The power of the follow. The impact that one person’s message can have on another by following, liking, sharing, or commenting on something written by another. The sudden explosion of awareness that occurs when someone with many followers “likes” what you have to say. It is an amazing responsibility.
I sometimes wonder how much thought is put into that responsibility. How those that are in the spotlight decide on what to like. How closely they need to keep in check everything they do and say. Do they realize the power that they hold?
Yes, even if a message is ignored, it is still communication. It sends a message that what you have to say is not important.
Communication is a funny thing. It happens constantly. Sometimes it is subtle and sometimes it is in your face obnoxious. Sometimes the communication is the simple ignoring of a message by another. Yes, even if a message is ignored, it is still communication. It sends a message that what you have to say is not important. The simple seeing that someone has viewed your message as shown by the technology identifying your little picture, the word “Seen”, “Read” or the fateful “Delivered” but then never “Read” is woven into many applications we use today. It is almost a mocking of “yes, I saw what you had to say, but it isn’t important to me” without that person ever having to say a word.
Of course with the increase in followers, the increase in types of social media available, the increase in everything that we can do to put our message out there, is it any surprise that it has become increasingly more difficult to communicate effectively? Not only is it hard to weed through all the messages, tweets, articles, posts but how does one determine the validity and truths within the messages that barrage us daily? In many ways, we are getting better at throwing messages out there but we are not very good at reading them, listening to them, trying to understand them, analyzing them for their true meaning.
With the “big data” buzz we have overwhelmed our senses. Is it any wonder that we are now trying to hide out in our homes? Order what we need through Amazon. Place orders online to be picked up in parking lots.
Do we even care about interacting with others or do we just want to spew messages everywhere? Is it any wonder our thoughts race and everyone seems to suffer from some form of attention deficit?
With the perpetual message barrage, how does one figure out how to focus on any one thing, any two things, any number of things put in front of us via technology every single day. How in the world does one determine who to follow, who to allow into the feeds that will affect the messages seen, the truths to be believed based on the enormous amount of information shared by those we follow.
Then there are the famous “algorithms” that allow for the technology to further streamline what they believe one should see. What messages are being excluded because of some “algorithm”? Do we start to feel that we are under a microscope because we see advertisements based on what a friend might be thinking of buying? Does it not offend us that we are being manipulated by the ever watching “big brother” that is social media?
So what is the message that I have? Set down the technology and go out into the world. Meet someone new. Have a conversation. Look into their eyes and see the soul that is deep within. Lean in and really listen. Do not think of how to respond until the person is done sharing their message. Ask questions to clarify that you understand. Pause, listen and learn. Then, let me know how it turns out.