By Matt Payne, Social Bridge Media, LLC
I think I’ve discovered one big reason why social media frustrates so many people. In the past, communication revolved around a written letter that was sent by one person and then hand delivered to another person.
When someone went to the trouble (and expense) of sending a letter the one who received the letter felt an obligation to read it. Reading mail was something that people actually looked forward to doing!
Times have changed as many have abused this communication method. Unsolicited mail and bills have overtaken our mailboxes so much that I actually dread going to the mailbox.
Email was invented and we carried over the communication idea that if someone sends an email it must be important and read as soon as possible. Blackberries helped speed up the process so that we can instantly receive these messages 24/7 and respond quickly.
Times have changed as many have abused this communication method. Nigerian scams, viruses, malware, Viagra ads, and other spam have polluted our inboxes so much that they say 90% of email is unsolicited spam!
Social media is a fundamental shift in the way we communicate.
We have moved from one to one communication to a one to many form of communication. Social media is an information river of billions of status updates, photos, videos, blogs, comments and likes that flows constantly.
Social media is a river of information.
When someone says: “How do you follow 2,000 people on Twitter?”or “How do you deal with 1,000 Facebook friends?”
They are really asking: “How do you read all the posts? and “How do you have the time?”
These questions reveal that they don’t understand how communication has changed.
To follow, friend or be connected to someone does not mean that you must read everything they post (as if that were even possible).
When I post a message on my Facebook Wall and it goes out to the news feed of my friends I’m not communicating to any one of them specifically although I’ve had FB friends believe that any message on their news feed was a direct communication to them.
I have seen people passive-aggressively post something on their Facebook wall that they obviously meant for a specific person which is an immature method of communication!
Communication is moving from one-to-one to one-to-many.
Matt Payne, owner of Social Bridge Media, LLC is a social media strategist, trainer, and public speaker working with local government, non-profits and small to medium-size businesses. Matt has performed social media workshops and classes for PCC Climb, City of Beaverton, Beaverton Chamber of Commerce, Oregon Dental Executives Association and others. He is currently serving as a board member for the Beaverton Chamber and Domestic Violence Resource Center of Washington County, plus holds a staff position at George Fox University.