Monday, September 10, 2012

What the Timing of Your Updates Reveals

An example; not my stats
A few years ago, I used a Facebook application that gave statistics on when you posted status updates by months of the year, days of week, and time of day. It jumped out at me that most of my posts were during the worst times of the year.  I already knew that I posted less frequently during summer vacation, but my statistics revealed that even during the school year, my posts were heavily centered around finals, midterms, and times of year that just plain sucked.  This factor alone is not necessarily a bad thing - if posting makes you feel better, then it's logical that you would post more when you're not feeling well.  But the other factor that stood out was that I posted more updates when I had less time. When I had time to do things I wanted, I didn't spend time on Facebook - it was a place I went when I didn't have time to do anything else.

Glancing at my blog archive, I can see that there isn't really a pattern based on whether I was feeling good or bad, and that I post more when I have more free time, not less.  Some of the long gaps between posts are for school, but others are for when I was more involved in other things. I had long suspected that posting on Facebook made me feel worse rather than better, and the timing differences alone reveal that I enjoy writing on my blog and that I don't really enjoy posting on Facebook.  If you're questioning whether something you're doing is a good or bad thing for you because it kind of feels like both, look at the timing of when you do it.  Ask yourself: do I do this activity when I actually have time for it, or do I do it when I'm trying to avoid doing something else? You may have your answer.

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