Who Says Facebook is a Waste of Time?

Like many of you, or perhaps even most of you, I spend a lot of time on Facebook.  Some days more than others. Probably too much time some days. It’s a great place to find out what my friends and family are up to and see photos of their latest (fill in the blank here): trips, kids, grandkids, cats, dogs, etc. etc.  I also engage in some interesting discussions too. Writing alone in my little office is pretty isolating, so it’s good to have this social time.

Some may say that it’s a waste of time. I disagree.

A recent visit to Facebook inspired this post. A friend posted something from Rethink Press, a UK-based print-on-demand and e-book publishing company.  It’s titled “10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer” These tips are from British author and playwright, and screenwriter Brian Clark.

Here are his first five:

“Write.

Write more.

Write even more.

Write even more than that.

Write when you don’t want to.

Write when you do.”

You can check out on the rest on the Rethink Press page. It was originally posted there on May 28. You’ll likely find this advice from Clark elsewhere on the web too.

After I shared this link, our son Jeremy commented, “Easier said than done! Or is it?’ To which I replied, “Definitely easier said than done, Jeremy! Some days I write “in my head” but then when I go to put it on paper or the computer the words are gone.”

I know I should write every day, even when I don’t have a writing assignment. But when I don’t have an assignment, and am weary of the necessary work to get a new assignment, it’s easy to get sidetracked—on Facebook, with e-mail, watching videos linked to e-mails or Facebook posts, etc.  and get away from the writing. No excuses now. After reading this simple, but not so simple, advice about writing, maybe I’ll find it easier. Maybe I’ll get out more of the stuff that’s in my head, and JUST WRITE. I’ve started with this blog post, and have already got some ideas for more.

After an inspiring writers’ conference in early June with my friends from the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) and others from the writing and publishing world, I’m feeling more focused in my work, so I am getting the stuff out of my head and on to the page. I have some leads for some new assignments, and I just had a great meeting with a client who’s assigned some articles for her new e-newsletter.  This “Getting back to writing” also helped me complete an assignment I’d been working on.

So, it’s been easier to just keep writing, and it all started because I was taking a little time to check out what was new on Facebook.

I don’t think that was a waste of time at all.

Have you been inspired by something you’ve seen when you were on Facebook, a website, or other social media site? Write and tell us about it.

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8 thoughts on “Who Says Facebook is a Waste of Time?

  1. Like everything great in this world, I’ve found it’s best used in moderation. I had to leave for 6 months a few years ago as I wasn’t doing that. I have learned to set limits (i.e. don’t log in until noon, or after 8 pm.) so I get my writing done, but I cannot imagine not hearing from my friends on Facebook every day or so.
    Great post Christine!

    1. I try to set limits too, Heather, and sometimes I’m able to keep to them! I scroll and “like” more than I comment, so I get through pretty quickly.
      I’d find it hard not to check in with friends and family–and Facebook is great for that, but as my Dad likes to say, “everything in moderation, including moderation.”

  2. I sat down to write and ended up on WordPress. I was having a little trouble getting to the next paragraph once the keyboard was in front of me. Now inspired, I’ll get back to work. Thanks.

    1. It’s funny where we find ourselves when we sit down to write. I think it’s good that we can help and inspire each other to keep writing. Thanks for dropping by to comment. I hope you’ll visit again.

  3. I agree. Facebook isn’t a waste of time – all the time. I’ve found work through my forays around the site. And, I’ve found ideas for articles / blogs as well.

    I think it’s the sense of informality and ‘chat’ that you get on Facebook that makes it helpful. That, and staying in touch with both friends and colleagues from across the country and around the world.

    1. Thanks, Ceci. I really appreciate you taking time to comment on my blog post. I [obviously] agree with you. I’m glad that you’ve found FB as useful and fun as I have. I find it especially useful as a way of breaking the isolation of freelancing.

  4. I have learned that Facebook is incredibly valuable. As a user, Facebook has allowed me to share a personal journey. What I’m learning is that people are listening. Many are so touched by my postings that they are sending public and very heartfelt private messages and supporting me through a difficult time.

    Yesterday my daughter-in-law told me that if I hadn’t posted an update one morning (she checks her Facebook for a few minutes when she gets to work ) that she wouldn’t have known to change their flight to come see us, and her husband, my stepson, wouldn’t have been here in time to say goodbye to his father (my husband) before he passed away.

    So I agree, Facebook is not a waste of time. It can be used for fun, for motivation, for business as a way to connect to others in a meaningful way, or just for enjoyment. Thanks for posting this Christine. I am glad that you, too, see value in Facebook and social media.

    1. Suzanne, I’ve often thought about this over the past few months–that you were able to share your journey, give family and friends updates about Bob, and get the support you needed, and Facebook made it so much easier for you to do that rather than having to rely on the telephone.
      I know others who have found similar help and support. By the same token, Facebook can be entertaining and fun, and it can lead to good business or friendship connections. So all in all pretty useful.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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