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Social Media: Time Savers or Suckers?


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This past week, I presented at a professional development event for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). The title and description was:

Time Savers or Time Suckers?
Are Twitter, Facebook, UStream and Ning worth your time? Statistics show more people visit a social media site each day than read a traditional newspaper. In this session, we will look at ways to get the biggest bang for your buck on various social media sites and find out if the number of friends or followers justifies how much time you spend online.

I took the title somewhat literally to pull together the slide deck below – what do you think? Is social media a time saver or a time sucker for you?

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Ellen McCarthy

Great topic. I still believe that there are skeptics out there that don’t believe in knowledge sharing. That’s definitely a road bump to overcome. However there is a significant group of people that thrive on knowledge sharing.

Noel Dickover

Yes, on both counts. Definitely both a time saver and a time sucker. I think as part of the sales pitch to those who don’t use them, we try to emphasize who much more you can do with it, and inevitably try to dance around the time requirements.

Bottom line, social media takes time – as much as we’d like to say otherwise, this is inescapable. But it gives you capabilities and access to resources and information that you could never get otherwise.

Andrew Krzmarzick

I tried to impress upon the crowd that it’s a net positive for all of these if you have clear goals for using the tools…of course, they have their inherent dangers…like slipping down a rabbit hole a la the “Kevin Bacon Phenomena” and “Why did I come here again?’ 😉

Adriel Hampton

Nice presentation, Andy! I bet you get a lot further with the skeptics by acknowledging up front the shortcomings/weaknesses of various platforms.

Andrew Krzmarzick

@Ellen and @Adriel – Yep. At this stage in the game, I think it’s important to acknowledge the shortcomings of the tools and talk about overcoming the barriers that prevent adoption…

Shannon Donelson

Love the presentation, Andy! I am a victim of my time being taken away from me on social media. I have literally spent hours of my days on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. They are so beneficial, but very hard to resist when you really can’t afford to spend a lot of time. Very easy to get off track! Being successful in using social media is a true balancing act. Practice makes perfect!