If you were to think back to yesterday, how much time do you estimate you had spent on social media? 1 hour, 2 hours? The reality is that whatever number you put on it, chances are the real number is probably a lot higher. It goes back to that idea that when you look at your bank balance at the end of the month you wonder where all of your money went. Then, after you do the checking, you see all the small purchases you made, which add up to a lot of money spent.
Well, the same idea holds true to social media and the amount of time we use it. We rarely sit and just do social media for hours straight; most people (power uses aside) will log in for a few minutes here, post a status update there. So in practice, it doesn’t feel like you have done that much. But after you add up all the checking, posting, replying, and liking you have done throughout the day, you will actually find that you spent a lot more time on social media than you thought. Much has been talked about lately in terms of people spending too much time on social media, being addicted to it, etc. So much so that now those very companies are building tools to tell you how much of a time suck they are.
Recently, news broke of an upcoming Instagram feature which would tell users how much time they were spending on the social network. While we don’t know exactly what the feature will look like just yet, or how that information will be displayed, it says a lot that the company now feels the need to give users a ledger (for all intents and purposes) of the time they spend there.
This is, in my opinion, great news. Going back to that ‘small purchases add up’ banking analogy, people need to be able to add up those small purchases in order to see their full spending habits to better budget their monthly finances. Until now, users really have not had that ability with social media, all you know is that you feel like you didn’t accomplish anything today yet you were ‘busy’ all day. Tools like this upcoming feature from Instagram will allow users to better analyze their social media usage and (in theory) be better equipped to budget their time.
Too much of anything is bad, and that goes for social media as well. As photographers, Instagram is likely a network that you spend a lot of time on, either for inspirational purposes, marketing, or simply to share your own work. But spending too much time there can lead to having less time for shooting, less time for processing, and less time for interacting with clients in other ways. In other words, it is definitely possible to spend too much time on Instagram as a photographer, and hopefully this upcoming tool will be able to help us better manage our time which will allow us to be more productive in other avenues of our lives and business; ultimately making us more successful overall!
Though, you still need to actually use the tool, and hold yourself to whatever Instagram time budget you set yourself on – Instagram can’t do all of that for you. But they are giving you the tools to be better, and that is a good thing!