How Much Time Can You Really Devote to the Latest Social App?
Another social app is calling for your attention. This time it's Vine, a video-sharing app that's a lot like Instagram melded with Twitter, but with video. The Vine app is not the point of this piece -- not in particular, anyway.
The point is your time, which is not unlimited. In reality, there's likely a pre-determined amount of social media that will fit in between the other aspects of your life. Some people will fall on the heavy side of this scale, while others will fall on the lighter side. Regardless of the amount of time you allow for social tools and sharing, though, there is a "budget" for said time.
My girlfriend often teases me about the processes tied to social sharing, and the time commitment that it requires: "So you're going to photograph this old van in Camera+, add filters, then import the shot into Instagram, write a comment, add a location from FourSquare, add hashtags, and then tweet about it?? That's five minutes of your life that you just devoted to a beat-up 1970's van."
And she's right. We all have a limited amount of time that we can devote to creating social content, before it negatively impacts our personal or work lives.
Which brings us back to Vine. Here's an app that has singlehandedly revolutionized the manner in which we can share and tell stories using video. This is an important tool. And so, it enters my life. But something's got to give. If I choose to incorporate Vine into my life, I'll need to ratchet through the following decision tree:
Do I need this tool?
Will it replace an existing tool?
Will its use come at the expense of time that I spend with an existing tool?
Is this tool worthy of taking additional time from my work or personal life?
For me, the Vines that I produce will likely come at the expense of Instagram, a tool that I already use. With each scenario, I'll quickly determine whether it's best documented using still photography or video. Then I'll begin the creation and sharing process.
So in the end, a new successful social tool most likely comes into my life at the expense of another social tool, as I've already maxed out the amount of personal time that I can devote to content creation without endangering my work and/or personal relationships.
Then again, every once in a while, there's a classic 1970's van parked on the street that's just ripe for every level of sharing...