My last post posed the question: How do you deal with feedback?. It opened up a great comment conversation and also raised a slightly different question: How to deal with no feedback, how to deal with not a peep, how to – in the words of Janice Bear – “listen to the crickets chirp” after you’ve put something you’ve been working on out there for public consumption, public viewing, or for sale.
So let’s take a step back here: Most of us artists, writers, photographers, crafters, entrepreneurs, etc. use the internet to communicate with people about what we are working on. It’s a given now that if you are smart and savvy, and especially if you are self-employed, you are working your brand and getting the word out on whichever social media platforms that you work within. Right?
I don’t know about you, but I feel overwhelmed on a good day by:
- the mail in my inbox(es),
- Facebook and Twitter updates,
- my blog feed,
- keeping up with topics in my online groups,
- getting the word out on my own work and projects,
- and then balancing the work that I need to do, both for deadlines and for myself.
I have a finite amount of time in the morning to get through my inbox, so I:
- clear the clutter,
- save the friend/family mails that I can’t answer now, to get back to at lunch or when I have a break,
- deal with mail from clients and on-going projects,
- write and send e-mails for future work and make contacts with folks I’d like to work with,
- and then save some other anomalous mail I’d like to get back to in this mythical land I like to call Later, and truthfully I rarely get back to it.
A thoughtful response, a comment left on a blog, comments left on a Facebook post, or responses to a Tweet – they all take time, and for a lot of us time is the commodity we have the least of.
I know I’ve been guilty of not connecting back when someone has reached out to me, and truthfully that fact doesn’t feel good.
For anyone who knows me, you know I have a love/hate relationship with social media, and I imagine I am not alone in that, but for me the thing that I like least about it is the “disconnect.” Yup, you read that right: I think that as much as all these medias have reconnected us with old friends, connected us with new friends and collaborators, and as much as they have opened up worlds for us as creators and entrepreneurs, it has also disconnected us from the actual connecting.
Most of us are overwhelmed by the amount of information that passes through our inboxes and feeds. Most of us are doing the best we can to get though what has to be dealt with, and letting the rest go. Most of us are so up to our ears in connecting that we don’t respond as often, don’t read as much in depth, and don’t finish online coversations.
So here’s the irony: if we are all out there sharing and posting and updating our work, and we are all pretty much maxxed out, and trying to get our own work done, then who’s reading all these posts and updates? And of the people who are reading posts and updates, who is making the time to comment or respond?
We read blog posts and respond sometimes, we look at Twitter or Facebook streams on our phones and respond when we can (if at all), we read (or skim) any of our other internet stomping grounds, and contribute when we can. But the time ticks away each day and there is only so much that we can fit in without feeling out of breath, and there is only so much we can commit to doing.
So what say you? Are you interested in more communication/dialogue on line?
Do you want to find some time for interchange? OR would you rather be moving some of that on-line connecting to your real time world, and creating some face to face dialogue? Are you too overwhelmed with the constant stream of information that comes though your inbox and through your social media streams?