Some random and possibly unrelated items from this week that are submitted for your consideration:
'Time Spent on Facebook Has Gone Flat' - Business Insider
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
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 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.