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Disposable Communication On The Internet:

What You Need To Know About Disposable Communication On Social Media

These days, social media - large platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, message boards, and texting have become the norm to communicate.

Few people realize however that their communication on many of these "channels" is completely disposable. In essence, that means that the message will likely never be read again in the future. It's one shot communication. It's read (or ignored), and then goes forever into a never-never land where it either can't be found even if one wanted to, or is simply not read again by anyone.

In one sense it's like verbal communication. You say something. It's heard and listened to, or not, and then it's gone forever.

The problem comes when people believe their communication on these social media platforms is somehow permanent.

Comments, Tweets, Almost Entirely "Gone", Disposed of

While long posts on a platform like LinkedIn are more permanent than status updates, and comments, even they often end up as being read within a short period after release, and then disappear.

However the ultimate disposable communication lies in comments, tweets and status updates. For example, research has shown repeatedly that tweets have an approximate life span of three hours, often less. That is, beyond that, there is no indication that anyone sees them, let alone reads or responds.

Likewise comments you might write, while still existing, also tend to be ignored within minutes or hours.

Problem #1: Illusion of Communication

For some things, it doesn't matter if the message, in essence, goes dormant, but for many things, where you may put effort into writing something important to you, you need to understand that the message has almost no shelf life.

For status updates, it's probably not a problem, since this are time bound.

For articles, let's say on LinkedIn, where you may spend hours crafting a  post, you need to understand that almost NO long form posts on LinkedIn receive views for longer than a few days. It's only rare exceptions.

That means that you may be spending a lot of time on creating content that has almost NO longevity.

Problem #2: Need For Constant Repetition and Promotion

If you use social media for business or exposure, you can't write something under the assumption it will be "evergreen" even if the actual article is applicable into the future.

The result is that the only way to keep alive what you write, ad maximize its exposure, is to constantly market the post in comments, etc, which themselves are disposable.

You need to repeat the same theme or idea over and over as if your previous posts don't exist, because, for all intents and purposes, they don't exist, won't be found by new readers, and so on.

Ultimately, much of social communication is so temporary that the only way to enhance long term value is to keep plugging it somehow, and that creates more issues with how you are perceived.

Article by Robert Bacal, Sept. 2015


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Bacal & Associates was founded in 1992. Since then Robert has trained thousands of employees to deal with angry, hostile, abusive and potentially violent customers. He has authored over 20 books on various subjects, many published by McGraw-Hill.


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