The Black Hole of Social Media

I reached out to a former professor for advice on developing a career in writing and one of her main pieces of advice was to avoid social media as much as possible, it “eats time like acid”. This was something I started to accept months ago. I would open up YouTube with the intention of watching one video and end up spending 10+ minutes travelling down the black hole of related videos. I would open up Instagram with the intention of posting to my accounts and leaving, and end up spending another 10+ minutes scrolling through one account or page after another.

I began using Instagram within the past year in an attempt to build my following but I am not sure if it has been as helpful as I hoped. Twitter already taught me that people can like or even retweet your content without really engaging with it e.g. clicking a link and reading a blog post. I worry that the same thing is happening with Instagram. I have a small following but I know those followers and likes are not worth anything when it comes to them reading the content I create on this blog.

Part of the issue is that there are so many accounts and so many people wanting to gain their following. I try to engage with the small group of people who regularly like my content and checking in on 15+ accounts daily can still eat up a lot of time. As I complain about my need to return a favour I can understand why it can be difficult to go to someone’s site and become a regular visitor, even if you want to.

I have considered deleting my Instagram accounts but I am wondering if I need them simply because it looks good to have them. One day when I (hopefully) get an agent, will she see my lack of an Instagram account as a disadvantage for my marketability. At that point will a few hundred followers be better than none? Maybe it will be worth it then but right now all I truly see is a drain of data. I blame myself for the lost time since it is my attention span that causes the issue.

I have now made a resolution to spend my time on the bus either writing or reading. No more listening to music and I will allow myself ten minutes to post to my two accounts. The current book I’m working on, “Alive: Part II” began with a short poem I wrote and I hope to generate some more roots while I spend time travelling to a place I hope to escape soon.

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