder about why I am so passionate about blogs, Bernie. I really don’t feel like I can make a connection with people the same way through any other social media interface, and blog reading and comments are really the community that keeps me going. <3 I'm glad to know you are going to stick with it, too!
I appreciate all the time and effort you put forth with your own blog and supporting other bloggers. It is part of what makes blogging so satisfying. Thank you Yvonne!
Whew! When I started reading your post, I was afraid you were going to say that you had decided to do Instagram instead of blogging. I’m glad you are sticking with it!
Oh dear. That is not what I would think. Not at all! I love keeping in touch with everyone. It just makes me sad to see some blogs sort of declining. It’s up to all of us to keep it going!! I’m not going anywhere!
DITTO!!!! I had a sinking feeling throughout most of this post….thank goodness you’re going to continue. I so enjoy your posts, photographs and quilts. You’ve been an inspiration and have always answered questions right away. I’ve noticed recently that many of my “favorite” bloggers do not post regularly anymore. Perhaps they’ve come to the same conclusion as you. I find the same time crunch just in reading and following blogs. It’s gotten so that I have to be very discerning in choosing which ones to read….NEEDLEANDFOOT makes the cut each time. Is there anything we can do, as readers, for you? I inform my quilt guild members of blogs I read each month—yours is among them. Thank you for continuing. Blessings…..
Wow! This made my day Kathy. What a wonderful thing to say. I’m glad you enjoy the blog and I enjoy chatting with you as well. Have a nice evening!
I like blogs the best bc I can go back and look at other things about the author on the blog.
Also much better than FB. I actually do not like FB but Instagram is kind of annoying too.
Sometimes I just avoid FB and Insta.
Thanks for sharing your insight.
Me too Rosemary. When I find a new blog that I am enjoying I like to read lots of the earlier posts to get to know the writer. It goes deeper than FB and IG which I really enjoy.
Ohey thank goodness! I thought I was the only one who read back through old posts!!! Sometimes I just start at the beginning and read the whole thing! It feels slightly stalker ish! Lol
You are certainly not alone. It is really interesting to me to read through older posts when I meet a blogger. It isn’t stalker-ish at all. If people are writing posts, they want others to enjoy them. 🙂
You are absolutely right about the instant gratification craze our culture is gravitating to but there are STILL a lot of people out here who prefer the more relational and personal aspects of a blog. At least that’s how I feel anyway. I think there are more than just me. Maybe readership has declined on blogs, but that just means that those who remain are much more loyal. They enjoy getting to know you and even if they never comment, they probably almost consider you a friend.
That is a good point. Those who are reading, do so because they feel connected. I would agree with that. I know I have made some really amazing friends via blogging.
I just found your blog recently and am enjoying it so much! I’m glad you are going to continue! I too have an Etsy shop and a blog (not a quilting blog but a personal one). I have the same thoughts and conflicts about social media and appreciate hearing you voice yours. Yay and amen!!
Gloria, Thank you for your kind sentiment. The amount of time spent on social media by many, many people is unsettling. I suppose, like anything else be it food, wine or social media, it is all about moderation. I appreciate the give and take you provide when you leave a comment. So glad to have you as a reader. 🙂
I agree with all you said… I do loooove reading the Blogs. (I do not do FB. Instagram, Twitter, etc. things)
The Blogs I follow are like visiting good friends. and I am sad that so many have gone to FB & Instagram.
I think the social things that bombard our Kiddo’s minds is awful…they have lost imagination, and outdoor fun, and catching lightening bugs, blowing bubbles…so many fun things. And they lose it soooo early on…grow up toooo fast. Books are such a fun & exciting adventure…am trying hard to get the Grankiddo’s into them. (buy them books always! lol)
Is refreshing to read your thoughts….& encouraging to know others feel this is important. Thank you. 🙂
Hi Lori, we think alike. Kids will be grown ups for a long time- childhood is such a short portion of life so I like to make it last as long as possible. I suspect your grandchildren are lucky to have you for their grandma. Buy them books, read to them and take them to the library or used bookstores so they can have the fun of choosing a book of their own. Thank you for commenting and reading. ?
No fair scaring everyone that way! I thought you were quitting and I was very sad! 🙂 I don’t do Instagram and I don’t generally have quilts on Facebook. Those strike me as a “dessert” kind of thing because they are really only about the pictures. I see some of them and I think “pretty!” but there is no way to get the story behind the picture. I’d rather have the whole story and learn something about the person and the project than just a picture. It may seem that things have shifted away from blogs and to other outlets, but overall I think the number of people interested in the craft has increased.
I also think there’s a time issue, too. People who are newly interested in quilting may have time for a picture on Instagram but they don’t have a lot of time to write a blog, so they share any way that they can. I certainly think that sharing in any form should be encouraged among quilters. I would certainly encourage people to look at blogs and read them even if they don’t want to comment or get involved. The important thing is to feel like you’re a part of the quilting community, so come on along.
And people do get tired of dessert after a while. I don’t think blogs are in any danger of going away any time soon. Just look how many new bloggers there are! It’s al good. Hang in there! We appreciate you, and we have a good community. It works for us, and others are welcome.
This is a great perspective Mari. There is the issue of time and people have so much going on in their lives. So, yes, all sharing is welcome and people can use a variety of ways to do that and be a part of this quilting community.
The whole excessive use of social media is another side of the discussion. It concerns me to see people living life where social media has such importance in their day to day being.
I just don’t think it is healthy.
Finally, yes, there are some wonderful new bloggers and I love them. I appreciate you too!
I have enjoyed your blog for some time – I am not a blogger and have little presence on social media, but I love the quilt connection. I so appreciate those of you who are “tech savy ” and industrious enough to share your love of quilting with the rest of us! Thank you.
Hi Patricia – I really enjoy writing posts and sharing with everyone. But it certainly would all be for naught if no one wanted to read them! So glad you enjoy it and stick around to read what I write. Thank you for spending your time with me.
This is such a good post Bernie and something that has been on my mind lately. I started using Instagram a long time ago because I like to take photos, it evolved into me using it related to my quilting so I could participate in swaps and make connections with other quilters. Now it’s also a useful tool to get people to my blog. But for me, I personally made the decision that I really want to focus on my blog and that is where the majority of my efforts go. I like giving it the time it needs and thinking about what I want to share with readers. I appreciate seeing what others do on Instagram but so often I wish there was more information than the little that is available in that format. I don’t use the other social media outlets because to me it’s just more “noise” about something I saw in another platform. I truly appreciate you and the other bloggers out there that are passionate about it and stick with it.
I agree with you when you say additional media outlets are more “noise” about the same project. It gets to be too much at times. I have noticed your increased focus on your blogging and I appreciate it. It takes a fair amount of time though.
Also, your point about using IG as an arena for other activities is valid. I do like it for swaps and when quilters destash – great finds to be had sometimes! It is an issue of balance.
Have a great weekend Stephanie.
Great post! I’m with you! I just started an Instagram account but seldom think to check it. I also just started a FB page, but it’s for a single purpose and I pop over to it sometimes. I prefer blogging and am glad you’ll continue to post!
Thanks! I very much enjoy reading your posts as well, though you are much more consistent than I about commenting and discussing. I appreciate that about you. 🙂
After the news this morning I sat down with my eggs and toast to surf a few blogs. Funny to read your post right after I saw a lifestyle blogger show a few pictures and then say that during the hot months she’d just be found on Instagram.
Ages ago I started a few pinterest boards ; never kept that up. When I am on the computer it is usually for news, weather, a quick check on Facebook and then reading some blogs, which are quite the mix, not just sewing ones. No Twittering or Instagram etc…there’s just so much time, as you pointed out.
As to the attention span I think what’s been called “the dumbing down of America” has been going on for some time now, sadly. It’s good that your daughter was able to see your point about attention spans and give her book a chance to capture her interest.
I actually enjoy browsing through the blogs that you have listed on your page Deb. It is a whole new community of writers and I enjoy popping over to their sites now and then. You have an eclectic collection.
Yes, the changes in society that are happening as a result of all of the technology make me nervous. Technology is an amazing thing and I appreciate all that computers can do. I just worry about those who have become so incredibly addicted to their phones, their social media, etc. It is more than a little disconcerting.
Have a great weekend Deb. Hoping it isn’t terribly hot for you.
I totally agree. I’ve recently got an instagram account which has been kind of fun so far but I much prefer blogs as well. Like you I like the conversation and the connection. Ironically it’s through the blog and last years new bloggers blog hop that I got onto facebook and instagram in the first place. I’m finding my attention span for reading has gotten shorter as well…but maybe I just haven’t found the right book. I think I’ll join you in the September book share. Got to keep those skills up.
Oh, I would love for you to join us in September. I think I have selected the book – I’ll tell you more about that in a bit.
The whole new blogger blog hop experience was a great one. I met so many talented quilter/writers during that time. Lots of good conversation and connecting!
Ha! Ha! My long reply to you has just been lost in the social media etha! It really does have limitations! Anyway, thank you for this thoughtful post, I’ve enjoyed reading the comments and your replies. Blogging is the platform where I feel most at home. It reminds of the ‘old days’ of my youth when writing and reading letters was the norm. And that was a time consuming occupation too so not done without thought or attention.
Allison, I miss getting letters in the mail! That was such a treat. Now it seems that nothing exciting ever shows up in the mailbox (well, except for the occasional fabric order!) Email is great but those letters were pretty special.
I think social media has definitely shaped the way people view things, especially the younger generations. Instant gratification is the standard, and while I like the convenience of some of the tools, I think we’ve lost something precious as a society – time. Whether it be waiting for that favorite holiday show that only airs at 8pm one night of the year, or waiting by the radio to hear a new song played. And on the other side of the coin, these instant gratification platforms somehow manage to suck time away from being in the moment.
I probably sound like some 80-year-old woman (“back in my day, we walked a mile uphill in snow…”) but I see how it is already affecting my 6-year-old. So much is geared to being on-demand that it’s become expected, almost an entitlement. I’ve happy to say that I don’t know how to tweet (and have never tried), nor do I snapchat. I like Instagram for some of the inspiration it provides and when I post photos, I usually go through IG just because I can have it also post to facebook.
Blogging is a lot more work than I ever realized and when I see some of my online quilty friends host amazing quilt alongs, link parties, and blog hops, I truly understand all of the work behind it. And as much as I’d like to grow my readership and blog, I also realize my own limitations. It’s not something I could maintain – it’s like a full time job! I think that’s why I enjoy reading blogs, knowing that there’s oftentimes real work and dedication behind each and every post.
I agree with every single point you so eloquently made. The instant gratification/on demand issue hits the nail squarely on the head.
Part of this is because we didn’t grow up with all of this. Until about 1992 I wrote (snail mail) letters to my sisters constantly and looked forward to getting a letter in the mail. Believe it or not, I have this huge grocery sack that is filled with the letters from my sisters and I treasure them. As a kid, waiting for the Charlie Brown Christmas show each year was so special. It is so different now. It seems like things aren’t as special. But that is my perspective. My kids would disagree. They just value different things than I did as a kid. It’s a tough one. I know times change but I don’t like some of these changes.
When I was working full time and had small children I hardly ever even got to sew, let alone keep up with a blog. It wasn’t the right time for all of this. Now things are different and I have more time. I have such admiration for some of the bloggers that are always organizing activities and blog hops though. So much time and thought goes into those!
Thanks for all of the thought you put into your response. We think along the same lines!
Hi there from New Zealand! I was interested to read your post, and also all the responses which it generated. I blog too, write both a quilty blog and another general travel blog and love to read others. Have to admit that I sometimes feel a bit of a social media outcast as I don’t do Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – they seem a bit scary to me, possibly because I don’t really understand them. Perhaps I should look into these things more, but as most say, there are only so many hours in the day and we want to stitch as well.
I do feel that bloggers generally seem to enjoy writing, which is what it is all about, and some have a real flair for the written word. And most appear to love reading and keeping in touch with others blogs too. Hopefully reading and writing are not becoming a dying art in these days of everything instant, do you think?
Jenny, that is an interesting question. Blogging provides an outlet for writers. Before this technological advance, I would think there were many writers for whom there was no easy way to express their thoughts. But reading? I think possibly it hampers reading. Especially among young people who are growing up with a great deal of social media exposure. That is my main concern. Social media takes up so much of the day for many people and reading is put aside. Additionally, the brain comes to demand the type of stimulation that social media provides and this makes reading a more difficult chore.
Thank you for your input! I’m very glad you stopped by. 🙂
I’m so grateful for those bloggers who continue to blog instead of posting just on Instagram (which I follow sometimes), or Facebook (which I really dislike). Thanks for your decision to keep blogging!
You are so welcome Barbara. Thank you for following. Sure wouldn’t be very satisfying to blog without anyone out there reading!! Have a great day.
As someone who has just begun blogging, this was a good, encouraging post to read, along with the comments.. I sometimes wonder if it’s really worth my time to blog. I am on Facebook and Instagram, but I prefer writing a blog. Although my blog doesn’t reach very far, I sure do enjoy meeting and chatting with those who take the time to read it. And I agree that it takes us a little deeper than just over that quick coffee order 🙂 I’ve just begun reading your blog, but so enjoy it. And thanks for encouraging me to keep at it!
I felt very much the same when I got started. However, as soon as I made a few friends it became so much fun and well worth the effort. Also, I do like having my progress as a quilter documented. It is reaffirming to go back a ways and look at what I have learned over time.
I enjoy your blog Wendy so I am glad you are going to stick with it!
I wholeheartedly agree with every point you have made here, Bernie. Maybe I’m just old. But our little devices and the social media apps that they contain are something to be wary of becoming reliant upon. I can see it with my children, in particular my daughter. She used to be a much more avid reader, too. When I think of my Instagram use, I feel like maybe I should be doing MORE to interact and connect with others – more to promote what I am working on. BUT, like you, I enjoy blogging and ‘meeting’ with my friends online. Thank you so much for supporting the Let’s Bee Social, where I appreciate all those who come to my coffee shop to meet!
Lorna, it is partially that we didn’t grow up using these devices but it is also that we know the value of human interaction. I have such a concern for this generation that is growing up with such reliance on technology. Like most things, technology is wonderful but usage should be in moderation. Trying to strike the best balance is the trick.
Thanks for your input! Hope all is well.
I enjoyed reading your perspective on blogs and also what your readers had to say. I love reading blogs! I don’t do all the other social media stuff. The most troubling thing to me about the phone addiction is when I see young families around a table at a restaurant and the parents (and sometimes the kids) are glued to their phones and nobody is interacting with the other people sitting with them. So sad! I’ve always thought that eating dinner together was the most important time for families to connect and some people seem to miss out on that. Maybe that makes me out of date, but it is what it is.
Your blog is fairly new to me, but I have added it to my reader list so I can keep up with what you are up to! Nice to “meet” you.
I completely agree with the restaurant/meal sharing problem. It is so common to see parents give their children a device to keep them busy. I know it is hard to take kids out in public but how will they learn if they are staring at a screen? Mealtime is such a great time for family so yes, they are missing out on something important.
I’m happy to meet you as well. Thank you for commenting with your thoughts on this. ?