Sunday, July 17, 2016

Staying Focused (Internet)

My biggest distraction to staying focused on writing is the Internet. Other writers have told me that it's a problem for them as well. 

While it's a useful tool for research, marketing, and promotion in producing books, and educational in providing useful information about the art of writing, the Internet can also be a time-stealer. It sucks you in -- link by link by link.

I guess I'm a news junkie since I scan various websites for breaking news and analysis. That's one of the first things I do in the morning -- after I feed my dogs, pour a cup of coffee, and check email (yes, it's the Internet, but only takes about five minutes if that long).  

Before I realize it, I've spent a couple hours reading about what's happened locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. So instead of delving into a work in progress right off the bat, I'm immersed in other things for way too long. 

I also belong to several social media sites -- Facebook (of course), Twitter (no surprise), LinkedIn, Pinterest, Goodreads, and a few author-related ones. I guess it could be worse if I was involved in Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr, and Reddit (honestly, I do try to draw the line). And I do have a personal website to maintain and update.

According to an article in Business Insider, nearly 20 percent of U.S. users spend their total time in social media. Facebook is the most popular site with 14 percent. 

And in a 2015 story in GlobalWebIndex, its survey of 170,000 respondents found that people spend an average 6.15 hours a day online including 1.72 in social media. When the company first surveyed the respondents, in 2012, the numbers were 5.5 hours online and 1.61 in social media. 

The story noted "...we're actually spending more time on networks now than in the earlier part of the decade--with the rise of the mobile internet, and the ability it affords us to connect to networks at any time and from any location, being a major driver of this."

It makes you wonder who has time for television! (I know, you can download and live stream on the Web.) 

I don't think I devote that much time on the Internet, and I really don't want to know, but there's no doubt that it's taking up too much time that could be devoted to writing and other useful endeavors. 

So that's one area of my life I plan to curtail. Most of those Internet ventures can wait until I've finished writing for the day. And that also includes Amazon, ebay, Barnes & Noble and other commercial sites. 

And I do want to lead more than a virtual life. Really I do. 

Oh, since you're here, you can connect with me at these sites:

Facebook: Kentucky author Michael Embry (always looking for "likes.")
Twitter: @MichaelEmbry (I'll follow you as well.)
LinkedIn: Michael Embry (Let's connect!)
Pinterest: Michael Embry (Let's share some stuff!)
Goodreads: Author Michael Embry (Be my friend!)
And you can follow my blog by clicking on one of the "follow" buttons in the right column. 

Until the next time....


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