Some time ago, I created a stream on Tweetdeck that displays my primary Twitter feed minus any tweets that contain links. This was done so that I could see those who were engaging, talking and actually being social.
It wasn’t long before I realized that the majority of tweets being posted to my stream contained links. There have been times when the linkless stream goes 10 – 15 minutes without an update while the unedited stream updates every few seconds. I’ve noticed the same trend on Google plus.
The folks that I follow are terrific folks. I’ve taken the time to hand select each person, and the number one criteria that I’ve looked for is engagement. Folks who are chatting it up are a joy to see in my stream.
But even with excellent people in your stream, social media is still SCREAMING to bring attention to content: “Oh my gosh! Check out my soon-to-be-viral youTube cat video, get rich quick blog post, instagram pic of my half-eaten lunch, pinterest pin of the cutest yarn EVER, facebook page where I’ll swarm your feed with an undead parade of self-promotion!!!!!!” Yes, that’s six exclamation points. I think that makes people want to click or something.
I used to make it my goal to check as many items as possible to see if they held any value for me. After a while though, I just couldn’t keep up. It all just became pots and pans banging together, and it kept getting louder. I’d get off of Twitter and I’d feel tired and worn out simply from trying to follow my stream. I felt like an old man.
There are three words that I use to describe the tweets that I see: noise, communication, and music. Noise refers to spammy links, excessive self-promotion, #followback, and sundry types of other junk that I’m sure you can think of. Communication refers to those tweets that belong to one twitter user who is engaging with another (sometimes with me, hopefully). Music refers to the tweets of folks with whom I’ve truly connected, who I respect, admire and appreciate. When I see their tweets it’s like music to my ears.
After creating the linkless stream, I feel like Twitter makes so much more sense. I can still see the links flowing through the original stream, but now I can chat, laugh, engage and get to know those that I would like to call friends. It makes it easier to connect. The talking is no longer being drowned out by the jackhammers going off in the surrounding tweets. It makes me feel young, fresh, and rejuvenated.
So what’s the point of all this? Simple: STOP SCREAMING TO BE HEARD! Stop making noise and start connecting.
Let’s make some music, shall we?