I already went over this in Shilling Away Your Social Capital, but it’s actually worse than I originally thought.
I discussed wasting time in Time, Part 05: “Focus & Motion”. I mentioned how small interruptions in your day can stack up and completely blow your efficiency.
For instance.. If someone sends you an email and you have your mail app running in the background, you have to:
- Recognize that that sound you heard was a new email
- Decide that you’re going to check it out
- Click over from the program you were using to your mail app
- Look at the title
- Look at the name of the sender
- Click on the email and wait for it to open
- Read the text until you have the gist of the communication
- Think about whether you’re going to do anything about it
- [Maybe] Take the time to respond, including possibly researching links
- Click back to the program you were initially using
- Get your head back in the game and get efficient with your project
Now.. That process can take you anywhere from 10 seconds to 3 minutes or even MORE, depending on how much time you’re willing to donate to that person’s query.
Let’s assume you spend 3 minutes responding to someone’s email. If you do that 20 times, you’ve just spent 60 minutes = an entire HOUR helping other people out and falling behind in YOUR work. Besides that, these people are all begging with their hands out, not paying you to be on retainer to them as technical support or even offering you ANYTHING of value WHATSOEVER for you wasting your time helping them out.
So what happens is that people become known for certain things. You can count on certain people to send you certain messages. You know who’s always shilling for a company. You know who’s always inviting you to stuff that they want you to pay for that you didn’t ask them about in the first place. You know who’s advertising their latest project, seminar, webinar, meetup or conference THAT. YOU. NEVER. ASKED. THEM. ABOUT in the first place.
These people become Google Ads.
Did you ever notice how once you’ve seen something you’re not interested in enough times, you virtually ignore it? It’s like you don’t even have to try. You literally don’t even SEE the ads in people’s sidebars, because you know they’re there.. you know you’re not interested.. and you know where the actual content is. The ads become like borders or art that has nothing to do with the reason you clicked on a page.
This is what happens to people who constantly shill for the same things and never offer ANY valuable content to you whatsoever. They become invisible. There’s no reason to read their emails. There’s no value in wasting your 10-30 seconds reading what they have to say this time, because it’s the same thing they had to say last time and every time before that.
So what happens is, as soon as you get to phase #3 or #4, where you read the title or the person’s name, you automatically click on it so it’s marked “read”, but you never actually look at it. You make sure it goes from bold (unread) to regular (read) and go back to whatever you were doing without missing a beat. This way, you spend about 3 seconds going back and forth from program to program instead of 10 or more, and your efficiency for the day skyrockets.
I suppose there are people that take it a step further and completely filter out people that send them bacn all day, every day.
Do you really think you’re providing value for your client by making yourself a pariah? Who’s going to hire you to shill for them next year after you blow all your social cred this year?
The funny thing about all this is that people have come up with all these plots and scams to get more Twitter followers, and then they proceed to demonstrate to these people that they have nothing valuable to tell them. Why publicize your own lameness? Why not keep it to yourself?
Social Media is constantly changing. There’s no telling what the next iteration’s going to be. I think you’re better off regarding Social Media as a conversation instead of an opportunity to push products and services on people that didn’t ask you about that so that when the next fad shows up, people are willing to follow you there as a valued resource instead of blocking you on it because they don’t want more of the same garbage you served them this time around.