No Time For Social Media? Me Neither.

You say: Wow, that social media is cool. I’d really like to learn more about it.
I say: Great!

You say: I registered for a Linked in account but haven’t done much with it. I guess I should at least update my profile.
I say: Fantastic!

You say: I just don’t get Twitter. Maybe you could show me how to use it sometime.
I say: Anytime!

You say: I’m not sure how social media relates to what I’m doing professionally. Can you explain that to me?
I say: Of course!

You say: I’d love to do more with social media, but I just don’t have time for it.
I say: B.S.

Whenever the topic of “Why aren’t more HCP’s embracing social media?” or “Why is the CME community lagging behind in the adoption of social media?” is broached, inevitably the discussion falls to the topic of time. Often, time or time management is the main reason given for lack of social media participation. Everyone murmurs in agreement and gives a “whattaya gonna do?” shoulder shrug. No one wants to argue with someone who says they’re too busy. We’re ALL busy; we can relate.

And that’s why I’ve decided the “no time” argument is a load of crap.

We all are busy. Somehow, some of us (a good amount of us) make time for social media in our schedules. You make time for the things you want to make time for.

I’m busy. I wouldn’t say I’m excessively busy, but I do have a lot of things on my plate. I’m generally in the office between 7:00 and 7:30 AM and leave around 5:00 PM. I have between a 45 – 60 minute commute, depending on traffic on the PA turnpike. I have two kids who are still at an age where they need a lot of attention (4 and 7). My wife is a musician and works a lot of nights and weekends. I have a dog who needs to be walked. I try to exercise on a regular basis. Let’s just say, I don’t have a lot of free hours in a day.

Yet, in the past 4 days I have: written four blog posts; participated in a Twitter chat (#CMEchat); passed the 2000 tweet mark (in about 6 months time); made a YouTube video in support of #CMEchat; opened a Google+ account and posted/commented on it multiple times; started two discussions in the CME LinkedIn group and commented in two other discussions (it might be more than that. I lost track.); uploaded a slide set to SlideShare; and updated my status on Facebook multiple times.

I’m nothing special. Many people do much more. And I’m not saying I expect everyone to do what I do. Many do much less and still maintain a social media presence.

The point is: try.

Don’t tell me you don’t have time to do it. I don’t have time to do it, either. So I get up early and go to bed late. I watch the Phillies game on mute. I have one TV show I watch on a regular basis, mainly because it’s the one show my wife and I both like (I’m a little embarrassed to admit what it is. Let’s just say it starts with a “G”, end with an “ee”, and rhymes with “flea”.) I read a few less pages a night in my book (which currently is “The Nearest Exit” by Olen Steinhauer, one of the best spy novelists going these days.) I use my lunch break. I use the weekends. I designate certain times during the day to check-in. I check-in quick and move on. I find time to do it.

If you want to tell me you have no interest in social media…fine. If you’re not technologically savvy and get easily frustrated with it…OK. There are certainly legitimate reasons for not participating in social media; I accept the fact that it’s not for everyone. But if you’re using “I don’t have time for it” as your main excuse, I encourage you to dig a little deeper and see if maybe you can’t find a few spare minutes. DVR that new episode of “Jersey Shore” and watch it another time (Spoiler alert: Snooki says something dumb and The Situation walks around with his shirt off).

I don’t have time for social media, either, but here I am writing to you about it. Make some time for it.

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6 responses to “No Time For Social Media? Me Neither.

  1. So, one might then ask, “But what’s the point?” As you know me both personally and professionally to some degree, you know I enjoy social media a great deal for many reasons. But I often encounter others who just feel like it is a waste of time overall.

  2. Great Post Derek,

    The key issue to time management for HCP’s is the type of social component.

    I really don’t have time to communicate with Jimmy from my high school that I haven’t seen since the early 90’s. I don’t really want to hear about his 2 divorces, 3 kids and how he will get back to work as soon as his doctor gives the ok. These conversations are killer for me. I personally feel obliged to respond, but they just eat up valuable time. The other concern is I really don’t want to share my family vacation pictures with all my colleagues and/or other HCPs.

    So I now use social media to keep me up-to-date with current information. I deactivated my facebook account so I don’t get stuck responding to old high school friends and I really only use Twitter (although Google plus looks promising).

    What is interesting is I have attracted more colleagues and healthcare professionals to try social media by sharing some of the great information I have found through twitter. I know the instant a new article is published online and this helps my writing career tremendously.

    So for any healthcare professional or CME writer, I can tell them social media has actually saved me time as I am always current and have access to amazing colleagues to crowdsource questions and queries.

    • Thanks, Mike, and thanks for your comments. I’m still on Facebook, but I doubt I spend much more than 5 minutes a day on it. That’s the thing I don’t think people who claim they don’t have time for it understand: it doesn’t really take that much time. You need to invest time at the beginning to understand what is going on, but after that, it can be quite quick. Far and away the bulk of my SoMe time is spent writing my blog. You can spend a lot of time on Twitter, G+, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc, if you want to, but you certainly don’t have to.

  3. Pingback: Why Should I Use Social Media? | Confessions of a Medical Educator

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