The Missing Link in Social Media: Talking with Real People

It’s always worth thinking about how we talk- or write. And lately I’ve been dissatisfied with how engagement on social media typically shakes out and wondering if that’s due to readers’ laziness and consumeristic attitude or if that’s an excuse marketers feed themselves so they don’t have to focus on a deeper problem: a lack of empathetic writing.

Is the language we’re using on social media facilitating conversation or shutting it down? Are we actively listening to and communicating with our communities (let’s please stop using the word audience- it instantly situates the very people with whom we should be enthusiastically interacting in a faceless, passive role) or are we just slapping up witty jokes, catchy slogans, and attention-grabbing headlines? Not that those things are bad or can’t lead to more opportunities for interaction, but if at no time do we invite our connections into a dialogue, inspire critical thought, or create an active call-and-response, how can we ever expect them to… respond?

These questions need to be developed more of course, but in a digital world filled with “hacks” for increasing engagement without any insight into how to humanize online interaction, they deserve some serious thought.