August 25th, 2013

The rationale of social media

I’ve been away on holiday, and, save for a few family posts to Tumblr and Instagram, I’ve refrained from checking my social media feeds.

What started out as a need to spend quality time with my family soon settled into a (nice) daily rhythm, where I didn't feel the compulsion to keep up to date with the social media Universe.

The question that I have to ask myself is whether and to what extent I missed out?

I didn't!

On a quick scan of the 999+ posts on Feedly, the thing that stands out is the repetition of messaging. There are plenty of inventive blog headings, but when you dig down among the weeds, you soon recognise how many posts are short on originality.

I'm sure social media is no different to any other sector - there are only so many ways to say the same thing; but this raises the important question concerning the amount of time being taken up in creating, editing and consuming unremarkable content. Sure, if you are new to the paradigm then it's instructive to read another SEO or Google+ post but, in my experience, the only people who tend to be interested in this material are those in the space. And, of course, they ought to know their proverbial onions.

The other thing I noticed: my favourite bloggers/writers hardly posted anything whilst I was away. I know Seth Godin is the exception but I do question how much value you can get from his continued stream of pithy text. Perhaps he wants to save his best writing for his books but I long for the day where he doesn't feel the need to prove his art by posting another daily post.

It could just be that my favourite bloggers were away on holiday, but, in my experience, the most accomplished of them aren't seduced into believing the hype that more is better.

For me, I will continue to refine my use and application of social media. I still believe that it represents the biggest hope for change, however there is a risk that the bigger picture gets buried beneath a slew of banal content that does more to turn people off then show them the light.

My message: be forever grateful for the power to connect and share ideas but not at the expense of fully living your life.

Connect on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Subscribe via rss, email and newsletter.