My mind woke up buzzing with questions of online etiquette this morning. I had 4 blog articles floating around in my head so I’ve had to forgo my morning yoga to get them down, or at least as much as I can do before I need to be somewhere at 8.20am.
In the online world there are some unwritten rules that have formed over time. Some believe that the correct etiquette in social media is to follow whoever follows you. It’s only polite, right? For years I’ve been signing up to newsletters that I rarely get time to read. I’ve been joining industry bodies and specialist groups that I don’t have time to contribute regularly to. I’ve been downloading white papers that pile up in my TO DO list and I’ve been LIKING and Following people that I had only a fleeting interest in. I had the best of intentions to read and contribute and engage with all of these things but seriously, there are so many hours in the day.
So I find myself deleting the newsletter and industry specialist group emails without even opening them. I usually open the white paper emails and scan them quickly to see if there is something I need to know – if so, I’ll download the white paper and it sits in my research folder waiting for that day somewhere in the future when I will have time to read them all. But I have taken a somewhat final step forward in the social media space to UN-LIKE and UN-FOLLOW some of the people on Facebook or twitter that I don’t engage with, am not interested in what they have to say, or feel that they are not going to help me in my initial strategy of linking with digital folk in Sydney who can link me with potential clients.
I’m unsure why I feel its ok to delete folk from my social community but I feel a sense of responsibility to stay connected, even if its such a tenuous link as being an inactive subscriber, to my industry specialty groups on LinkedIn? I don’t want to unsubscribe from email newsletters that I mostly don’t read because I don’t want to miss out. What if I delete that email and I miss out on an amazing opportunity or a discount to my favourite restaurant or a talk by someone who inspires me. Because I do read the subject lines, I do make that one effort to give the sender a chance to let me know if there is something in this email for me. But I’m determined to cull my subscriptions back to the essential ones only.
My goals are getting bigger and I’m starting to think more strategically about how and what I spend my time on. Writing blogs and eBooks, creating video content and sharing it, growing my digital marketing consulting business and developing myself and my personal growth are my focus now. So something will have to find itself on the cutting room floor – and I think I’m going to have to start by sacrificing my lip service to online etiquette so that I can achieve my bigger, more important, ambitious goals.
There, I’ve said it. It’s about me.