SUBNET_Final_small[1]I read this article recently in our Melbourne newspaper The Age, titled Generation Overstimulation? Generation Y’s addiction to being busy.

It’s not just Gen Y that’s feeling overstimulated, I can tell you! Who else feels like they’re slipping behind, juggling work, family, friends, hobbies, sports, pets? These days of course, it’s not only finding time for all of these, it’s keeping up with the relentless drive of electronic stimulation, if you’ve let it slip into your life (and it does creep in, inserting itself into your life even if you’re a Luddite).

Until mid last year I only used Facebook to keep in touch with family and a few friends, plus I had email and a cheap smartphone. That was about it, and it was enough.

Then self-publishing my YA novel took my social media use up to a whole new level… Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Linked In, this website on which I blog weekly, plus having the apps on my phone so they are (unfortunately) even easier to access. But, these days, when you’re publicising your own book (no easy task), social media is really the cheapest and quickest way to get your name out to the world.

Now it’s a daily check-in with all of the above, plus trying to follow other people’s blogs, let alone keeping up with the daily news (online of course!). And there’s the statistics for all of them, which I try not to take much notice of, and the multiple accounts for things like Amazon & Kindle, Goodreads, Scrivener, Thorpe-Bowker (the Australian ISBN company), and various other sites like Freshly Squeezed Reads.

By the time I’ve checked on these things before or after my full-time job, and tried to read a blog or two, other things take over (you know, little things like feeding the animals and the humans, doing housework, talking to family or neighbours, trying to watch some TV – oh, did I forget trying to catch up with my long-suffering husband?) and no writing has been done. And I don’t even have children to care for!

It does become a merry-go-round of overstimulating screen time, which can take over from your real-life time if you allow it to.

I am attempting to keep it under control by allocating a small amount of time for social media, and a larger amount for writing itself. However, the mind often takes over if a good conversation is struck up via Twitter (yes, this is possible!) or I respond to comments on the blog, or comment on other’s blogs… Which can of course be construed as marketing my name as an author – so I tell myself when that little worm of guilt starts to wriggle 😉

YogaFrog[1]In the end it comes down to exercising some judicious self-control (ha! like not eating the rest of that block of chocolate) and balancing things out. Sometimes you need to just drop everything and chill out with something less… stimulating.

Just know that if I’m not visible on social media, I’m certainly not ignoring you, but hopefully writing, reading or just having a life 🙂

So how do you keep a balance (or try to)?


About carolynswriting

Author, Menagerie Manager, 9-5er. Love my writing, my family and other animals, my friends, and even my job :)
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12 Responses to Busy

  1. Brendan says:

    Sound very, very familiar 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. colinandray says:

    I am retired ……….. and still have those problems in fact, may be more so because everything I get involved in is by choice and “necessary” for my retirement pleasure. The only thing close to a solution for me is to simply get up and away from technology. This is gives me a chance to catch up on other interests, not the least of which is keeping some sense of order with the garden. Of course my buddy Ray needs his walks, and I need my runs (no the two events are not compatible), and I need my guitar, keyboards time …… and just listening to music time but that involves the pc again (damn!). I have a book in final stages (damn technology again), and I want to keep in touch with friends and family (internet – damn!) ………. yup …….. it’s a challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, that made me laugh – yes, it’s like the more we try to get away, the more it follows us! I’ve decided that at least the positive side of technology is that easy ability to keep in touch (damn family keeps running away overseas!); to learn new things with a few keystrokes, get advice on the oddest little things; and to be in contact with lovely people you would possibly have never met 🙂


  3. I think it’s more “try to have a balance” sometimes than actually having one! I try to get up and work on my blogging and writing, so in the evening I have more time with my husband and Choppy. During the day, it’s work – which also sometimes interferes with the other two parts of the day when I try to have time elsewhere, unfortunately!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, I’d agree with you on that one! I’m aware that sometimes by the time I get on the computer, my husband is ready to talk about his day, or one of the cats is desperate for a cuddle – I think I have back problems from balancing laptops & cats, let alone the whole family/pets/technology/writing/work thing!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ginene Nagel says:

    One thing that you didn’t mention but I’m sure you deal with is the on going work of new computer related updates and programs. Plus the glitches and unwelcomed things downloaded when updating. For example, I must use Google Chrome for my antique business because of language translation and when I get an update for Windows 8, it takes all my settings and changes them to what Windows is pushing. Then, I have to figure out what the heck happened. Same with selling on eBay, eBay periodically resets my selling preferences (taxes, discounts on shipping, etc.) to what they want to make money and that is very time consuming to go through pages and learn what they have done. I had to get a newer printer because HP made my printer “obsolete” and didn’t support it – they removed my driver. It took me a week to find out why the printer suddenly didn’t work. It is diabolical. My uncle who is 84 said that he now has twice the problems he had before he was given a computer by his well-meaning son. I get frustrated. I haven’t really found a way not to be annoyed and frustrated. Usually, I walk away for awhile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh absolutely, GRRRRRR!! It’s incredibly frustrating and the greenie in me absolutely hates that everything these days has built-in obsolescence. I try to hang on to everything, including technology, as long as possible, but I know eventually I will have to update. It’s even harder for the older generations who try to learn these things, only to be tricked by spammers or their own memory issues – my parents & step-dad-in-law are often frustrated. We definitely need younger, patient tech-people around to help us keep it simple!
      PS I’ve heard Windows 8 has caused lots of problems. Have you considered trying to go back to the previous version? (I know that will be exhausting just thinking about it though)


      • Ginene Nagel says:

        You know that is an interesting thought. It came with Windows 8 on it and I assumed I couldn’t go back because I didn’t have Windows 7 on this computer. I sure didn’t load Windows 8.2 though!

        Liked by 1 person

      • It could be worth asking an IT person, although it may be too late to make it worthwhile. Apparently they’re about to release a new Windows, called 10, just to be confusing! Ugh, technology 😦


  5. WordMothers says:

    Such a battle, isn’t it? And as a migraineur, the last thing I need is more stimulation. But all that being said, I find that the more I take in, the more pours out of me when I do get a chance to write, whereas when my life is very slow and quiet and I’m really “in the moment”, it takes me a lot longer to generate ideas and string words together – probably better for fine editing but not for powering through a first draft. I do rather resent how much a writer’s career relies on technology now though. The connectivity is nice on one hand, but there is something wonderful about putting pen to paper, or holding an actual book, or meeting up with a friend IRL and chatting about whatever you’re reading over a long cup of coffee. And so much gentler on the body than endless hours staring at a screen. I also agree with what Ginene wrote – I never have to update my skills or software when I’m scribbling in a notebook!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oooh yes, I hadn’t even got on to the eyestrain & headaches of too much screentime! But yes there’s something also in the stimulation of being busy and receiving ideas and inspiration – I would miss all the wonderful things I read on your site and others if I had to stop 🙂 Totally agree with you on the real life stuff, apart from my hand cramping up when hand-writing too much too fast!


  6. Pingback: Very social media | Carolyn's Writing

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