I’ve always wanted to start a movement. You know, blow something completely out of proportion and then lead the charge on fixing it without having to do any of the actual work myself. It sounds like something I could really excel at. And what better way to have a profound effect on the world? After all, that empty feeling isn’t going to go away on its own you know.
But like any good movement, you can’t just declare that you are starting a movement. You need stuff. Not much. Just a few random things is all it takes. A hashtag, a clever saying on a t-shirt, perhaps a little face paint and of course some help.
That last part is where you come in.
Now, don’t start cooking up excuses about how joining a movement will not fit into your busy little schedule. You won’t have to recycle shoelaces or stop eating gluten or anything like that. I know you’re busy. And gluten is delicious.
Instead, I’m going to ask you to stop doing something.
For just one day each week, I want you to stop using links in your Tweets. That’s it. Every Sunday. One day of rest. No links.
If (insert your choice of almighty beings here) thought it was a good idea to kick the ole shoes off and take a break on Sunday, is it too much to ask that you do the same? Let’s face it, it’s not like you’re creating the universe in all its glory or anything. You are just promoting that crappy top 10 post about Facebook again. Which you wrote months ago no less. Yeah, we all noticed.
So, for the love of Twitter and all that is holy, I am starting a movement called Link Free Sunday. Think of it like “Follow Friday” but with some actual benefit to it. My goal is to make Twitter a more tolerable place. Even if it’s just for one day a week.
The hashtag we’re going to use is #LinkFreeSunday. Hopefully it’s not taken by a venereal disease or something. I really didn’t bother checking. If it is, we’ll just have to share it. Not the venereal disease, the hashtag.
Look, I know I’m asking a lot. You’re skeptical. Afraid of change maybe. Or perhaps you didn’t jump on board as enthusiastically as I had hoped. It’s OK. That is why I prepared a little food for thought that will help convince you to join us…
Links Are Nothing More Than a Crutch
It’s one thing to sprinkle in a few links here and there and another to have to go back six months to find a Tweet of yours that doesn’t include a link. Whether it is a link to your blog or someone else’s, it takes zero effort to post a link. Click the little birdie on the post you want to share. Tada! That’s it. It’s a chance to say something without actually saying something. And it’s completely self-serving. You are either spewing links to your own blog hoping someone takes notice or you are regurgitating links to someone else’s blog hoping someone takes notice. Ironically, we have evolved to ignore links so in the end, none of us take notice. Now, when you do actually do dust off your brain and have something profound to say, we’re not listening.
Links Don’t Start a Conversation
I have met some of my closest friends on Twitter. Some have helped me with a move 1,000 miles away by welcoming me to my new home. Others have introduced me to some amazing new people. Some have hired me to speak at events. Others have hired me to do work for them. And every single one of them taught me something new. But not by posting links. By connecting. By reaching out and starting a conversation. Or responding to a conversation I started. Links are a dead-end. No one has ever wanted to meet you because of a link you posted. It’s what happens between the links you post.
Links Turn You Into a Spammer
If all you do is post links to your blog and other borderline useless crap that you dredged up on the Internet, you my friend are a spammer. A Twitter Spammer no less…a Twammer…or maybe a Spitter. I’m not sure. I’m still working on the logistics. It’s not entirely your fault! There are plenty of “well-known” Twitter gurus out there that post links every 15 minutes. These are our “influencers.” We cheer them on. Follow their lead. And hope that we can earn a small piece of their 172,000+ following by mimicking their strategy. Stop it. It’s not going to work. Even their followers have stopped listening as we all become more and more immune to the incessant linking.
Links Don’t Make You Human
There are no feelings or emotions associated with the act of barfing up links all day. It tells me that you don’t value me as a fellow human. Just someone with a mouse that might click on your link and add another tick mark to your analytics chart. And how do I return the favor? I ignore you. I don’t care about you either. It’s a shame. I scour my Twitter feed almost every day looking for someone to say something that I can respond to in an effort to start a conversation. And every day it gets more and more difficult to find something that comes from a human and not from a link.
Here is My Humble Request…
Starting this Sunday and every Sunday from here on out, let’s start a movement together called Link Free Sunday using the hash tag #LinkFreeSunday.
It’s simple. Don’t post any links on Sunday. Instead, use your time on Twitter connecting with other people. Being human. Telling your story. Building relationships. Or perhaps if you have nothing to say, just get off Twitter altogether for the day.
Give us a chance to miss you!
You can always go back to blasting us with links again on Monday. But for that one day each week, we’ll have a little something special!
If you’re in, here’s all you need to do:
- Tweet this post to help get the word out otherwise this is going to be a colossal failure (just don’t Tweet it out on Sunday…although that would be pretty ironic, wouldn’t it?).
- If you catch someone posting a link on Sunday, which shouldn’t be too hard, don’t blast them for it. Just don’t click on their link.
- And of course, don’t post any links on Sunday. Instead seek out others and start conversations. Talk about what you’re doing. Ask questions. Build relationships. And make sure you end each post on Sunday with #LinkFreeSunday
Now let’s start this movement and take Twitter back! Who’s with me? If you are, let me know by posting “I’m in” or something equally as brilliant in the comments and let’s get started!
Featured image courtesy of Mike Corpus licensed via Creative Commons.