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.