Social Media Makes Us Lazy

By Danny Rohrdanz

March 27, 2014

lazy

In doing some recent analytics reports with a client’s new social media content publishing strategy (specifically with Facebook), I noticed something. The vast majority of Facebookers today, simply like and share. They are commenting and clicking through to the article (if there’s a link to be clicked) way less than before. A couple things are at play here:

1.) Great graphics with nice, Pinterest-y quotes are overloading people’s news feeds. It is so much easier to just like and share than it is to engage deeper on that topic.

2.) People want to be the idea-sharers with their communities. If an interesting article or photo surfaces, that is new to the user, they likely want to be the first to share it with their communities. They want the credit. They want to spur on conversation on their own post.

Here are some comparisons from a study on one client’s page. Each color represents a two-week period where we tried different types of posts and a different number of posts all at peak engagement times for this page:

 

content-lookback

Shares and Likes continue to be the most popular actions Facebook users take online.

 

Now, I want to get a little more nitty-gritty than I usually do here. What I stated above goes hand-in-hand with what I see online every day. I am seeing more and more how offline relationships are being affected by what articles people are sharing online. Seriously, it’s happening. There are so many religious / political issues we see come across our News Feeds these days. Whether it is World Vision, Hobby Lobby, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, abortion, wars in the middle east, and on and on and on. Isn’t it so easy to simply share an article written by someone you don’t even know, but agree with, to “tell the world” where you stand on an issue? Here’s the protocol:

Step 1: See an article pop up on Facebook, Twitter or your email.
Step 2: Craft a fancy status update to go along with the link you’re about to post to the other person’s article. Because a status update is easier to write than a blog post.
Step 3: Post said status update + link.
Step 4: Wait impatiently for the first like or comment to appear on said status update, now published, for the world to see.

Now, everyone knows that you side with so-and-so or that you disagree with such-and-such. Those words were not your own, they didn’t come from your head or your heart. The fact that you were nodding as you read the article or cussing as you read the article, doesn’t mean it came from you, but you use it to tell the world what you believe. Social Media Makes Us Lazy. And trust me, I’m guilty of it too.

Today, like never before, the interwebs give us the incredible ability to write our own thoughts and publish them for the world (or your Facebook friends) to see. So, start a blog. Or resurrect that old dusty blog you started four years ago. Let’s take more ownership of the things we post online. Let’s not always let others do the talking and thinking for us. This is how we so easily fall into “camps”. Especially when it comes to religious or political issues. For me, I am a Christian – a Jesus Christ follower. However, it pretty much repulses me to be thought of residing in one “camp” or the other by the articles I share online. So, for all my Christian friends out there and everyone else, if something causes you to be joyful, write about it. If something causes you to be outraged, write about it. Don’t let the “real writers” do all the talking for you. Don’t let social media make you lazy. You’re better than that.


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