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    « VIP Parking: 200 Yards from the Door | Main | Without you I'm nothing. I was talking about my phone. »

    Are we starting to get sick of each other?

    Some random and possibly unrelated items from this week that are submitted for your consideration:

    'Time Spent on Facebook Has Gone Flat' - Business Insider

    Money line:

    Time spent on Facebook on desktop computers in the U.S. has been totally flat for the year, according to data from comScore. For a while now Facebook's engagement had been on the rise, but it appears to have hit a wall.

    'Three Myths About What Customers Want' - HBR Blog Network

    Money line:

     Myth #1: Most consumers want to have relationships with your brand.

    Actually, they don't. Only 23% of the consumers in our study said they have a relationship with a brand. In the typical consumer's view of the world, relationships are reserved for friends, family and colleagues. That's why, when you ask the 77% of consumers who don't have relationships with brands to explain why, you get comments like "It's just a brand, not a member of my family." (What consumers really want when they interact with brands online is to get discounts).

     The Golden Age of Silicon Valley is Over, and We're Dancing on its Grave' - The Atlantic

    Money line:

    The headline for me here is that Facebook's success has the unintended consequence of leading to the demise of Silicon Valley as a place where investors take big risks on advanced science and tech that helps the world. The golden age of Silicon valley is over and we're dancing on its grave. On the other hand, Facebook is a great company. I feel bittersweet.

    The slight, (or maybe not so slight), common thread running through these three pieces? 

    That we're not just suffering from an information overload, but perhaps we are starting to feel or sense of a bit of connection overload. That maybe being 'on' and connected to larger and larger networks of people, certainly many of them family and friends, but also, certainly, many of them total strangers, is beginning to raise some unintended and unwanted side effects. That the amount of sheer time, energy needed to sustain these networks and maintain an expected level of interaction is starting to become, well, unsustainable.

    I know I am personally guilty of this. I 'auto-post' more content to Twitter and LinkedIn than I ever did in the past. I have become more of a 'drive-by' Facebook user, dropping in once a day or so to click the 'Like' button a few times, as it is the lightest and least obligating form of interaction possible. I'm reading more blogs and online content than ever before, but mainly it seems to find source material for this blog, or for Fistful of Talent, or to share via a scheduled tweet at 10PM when I am probably already asleep.

    And I sort of think I am not the only one. It seems that maybe many of us are feeling the effects and strain of the size of our networks, the ever-increasing platforms on which to engage, and the perhaps the engagement traps we've set for ourselves.

    I'll ask the question more plainly, are we starting to get just a little sick of each other?

    Are you sensing or feeling the need to disengage more often?

    I'd love your take on this.

    Happy Thursday!

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    Reader Comments (4)

    Great commentary Steve.

    I always have believed that social media is only one phase of a "relationship." I think social media is the gateway drug for In Real Life.

    The reason we're getting sick of social media IMHO - is that we don't take it to it's logical conclusion - meeting the person in real life. I use social media as my entrance to a relationship - not the main room. If we want SM to be our main room for our relationships it will fail, it will be unfulfilling and we will use it less.

    But... if we think of SM as the way we get to the final goal - In Real Life - it has a ton of value and is worth spending time on it.

    If you're only using it to broadcast - that's cool... some will engage -some won't - the real value is if you find someone you want to engage with, meet in person, have a (gasp) phone conversation then it's the bomb.

    I think we see SM as a replacement for IRL and that is why it is declining (no facts - just opinion) - it is a poor replacement for dinner, drinks and daiquiris. As a first step - still extremely valuable. Just not a replacement.

    May 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Hebert

    Thanks Paul for the comments and thoughts. I was kind of thinking the same way, but you explained it much better! I am definitely aligned with your thinking that many, me included, tend to try and use or at least equate, SM connections with 'real' connections. Now some would argue that SM is 'real', than people are open and transparent, and blah, blah, blah, but I mostly don't buy it. The other point I think worth thinking about is what if indeed there starts to be a broader withdrawal from social, be it because of info overload, the novelty wearing off, some kind of privacy issues, or the networks themselves changing too much in order to drive revenue. It seems to me that organizations and even individuals are putting so much stake and risking their livelihood on these networks doing nothing but continuing to grow. What if LinkedIn decides 'everyone' has to pay for example, or you have to pay to send 'X' number of connection requests? What if FB starts popping up promoted video ads in your news feed? What if the people that you think you need to reach are suddenly not there? I think these are all interesting questions.

    May 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterSteve

    Until recently, I could be found on: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, Instagram, SocialCam, and Get Glue. Good God - that is a LOT to try and maintain in conjunction with a real life (and by the way, does not include Pinterest!). I signed on to all of these SM tools because I wanted to make sure I was keeping up with SM trends and people I wanted to connect with. Two things happened though: 1) After a while, I started realizing that my networks on each SM site were made up of virtually the same people and 2) I'm a cool guy but I'm just not interesting enough to warrant my presence on all the various SM sites...especially since they are all made up of a lot of the same people.

    These realizations, coupled with the growing sense of stress that I felt building as I worked harder and harder to come up with valuable content for each SM site, led me to start disengaging and backing away from Social Media. I'm now in the process of evaluating which of the SM tools I will keep using and which ones I will jettison. Key factors in my decision will be which of the SM tools resonates most with my personality and which ones will truly aid me in my daily life. I anticipate I will eventually end up using two or three of the eight sites - and say adios to the rest.

    Is the value of our connections and the content we share at risk of becoming diluted by our overabundant SM presence? After all, if you really want to have an impact on people, perhaps it's important to remember that when it comes to SM content, the phrase "less is more" may truly be the approach to take.

    And as far as keeping up with the trends and being present in every corner of the SM sphere is concerned, I would challenge people to remember that we don't need to be present everywhere, we just don't, none of us. We really will become sick of each other and start tuning each other out if we are. And no one wants to overstay their welcome at the party...right?

    May 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoel Peterson

    " we don't need to be present everywhere, we just don't, none of us"

    Could not have said that better, Joel. Many thanks for the comments and perspective.

    May 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterSteve

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