The following article appeared in the UK on November 5th, “Facebook Users Spend Three Solid Days a Year on the Site.”
Three full 24 hour days on Facebook per year! Or nearly two full work weeks if you count a work week as 35-40 hours a week. And I suspect the statistics hold true in the U.S. as well.
Not all writers are full-time. Some must juggle day jobs or home-life responsibilities around their writing. So let’s say the average writer is cramming 20 hours a week of actual writing into their craft.
Thus if you are a writer AND you “Facebook” (is that a verb now?) this would mean the average writer is spend nearly a month’s worth of work time…on Facebook.
Yes, I know Facebook is a wonder of technology and allows for an incredible way to connect with lots of friends and readers at once. (Of course we have to redefine the word “friend,” don’t we?) But what would you have done with that time before you discovered Facebook?
In 72 hours a “nose-to-grindstone” writer could produce 10,000 words on their next work-in-progress (that is about 1/2 page per hour). A motivated person could memorize the Constitution. An avid reader could consume at least six of their favorite books. Or a die-hard fan could watch all 158 episodes of the “Dick Van Dyke Show” or all three seasons of “The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Milan” and still have time left to walk Fido!
I discovered first-hand the potentially addictive nature of Facebook’s lure. But I quickly learned to shut off all notifications and only visit the site periodically and see if there is anything of interest. Much like I do with selected blogs and news sites.
Don’t get me wrong, I know there are tremendous benefits for the author in connecting with their readers via social networking. And I’m not criticizing Facebook or Facebook users. My concern is with the amount of time authors spend on something other than making their next book a masterpiece.
Next time you enter the social networking world, time yourself. Then ask if it was beneficial to you personally, professionally, spiritually, emotionally, or otherwise. As with all things, use common sense, discipline, and moderation.
It will also keep your agent or your editor from posting a comment on your wall like “What are you doing here? You are on a deadline!”
For a laugh enjoy Rhett & Link’s hilarious “Facebook Song“on YouTube.