Monday, May 10, 2010

Social Media This Week: I'm Just Not Feeling It.

I have not been totally absent from the internet in the last 5 days. I have, however, been more selective in my use of same during that time.

I would never claim to be as prolific in my use of social media as some of you are. (Particularly those of you I have met recently.) Yet, since the start of 2010 I have been actively engaging in it at a fairly regular, sometimes constant pace. It is certain my pace this year has far surpassed my pace of previous years. Two blogs, an active presence on Brazen Careerist, and my entrance into the world of Twitter a few months ago.

Not to mention the regular, nearly daily visitations to each of the blogs of my new associates, and crafting comments to leave on same. Plus reading of articles, sharing links, research, "conversations", replies, emails. Everything that is done in order to be deemed in good standing in the alleged "social media community." I have, put another way, been doing quite the bit of networking. (The supposed lifeblood of everything these days.)

I realize that the level to which I have engaged in all of this behavior represents but a drop in the comprehensive ocean of social media networking and knowledge sharing that some of you take upon yourselves to complete. I don't even use Foursquare, Tumbler or YouTube. (Though I have some silly old videos up on Youtube.) I have no intention to start doing so in the near future either.

The biggest reason is, I am tired. Mentally so very tired of late of what all of this requires sometimes. I am in many ways Too XYZ for some of it, as this blog hath often showed. I'll never do as much as some of you, and I'm okay with it. But lately even the pace I had been keeping has been draining. I think there are several reasons for this in the last week.

To begin with, much of my mental energy has been diverted to "Heaven Can Wait", the play I am in which opens in 4 days. (Read more here.) I also have an interview weighing on my mind coming up on Tuesday, and some research I have to get to.

But I must confess that the biggest reason for the recent falling back on my social media updating is that I am still uncertain as to what return on the investment I am getting. I have met many of you, and talked to you in more than one platform, and I am grateful for that. I am also grateful for the comments left here on Too XYZ, and for being selected a top user on Brazen Careerist, (where recently I topped 100 fans.) But I am just not yet certain where all of it is going right now.

Very few of my fans on Brazen respond to any direct messages I send them in hopes of engaging in mutual topics. Several, (but certainly not all) of the blogs I visit don't seem to acknowledge the comments that I or others make. The hot bed for "conversation", Twitter, has yet to yield me lasting public conversations of true substance. Yes, I have made several wonderful new acquaintances and friends on Twitter, which by itself is worth the price of admission, I suppose. But I'm not yet getting that sense of intellectual exploration among people that I had hoped for at the start of my adventure.

Some of this, I am sure, is that I have not been able to precisely define a solid metric by which to define my success with social media. And I already hear some of you out there saying I have to keep doing it. I know this, which is why I am not quitting my social media experience. But I choose not to hide the fact that I am struggling with it a bit of late.

Some of it is my choices, I am sure. Some of it is circumstances, (and for those of you who insist no circumstances are beyond our control, please save it for now, I don't have the strength to explain why you are wrong once again). A lot of it I am sure is timing. But even if it cane be corrected, and even if it is temporary, a person becomes drained quickly when they put so much into something and get less back out of it. Particularly when what they put in requires summoning up the kind of strength and stamina that my personality requires. I'm not giving it all up, but I am just not certain I am making end roads yet.

So my apologies to "Tweeps" and blog subscribers, and the Brazen Fans. It's not that I don't appreciate your writings. I'm not ignoring your tweets, and I really do value the opinions shared by some of you. I desire to support you mission as much as I ever did. But I am feeling distant for now. I'm fighting my way back to being present. Not because I owe anybody anything, but because I'm not ready to give up on it just yet.

Questions, advice, concerns, pep talks, etc are more than welcome. Otherwise, I will see all of you when I am back in the game again.

10 comments:

JHepCat "72" said...

Ty, I feel you, man. I've been a bit out of it, too, though for other reasons.

Feeling a little said out, and frankly, organizing something I hope will eventually pay me real dividends, as in, a job that brings me full employment and full deployment.

I gotta ask though, 'cause I'm in dumb guy phase, and if I google it up and it's right there, I'll respond back, "Never mind!" in true Emily Litella fashion, but for now: What "too xyz" aka, Meaning?

Ty Unglebower said...

J...

The most efficient way to explain the concept of being Too XYZ is to simply refer you to the very first post of this blog. That's will give you what you need to know.

Thanks for stopping by.

Jake LaCaze said...

It seems you and I are in a very similar situation. I only recently got involved in social media, starting a blog in February of this year and getting active on Twitter only shortly before. And I recently wondered if the time I'd invested was worth it.

The whole social media thing can be very exhausting, especially if you spread yourself too thin. And if you're trying to devote time to everything, it's easy to feel that you're not getting a return on investment. I'm not suggesting that you're doing this, but it might be something to consider.

There comes a time when we hit a dip in everything we do. At first, it's all exciting and sexy. Then comes that long period of no new results. I think we're in that dip right now.

Also, I know I'm not doing everything right. I know that this is a learning experience, and what better way to learn than by actively doing? I wish I got more comments on my blog and more retweets, but I feel as if that means that I'm not inspiring people to react. And so it all falls on me.

Also, maybe a brief break will revitalize you and give you a new focus on social media. I hope you start seeing the results you desire.

Jamie said...

I don't blog everyday either; and Twitter certainly has not made for any meaningful relationships...

I've made relationships through LinkEd In and Brazen; other than that....

Truly, I blog more to "vent" than anything else. If something is on my mind, I write about it. If not, I don't write.

I figure if I write when I have nothing 'real' to write about, I'm just wasting not only my time, both other folks as well. I feel u.

thebitchywriter said...

No need to apologize, you have a life and need to live it. I'm a writer and I feel your pain. This year I vowed to only tweet once daily, and to blog weekly. I need to write, that's MY lifeblood. I'll "follow" and "friend" everyone later!

Andrea V. Lewis said...

I'm there with you Ty.

Keeping up on social media started becoming a chore and I soon realized that I had to do something drastic.

I not only deleted my personal blog, but also revamped my professional blog into a catchall blog, minimized comments and conversations and limited my other online activities as well.

We have to be reminded that we're humans not robots. We have a life to live beyond the keyboard.

Ryan Paugh said...

Good for you Ty!

Sometimes taking a step back is the best decision that you can make. Social Media makes us all so scatterbrained and I think we sometimes forget that it's supposed to make our lives easier, not more difficult.

My advice is to shut down your laptop and pull out a pen and a piece of paper. Make a list of your goals, then make a list of all of the SM applications that you are using. Match the goals to the apps. Which one is the weakest link?

Let us know how it all turns out. We'll still be around when you get back.

-RP

Ty Unglebower said...

Thanks for all of the supportive comments. I am surprised, actually. Thought I might shock my fellow social media types!

Jake: Good point about there being a dip in everything. I guess the last week or so has been one of mine. It's probably healthy to let those dips come sometimes. Hopefully things will get easier for you also.

Jamie: I confess I generally blog to vent as well. But I sometimes make connections through doing so, and I feel I should make the effort to read the blogs of those I know have read mine. But that as I said can get daunting.

"BitchyWriter": I admire you dedication to writing, and your willingness to take the time to do it, even at the expense of internetting all the time.

Andrea:Good point about being humans vs. robots. I wasn't aware you had cut back so much on your activity, and if someone as knowledgeable as yourself on such matters has also started to find it a bit tiresome, at least sometimes, it helps me realize that it's not just a Too XYZ thing, that it's "legit" as it were.

Ryan: I have started to hone in on some goals. Good advice, as was stepping back for a while. Thanks for offering your thoughts.

Overall I think I am making my way back now. I have been on Twitter more, and linking a few more things for friends to read. I know I don't owe anybody an explanation, but I do feel better than I did a week ago about all of this. Not full strength, but probably rounding a corner.

Mehnaz said...

Ty, I often step away from social media because it gets overwhelming. That being said, it takes time to build relationships on these networks given the immense amount of information that is constantly in flux.

I don't blog often (you've noticed once a week) and it's taken well over a year to build any sort of readership, but I appreciate it nonetheless.

If you need to step away, do so. Sometimes it's much more valuable to foster IRL relationships than ones online.

mehulkar said...

I think social media is preemptive to a return on investment. you build a network before you need it.

Who knows, maybe someday you'll walk over to Wisconsin someday or I'll jog into Maryland and we'll sit down for a nice cup of chai.

That said, don't do it if it's not fun:

"Life finds it's purpose and fulfillment in the expansion of happiness" - Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.