I struggle with this one, a lot.
Sharing is fun. Keeping in touch is nice. The ability to scan a distant friend’s Facebook timeline or Twitter feed, and know instantly what’s going on in their life, is convenient.
So why is it that social connection has started to feel more and more like social obligation? Has social technology grown so big and noisy that we can no longer really hear one another? Why am I not as eager to login into my social accounts as I once was?
I’m hesitant to admit my disenchantment. After all, as an early enthusiast of blogging, online publishing and sharing, social technology has played a significant role in shaping my professional path. Besides, I’m still in awe of the Internet’s ability to connect people and ideas.
But lately, my inbox bulges with solicitations for webinars, white papers and e-books advising me to ‘engage and connect’ and ‘build my audience’ in ways that feel artificial and contrived.
Everyone, it seems, wants to teach me the ‘right’ way to share. Even my sister, a Facebook aficionado, chided me recently for not posting enough “photos of my daily life” on my page.
And if the ‘social experts’ are to be believed, social technology is simply a ‘tool’, a ‘strategy’, a ‘brand platform‘, with strict rules of engagement.
Is there any wonder that some of the fun has gone out of it?
It’s tempting to think that the solution is to go old-school and discontinue the digital conversation completely.
But then I remember what hooked me in the first place: the joy of exchanging ideas and information.
No, dropping out is not the answer.
Joy. That’s the key. Always has been. It’s the music in the noise.
What about you? How much is too much?