Does Twitter take up too much time? How do you manage it?

Filed as Features on April 16, 2008 6:51 pm

As I’ve become more engaged in my usage of twitter I’ve found myself in a situation where it can suck up more and more of my time – the same applies for other forms of social media, by the way, such as Facebook or MySpace for example…

The time sink aspect of social media is what Sarah Perez explores in her post on Read/Write web today about how Real People Don’t Have Time for Social Media. She writes:

Looking at all the various web-based activities and projects, what we can tell is that not everyone is going to have the time to be as heavily involved in social media as we are.

And I think this is true – but it’s also worth pointing out that even in the amount of time that I devote to social media in the course of a day – it’s almost impossible for me to keep up with all of the traffic on twitter and other services – though I do find them to be valuable tools that I’m glad exist.

It’s the productive use of Twitter that is explored by Corvida over at SheGeeks today in a post about how to manage twitter’s level of distraction while you work:

My workflow is often disrupted due to Twitter. It took me three hours to write a post yesterday because I was constantly trying to split my attention between Firefox and Twitter. To be honest, this is not going to work for anyone, especially if you’re Twitter stream is a heavy one.

The best solution is to simply exit Twitter: exit your client, close your Twitter tab, and move on.

Corvida goes on to provide some solid & practical ideas on how to manage the level of distraction that Twitter can interrupt your work day with.

For me, I use twhirl on a mac, so I do indeed sometimes have to exit out of the application in order to concentrate on what I’m trying to accomplish.

How do you manage your distraction while using twitter?

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  1. By Ming posted on April 16, 2008 at 8:42 pm
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    twitter actually frees up time for me. I do it in the inbetween moments. It only takes a second… and it sames me from writing lots of useless blog posts.

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  2. By Tony Hung posted on April 16, 2008 at 10:01 pm
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    There are three ways, as I see it.

    1. You don’t and let it continue to create habitus interruptus

    2. You minimize it and set it to ring with different “ring tones” — so you can tell which twitters are addressed to you and which ones aren’t

    3. You close it while you work.

    Personally #3 works the best. Anything less, i find, is just kidding yourself (seriously).

    Cheers
    t @ dji

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  3. By Matt Craven posted on April 16, 2008 at 10:20 pm
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    Latin! Now we’re talking (3 years, undergrad)

    I have to roll with #3 – I can’t work with that level of distraction honestly – so it gets shut down when I’m powering through my school stuff.. I can handle it while blogging though :)
    m

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  4. By Thord Daniel Hedengren posted on April 17, 2008 at 1:09 am
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    I’m doing a version of #3. When I really need to focus, I shut Twitter down, but sometimes I keep it up and running without really paying attention to it. That is probably affecting my productivity though, but then again I might get a lead on a story, which is good for staying ahead, so it’s not black and white for me.

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  5. By J. Angelo Racoma posted on April 17, 2008 at 2:29 am
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    I used to be a Twitter addict. Now I just load up my Twitter (me + friends) feed on a feed reader widget, and I only check out messages a few times a day. Yes, Twitter can be a good source for info/news leads, but then the problem is being able to filter the useful information efficiently.

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  6. By Matt Craven posted on April 17, 2008 at 8:30 am
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    I’ve had some amazing interactions with twitter users – just last night a comment about Microsoft Sharepoint Designer – and this morning I had a @reply from the leader of that team at Microsoft asking for candid feedback about his product.

    That’s just awesome!
    m

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