It’s been half a year since my last blog post so i’m under pressure to explain my absence. I’ll leave that for another day though as i don’t want this post turning in to a novel… instead, i’ll focus on why i’m back and what motivated me to revamp the blog…
The need to write
I’ve always said writing is a hugely important skill. Most of us can write and write quite well in the sense other people can understand what we’re saying and what we mean. Is that enough? No. When you’re writing, you’re not just expressing ideas and thoughts… you’re typically defending, attacking, persuading, convincing, selling, negotiating etc…
Without putting together an ‘article’ (for lack of a better word) on a regular basis, you start to think more and write less. That’s not a bad thing once in a while but it’s not a habit i like to get in to. If you’re thinking constantly, that means you’re not ‘doing’ and ‘doing’ is the only way to create value for yourself and other people. Writing is the only way you get better at writing.
This post is a perfect example. I could have thought a bit more about the title or what the post would be about but you have to draw a line at some stage. If you don’t draw a line, you’ll just keep ‘thinking’ until you realise you have to draw a line. So draw a line i did. I ran with the title and i’d a rough idea of what the post would be about so i then got stuck in to executing the plan. We’re all aware of the Nike slogan, but sometimes we need to be reminded that it’s more than a just slogan. It’s a brilliantly simplistic motivational tool.
The need to share
I’m becoming increasingly disillusioned with the world of social media. I’m posting less, reading more trash, having to filter more content… I find myself reminiscing about a time when you could visit 3 or 4 blogs in the same industry and not see the same stories on all of them…
Social media is dictating the quality of content I see today. Memes, competitions, the same headlines and articles rehashed thousands of times from people who want to be first to deliver it to you… i wouldn’t go so far as to delete any of my social media profiles but i do feel we’ve hit a tipping point with social media.
I think it’s because there’s such an emphasis now on scanning and filtering information, then moving on to the next story. We do it but so do the people who are fighting for our attention… they feel the only way to get it is to spit out more content at a faster pace across more channels. It may work for them, but it’s contributing to a big problem.
Let’s take this post office in Monaghan… the odd time i need to go in, more often than not i’m faced with 2 problems:
- The queue will be out the door
- There’ll be someone collecting outside for some random charity
If i see one or both when i’m passing by, i’ll tend to avoid the place. They put me off going in and i think to myself I can call back later or leave it for another day. It’s the same in a car park or a shop. If there are traffic jams, full car parks and too many people around, i just don’t want to be in the middle of it… if i don’t *need* to be there, why bother being there? why not come back when it’s more peaceful? That’s generally what i’ll do.
I find myself forming a similar thought process with social media. I don’t want to be bombarded with ads and promotional material, so i tend to avoid it more because i’m now associating facebook and twitter with negative experiences… the same way i do with a crowded shop or queues outside a post office or a bunch of chuggers / sales people on a street with clipboards.
Back on topic, this is a huge reason why i’m going to get back to blogging. I need to shift from consuming information to creating it otherwise my entire online experience will quickly become one big ‘sponsored’ experience which i end up avoiding permanently. It’s time to fight back and invest my online time in to producing stuff that matters to me as opposed to listening about stuff that matters to other people (and increasingly ‘brands’ as opposed to people).