How much time do you spend on Facebook?

FB-Screen-shot-2014-08-22

In a GTD[1] effort to increase productivity, I studied my online activity this spring using time tracking software. Currently self-employed, I wanted to make sure time is not wasted but used wisely.

For the most part, social media is out. Same goes for video games and online audio and video streaming sites (not that I ever play video games online anyone, but I do allow myself to listen to music and audio podcasts while working).

A couple times during this period I noticed that the weekly report showed that I spent four hours on Facebook. I was shocked. Maybe I left the computer on while running an errand (which could take hours due to my current rural location) and left the internet browser window open during that whole time. I made immediate efforts to close that open loop of un-productivity.

Those reports intrigued me and I wanted to find out how many hours most Americans spend on Facebook per day. According to a 2011 source, the average American spends

“15.5 minutes … on Facebook every single day.”[2]

But, as you know, three years ago is a century ago in the digital world. A 2013 study reports that an

“average user spends 23 hours a week emailing, texting and using social media and other forms of online communication.”[3]

23 hours! That is a lot of online time. But that statistic does not surprise me. As a professional graphic designer, I spend at least 40 hours a week in front of a screen. And now, most design and communication applications are cloud based or at least supported online. So, as you can see by the screen shot at the beginning of this post, much of my time is designing books, book covers and other marketing and print materials while listening to podcasts or music.

A month ago a new report says

“the average American now spends 40 minutes a day checking a Facebook feed.”[4]

That is a huge increase from three years ago — 280 minutes a week spent on Facebook. 4.6 hours a week. 18 hours a month! I can layout a 240-page book in that time and maybe have time left over to design the book cover (of course, that depends on editor and author changes and corrections, but I digress).

I am sure there is a lot of news from family and friends that I miss by avoiding Facebook. But when you are self-employed those 18 hours can be used resourcefully and effectively to provide for your household — and to secure and maintain future clients. Or, at least, that is the strategy.

NOTES:
[1] GTD, or Getting Things Done. http://lifehacker.com/productivity-101-a-primer-to-the-getting-things-done-1551880955
[2] “You Spend 8 Hours Per Month on Facebook” by Ben Parr, September 30, 2011, accessed August 22, 2014, http://mashable.com/2011/09/30/wasting-time-on-facebook/
[3] “Americans Spend 23 Hours Per Week Online, Texting” by David Mielach, July 2, 2013, accessed August 22, 2014, http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/4718-weekly-online-social-media-time.html
[4] “Americans Now Spend More Time on Facebook Than They Do on Their Pets” by Joshua Brustein, July 23, 2014, accessed August 22, 2014, http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-07-23/heres-how-much-time-people-spend-on-facebook-daily

Racine Public Library presents: BONK! 71

From an email about the event:
unnamed

BONK! 71
SATURDAY, AUGUST 23, 2014 
ECO-JUSTICE CENTER
7133 MICHNA ROAD, 
RACINE, WI
6PM (doors open 5:00!)
FEATURING:
AM RINGWALT is a writer and musician (Anne Malin) from Racine, Wisconsin and currently studying in Boston, Massachusetts. Most recently, her words have appeared in:  “Whole Beast Rag;” “DUM DUM Zine: Punks and Scholars;” “The Interlochen Review;” and “BROWN GOD.” Last year, she was a YoungArts finalist in fiction and a US Presidential Scholar in the Arts semi-finalist.  Ringwalt’s debut chapbook entitled “Like Cleopatra” is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press.  More information about her work can be found at annemalinringwalt.tumblr.com
JOE HALL is the author of three books of poetry: “Pigafetta Is My Wife” (Black Ocean 2010), “The Devotional Poems” (Black Ocean 2013), and, in collaboration with Chad Hardy, “The Container Store” Volumes I & II (SpringGun 2012). He currently resides with fellow poet Cheryl Quimba in Buffalo, New York where he is studying commons, excess, and waste flows.  Learn more about his work at joehalljoehall.wordpress.com
NAOMI MARIE is a born and bred Midwestern minstrel of sorts. Transplanted from the rich musical culture of the twin cities, she has discovered a fresh folk sound and form from the third coast of Lake Michigan. Having recently released her first full length, Primary Colors, in May of 2014, she sets to connect with friends, fans and artists in continued pursuit of her music’s authentic expressions.  For more information about her music and schedule go to naomimariemusic.org

Quote: “All the words that I utter…”

All the words that I utter,
And all the words that I write,
Must spread out their wings untiring,
And never rest in their flight,
Till they come where your sad, sad heart is,
And sing to you in the night,
Beyond where the waters are moving,
Storm-darken’d or starry bright.

—  William Butler Yeats, “Where My Books Go” (via bookoasis)

Published story. Read all about it.

Screen shot 2014-08-12 at 4.06.57 PM
Last week The Asheville Blade published a story I wrote — Why I Left Asheville.

The response to that story has been overwhelming. If you have not read the story yet, please give it a read and share your thoughts in the comment section. Thanks for your support!

Another note

Upon acceptance of another story this week, I received this note from the editor:

 “Good lord this is good.”

The encouragement from these editors helps sweep a lot of self-doubt out of the way.

When the Lights Go Out

When The Lights Go Out book cover

Announcing the release of When the Lights Go Out: and other writings [Kindle Edition]!

This e-book collects four stories from a Coffeehouse Junkie audio podcast plus a bonus chapter. Inside When the Lights Go Out includes stories about creative space, laptop versus hand-writing and more. Here’s a list of the chapters:

  1. Creative space
  2. When the lights go out
  3. An audience of one
  4. Life is lived as a messy first draft

Plus a bonus chapter!

Listen to the audio:

And thank you for your support!

Download today: When the Lights Go Out: and other writings [Kindle Edition]