Real Life — Online

I either have accounts at too many websites — or I need to accept that my real life is online.

While passing through a hotel lobby this week, I caught the tail-end of a discussion between a couple over their online activities. Basically, the guy was informing the girl that she spent more time on Facebook and Twitter than talking to him.

Which made me think about my online activities — and the more I thought, the more — surprised — I became.

I am registered, have accounts and/or am participating on a lot of websites. Within twenty minutes, I’d listed: WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Livejournal, LinkedIn, Marvel, Deviantarts, Fanfiction.net, Archive of our own, Rebelscum, Pinterest, Netflix, Hulu, HBOgo, Nanowrimo, CNET, 2 library websites, 3 knitting sites, a number of Yahoo groups, and at least five more Star Wars sites, not to mention all the shopping sites like Amazon and Etsy and eBay and specialty stores. Plus I have various emails used for work, professional relationships, shopping and/or entertainment.

In short, I’m listed in a lot of places, but the real question, I soon realized, was whether I spent any time on them. And the answer, for some, was very little.

I rarely update my Facebook. I created an account there when I first went to a Marillion Weekend, so that I could keep track of fellow fans, but while I try to read their updates, I scarcely have any of my own to include.

I don’t think I’ve ever posted anything on Pinterest or Deviantarts. I post the same things (like fan fiction) on the same fic sites, but at different times and as I can get to the posting. The more I thought about all these accounts, the more I realized that, if I’m spending all that time keeping up with them, how can I have any time to get my physical life back in order and on track?

In other words, what value does my participation on these sites add to my life? And from there, it was a short step to the realization that maybe, just maybe, I didn’t need to be on all these sites.

At the very least, I could streamline my access and participation and perhaps free up some time to live more in the real world. I can cross-post my entries onto various blogs, simultaneously post my fics at all sites. Cut out the sites I don’t really visit anymore — like Yahoo groups that have degenerated into namecalling or are all but moribund but for the postings from spammers.

By doing that, I can focus my attention on the places that really add value to my life. WordPress, from which I can cross-post to Livejournal. AO3 for my fics. Tumblr and Twitter (I really need to tweet more.). I just need to plan it out and make some decisions.

It’s something I’ll be doing this weekend, as I pull apart my laptop and do some upgrades. I also realized, while streaming a movie in the hotel room, that I desperately need a bigger hard drive. Fortunately drives are both inexpensive to buy and idiot-proof to install. Once I do that, I can redo the layout here and on my Tumblr, and be better organized.

I hope. Assuming the upgrades go smoothly.

Now, being exhausted from trip one and needing to be ready for trip two tomorrow, I’m toddling off to bed . . .

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