The tips below will be limited to the two most popular social media sites, Facebook and Twitter. The same principles applies to Pinterest, Google+ and other sites (the only difference being that on MySpace you’ll want to make sure your computers speakers are turned off).
One thing I like to do what I call “cycling”. Don’t be intimidated by the technical jargon! Cycling is simply moving from one social media platform to another over and over again in a cycle, compulsively posting and responding to the posts of others, then responding to the responses of those responses. Also sending out Farmville requests – people love that. This creates what I call a the “looping effect” and there is literally no end to it.
Let’s go over an example. Let’s say you wake up and take photograph of your navel on your mobile device. You then post the photo on Facebook, taking care to include the photo’s location, date, and a short, humorous text (i.e., “My navel!”). Once posted, login to Twitter (bookmark and remain logged-in to all your social media sites!). Post the same photo to your Twitter account (#mynavel!, @presidentbarackobama). Then return to Facebook and respond to those who have weighed in on your navel. Then repeat.
“But can I really kill an entire working day on just Facebook and Twitter?” you ask? I’m here to tell you the answer is an unqualified “Yes!” Let’s say, for example, that your friends aren’t weighing in sufficiently on your navel or you’re just building a following on Twitter. In that case, I strongly recommend you get into highly partisan, wonkish political debates on arcane public policy. “But who gets the last word?” you ask. Answer: “No one!” Respond to every point made and then make two more of your own. Believe me: you’ll never hear the end of it.
LinkedIn, in the popular imagination, is the true social networking portal for business people who are serious about seeking new professional opportunities. No pussyfooting on LinkedIn, right?! A short time on Linkedin will reveal, however, no shortage of opportunities for time-wasting activities, from making inane posts (“Experienced PhD Seeks Employment Opportunities”) to “updating” your “resumé” to reflect your professional “accomplishments”.
“Will these social media sites enable me to overcome pressure from my family and friends to spend time with them?” This is an understandable concern and let me assure you: once you get the hang of it you’ll find that relegating them to their proper place on your list of priorities practically becomes a habit.
There are money other opportunities to deny your employer the bang for his buck, of course. Between updating your Pinterest wall to submitting your weekly column to “The Economist”, there are enough social media opportunities to ensure that you never actually accomplish anything useful or of lasting value.
David Deeble is a consultant currently on hiatus between jobs. He is the author of “Drinking With Wine”, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Self-Esteem” and “Cough Your Way To Rock-Hard Abs”. Visit his website at www.daviddeeble.com.