Just so we’re clear. I don’t care about you. I am not going to “Like” your Facebook page. I don’t follow your Tweets. I also don’t read your blog. And quite frankly, I think it is a bit pretentious of you to think that I should just because you sent me an impersonal automated message asking me to.
Don’t get me wrong. I want to care. I want to hear what you have to say. I want to learn from you. I want to be your friend. I want to follow you. But I won’t.
I won’t because you don’t care about me. Sure, you pretend like you do. But we both know the truth. I’m just another number. Another nail in your platform. A tick on your analytics…even if I do just end up adding to your bounce rate.
You don’t spend any time getting to know me. If I do choose to follow you on Twitter I get an automated Direct Message asking me to “Like” your Facebook page. How about appreciating the attention I am already giving you on Twitter and earning my wanting to follow you somewhere else?
As If That Were Not Enough…
You reach out to me with “Dear friend”. Like we were actually friends. I know we’re not because none of my “real” friends would be so cold and uncaring as to address me in such a way.
My friends call me Marc.
You would know this if you had actually taken the time to look at my profile. It’s not hard to find. But that is still too much trouble. How would you mass contact thousands of people if you actually had to call them by name, get to know something about them and start an actual conversation? It would require building relationships and who has time for that nonsense?!?!
Instead, You Make Me Feel Used
Even if I were to “Like” your page in a moment of weakness, do you realize that you don’t even reach out to simply say “thank you”? Or welcome me to your community? Perhaps introduce me to a few people that I might like to connect with? Instead, you abandon me. Leave me wondering why I am following you in the first place.
Until you need something. Like a +K in Klout. The only reason I know this is because these are the types of valuable Tweets you share with me on a regular basis:
“Please give me +K about Social Media on @klout”
For social media? Really? You are that much of an expert in social media that you need to beg people to validate you?
How about this instead. Sit in front of the computer. Don’t get up until you have crafted…yes, crafted…an intellectual and entertaining piece of work that adds value to the world. In other words, write something brilliant. Unforgettable. Change people’s lives by the words you type.
When you are done, publish it. And then do that 1,000 more times.
Then and only then will you get plenty of +K’s. Because you will have earned them. Only, in a bit of irony, you won’t care any more because you will have realized that the reward is in helping others, not in your increased Klout score.
Is This What Social Proof Has Come To?
What happened? When did we as a society decide that we could stop earning our place in this world and start expecting others to give it to us? Is this what they call social proof now? It’s my understanding that social proof is something earned. Something given to you by others because of your actions. Not something that you have the power to create yourself with the help of a $20 Twitter app.
Social media has become anything but social.
And it’s all your fault.
You are ruining it for the rest of us. The ones that are actually interested in meeting new people with the hopes of getting a different perspective or learning something new.
It’s what Viagra did to e-mail marketing. What outsourcing $5 articles did to content curation. And now what you are now doing to social media.
There is a better way. It’s called giving a shit and it goes something like this:
Step 1: Give a Shit
Step 2: Repeat Step 1
The results are better. It is more sustainable. And it will even make you feel like a better human being. Because you will be.
There is a Downside To Giving a Shit
It’s not all sunshine, rainbows and lollipops. Giving a shit is tough. It takes a lot of work. Persistence. Not giving up when giving up is the easiest thing to do.
Look, I know some of you don’t care about me. Not right now anyway. But that’s OK. I spend every day working on changing that. I stay up at night thinking of ways to help you. To inspire you. To make you better. With the hopes that you someday will care. That you will be my friend.
Not just Facebook friends. Not just subscribers. Not just part of my platform. My friends.
I give a shit.
Because of that, there are a bunch of you now that I consider friends. I care about you and you care about me. I know your name and you know mine. I read your blog and you read mine. I follow your Tweets and you follow mine. I share your posts and you share mine. We talk. We joke. We challenge each other. We even piss each other off sometimes. Just like real friends do.
For others, I’m still trying to win you over. Really hard. Everyday. If you are reading this, that means that I have won over your eyeballs. I’ll continue working on the rest of you. And I hope to someday add you to my list of friends. My real friends.
But I will never just ask for your friendship. I will earn it.
So, Where Do We Go From Here?
If you are my friend, I need you to do me a favor. Please leave me a comment below. I want to make sure that I am listening to you too. So that I know that I am adding value to our relationship. So that you have an equally as loud voice as me. So that our relationship is Give and Take because Take and Take never works. I want to make sure I am giving to you personally as well.
If we are not friends, hopefully you are open to it. If not, tell me why in the comments below. I want to hear it. I live in a state of constant and never ending improvement. If you can’t learn from me, that doesn’t mean that I can’t learn from you.
Finally, if this is your first time here, please introduce yourself so I know who you are. My name is Marc. Welcome!