Early last month, I wrote about The September Silence.
I wasn’t as silent as I’ve been in previous breaks…
Breaking the Silence
There were several times I broke the silence to share something online.
I gave a talk about podcasting on September 1 and I thanked some people for attending. Later in the month, I promoted some things for friends who had cool things coming out. (Like this.) I mentioned an opportunity my wife had that didn’t end up as she’d hoped. I promoted a podcasting e-magazine I’m featured in. And I mentioned Not About Lumberjacks.
I also got together with some friends, many of whom hadn’t seen each other in 20 years. Since I put that whole thing together, I jumped online to share in the comments after that particular day.
Stuff like that.
(And yes, while online, I shared a couple goofy things as well…because I was there.)
So September was not completely silent.
How Important is Social Media Sharing
I know people who make a living online, and social media sharing is a big part of it all. But for me, I’m not so sure how vital sharing things online is.
When I take breaks and don’t promote the weekly podcast, we usually see a big dip. This month, though, I’ve not shared anything about the show — and we’ve had out best month in years. (Perhaps in part to the talk I gave at the beginning of September? But talks like that have not resulted in an increase in listens in the past.)
The good news for friends that I shared…that was mainly just being a good friend. I don’t know how much sharing a friend’s new release — whether it’s a book, video game, or something else — leads to anything on their end. But I do know I like sharing what friends do and that it means something to friends (because when they share things I’ve done online, I’m always touched).
Are We Obligated?
I don’t mind taking breaks from a break to share the things mentioned above. But I feel like I cheated. The pull back to, “Just taking a peek at other things” is strong, and I’d be lying if I said there weren’t a couple Saturday mornings that I jumped on some social networks and just looked around and had a little interaction.
The big question I had last month, though, was this: are we obligated to share?
I know none of my friends would have been mad if I hadn’t shared things they had going on. I don’t mind if people don’t share even my best news, even when they are regularly online. If some great thing had happened to me during a month of taking a break, is it wrong not to share that great news online? (Obviously, with some friends, I’d email, text, or call…but social networks have become one of the most preferred ways of communicating.)
So if a big break happened while I’m on a break, is it wrong to not share that with friends? People like hearing good news, and can feel angry if they aren’t part of it.
The Hooks of Social Media
Did you know you can’t just log out of the Twitter app on the iPhone? You have to delete the app.
The hardest social network to ignore for me is Google Plus. Once you’re logged into Gmail, you’re logged into all things Google. That means when I checked email, if someone replied to something I’d previously shared on Google Plus, I saw an indicator that someone replied to me in Gmail or any other Google thing I used.
Most of the get together with old friends I mentioned was arranged through Facebook Messenger, because it’s the easiest way to get in touch with some friends. When checking messenger on my phone, I found out that Facebook notifies friends that you’re “online.” And that can lead to, “Hey, did you see what so-and-so posted? Oh, you’re just on Messenger? Well, log in really quick and go check it out — it’s right up your alley.”
The one social network I didn’t see at all in September was Tumblr, which is one of my more favorite networks. That’s the only network that doesn’t make you jump through hoops to log out of, and it’s not pestered me at all during the break.
The October Calm
Because I jumped on social networks a few times more than intended, I feel like I need to defeat the urge and continue the “break” … by making it an actual break.
Since the September Silence wasn’t truly silent, here’s to doing things right in October…