Okay, so perhaps the title sounds a little negative and normally I don’t like going to the Darkside, unless there are jelly doughnuts. However, I feel as though social sites like Facebook, Twitter and now even Google+ have people making the sites feel negative, or perhaps it is just the way it makes me feel, but there has got to be others out there that feel somewhat like I do.
I am talking about the “like if you agree” or “please retweet this” posts; just typing them here makes my stomach turn. I get that social signals are rising and sites like Empire Avenue, Klout, PeerIndex and Kred all make us want to increase our scores so we can have amazing Perks and all the other sparkly things that come along with having a decent score. I just don’t enjoy the way we are abusing sites that are designed for people to already share or like things by begging each other for a reaction.
If I have a reaction I will surely give it by using the actions that are built on the site which allow me to make up my own mind if I want to or not. The fact that someone decides to try and persuade a like or influences a retweet actually deters me from wanting to share the image or article all together.
Don’t get me wrong, I have been sucked into this, not by doing this on my own accord but by sharing something without fully reading the description and since sites like G+ and Facebook in particular share the description from the original post, skimming prior to resharing has become hazardous for my social health. I almost feel like I have passed on the Influenza bug to my friends and followers by infecting their streams when this happens.
In all seriousness, people are not stupid. In fact we are all pretty intelligent (you’re welcome), we have turned to social media to rid the days when we would receive e-mail threads of “after reading this if you don’t share this with 17 of your closest friends, unicorns and kittens will be eaten by zombies”, these types of spammy cycles may feel familiar, but they are exactly what we did not want.
Or did we?
To beg for a like or retweet is much like an advertisement to me instead of something witty and clever that makes my “clicky finger” want to click like, plus one or hit the retweet button.
Let us not lose the force of why we decided to band together and actually get social with one another, let us not lose the imagination and creativity that social networks enable to share with the world and please, my friends, let us no longer beg for what is obvious, if you are sharing quality content, the quantity will happen naturally.