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Is Social Media a Waste of Time? [Infographic]

It was in 2005 that I noticed a trend that intrigued me and it was that teenagers were becoming obsessed with a social networking site called MySpace.Is Social Media a Waste of Time?

I didn’t create an account as it seemed a waste of time and I had more important things to do.

In 2008 I was invited by a friend to join Facebook and on signing in I was impressed by its clever programming and functionality that allowed you to connect with old friends and colleagues from college at the click of a button.

Over the next 12 months I observed that certain people became engrossed in Facebook and seemed to spend most of their waking hours updating their profile and uploading photos.

In 2012 that has not changed.

What has changed though is how it is used. Facebook is a place to play games like Farmville or Mafia wars. It is a website where you can now buy products and get specials. You can listen to music and upload videos. You can instant message and chat.

The creation of Facebook “pages” for business to participate has allowed the whole Facebook ecosystem to evolve at an accelerated pace.

Marketers have found it a vibrant place to engage and communicate with customers and it is socializing marketing.

So is it too much of a time sink that takes us away from things that should be done? Does social media in fact leverage our time and reduce the tyranny of distance?

Is Social Media a Waste of Time?

If you take a closer look then the benefits seem to outweigh the disadvantages.

Here are some of the upsides to social media

  • 18% of people 50-64 years old use it to connect with others who have similar hobbies
  • 17% use it to find “love”
  • 50% use it to reconnect with old friends
  • It is a source of entertainment as 250 million photos are uploaded  every day and there are 100 million videos to watch
  • 41% of the class of 2011 used it to look for a job

Do you think social media is waste of time?

Why Social Media Isn’t a Waste of  Time

Americans and social media use
Courtesy of: Schools.com

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  • Hi Jeff,

    Social media is not a waste of time but it must be targeted. Meaning, you must primarily network with friends in your niche to avoid wasting time.

    I learned this the hard way. I spent a while connecting with all types of folks. Not a lot interested in my offering, though. The percentages were against me. I was wasting time, not because of social media, but because of who I chose to connect with.

    I also shared a potpurri of information. All over the place. Few posts were directly related to my field. Yep, SM is a party, and you want to add good stuff to the party, but you confuse your friends and followers by not sharing content from a certain niche consistently.

    Keep your message clear and consistent. Yep, be a person, and let people know you have a life outside of business. But keep most of your updates business-related, helping people in your niche solve a problem with difficulties in your niche, and social media will be ten times more prospering for you.

    Take it from a guy who has been there, done that. Be social, but be consistent. Your friends should know what you do and how you can help them rather quickly, by the consistency and quality of your shares.

    If you stray, you risk confusing your audience and social media returns will be poor. If most of your updates are consistent with your industry or niche, you naturally connect with people from your niche, your following/friends will be targeted and it will be better business for both sides. Better to find the perfect matches which are prospering for both parties.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Jeff.


    • Jeff Bullas

      Thanks Ryan for your comments and insights. If there is one thing people need to learn is focus. I visit so many blogs that are random ramblings. Know your audience and stick to it!

    • elango


  • Thanks Mike for your insight. You are absolutely right. The listening whether that is done by a person or a machine does reveal your audience foibles, attitudes, language, interests and hosts of other data. Then the creative part for the marketer is how to use that to reach and engage with your customers and prospects.

  • Thanks Mike for your insight. You are absolutely right. The listening whether that is done by a person or a machine does reveal your audience foibles, attitudes, language, interests and hosts of other data. Then the creative part for the marketer is how to use that to reach and engage with your customers and prospects.

  • Thanks for your comment Ejaz. What I really like about Facebook is that it has brought the web to the masses Old and young! and connected them to people with like interests all around the world.

  • I will be an addict to your articles Jeff! 🙂
    Hmm, I wonder, would THAT be a waste of time? 😉 According to my
    experience one can say about anything at all, that this particular thing
    is a waste of time, in aspect of what else you could waste your time
    instead. E.g. I could do sports all day, and some will say, why don’t work; I ccould do nothing else but working and some would say, why not enjoy your time, this is the wasting of your youth or life; I could go out eating, dancing, watching stuff, and then I would feel, I am not useful enough either to my body or to the society, just to my feelings; or I could write a post zo a person, I’ve never met, whhile in the same time having the opportunity to go and help some poor people…
    I don’t believe, there is such thing as useful or useless spenditure of time. There is the moment, which will be gone in a moment, and there is the decision, which always follows our actual, future or assumed needs. We can never know, which stupid thing we do will pay off in the future and which apparently efficiently spent hours will turn out as a total failure (“waste of time”). The questions is, what do one learn from the present, or how much does one enjoy the activity :).

    Thank you again for the article a the thoughts!

    • Thanks David for your comment and thoughts. I read a book recently that found helpful and inspirational called “The Power of Now” which is by the author Eckhart Tolle. The philosophy of the book is essentially that all you have is now.
      The past is gone and the future doesn’t exist so enjoy the “Now” because that is all you have what ever you are doing! Immerse yourself in it. 🙂

  • Social Media marketing

    Hi Jeff
    I always like your way of writing blogposts using Info graphics. They are
    catchy and easy to understand. I agree with you that social media is not a
    waste of time. Social media is so much helpful in promotion and branding of your
    business. No matter which line of business you are in, social networks will
    help you promote your company. 

  • I think it is. I’d be much more work efficient without any of them. What I like the most is the fact that I can spy in on other people’s lives. Who doesn’t like a good old snoop!!! Also think it’s essential for finding news that you specifically are interested in. It saves you time in that respect. From a business point of view it is essential for marketing. I think that sums it up nicely. Also it’s so easy to use facebook and twitter through third party applications that I probably spend more time using applications that on actually being on facebook even though I’m posting stuff all time!!!

  • Networking via social media can only spell potential. For all you know, that long-lost classmate might be the untapped market you’re looking for. Of course, it goes without saying that one has to secure a reliable pool of networks, so naturally, one must ask around.

  • elango

    Good article.I’m strongly agree with your points.

  • I am a fairly recent recruit to social networking, but find it an incredible place for online marketers.