Social Media – Look at Me / You’re Doing it All Wrong

Daniel House

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Social is killing Social

According to a new article in SocialMedia Today entitled: “The Ideal Length for Everything You Want to Post Online,” the ideal length for a blog post is between 1,500-1,600 words total. The article also included the ideal length for many different kinds of social media posts, and I cannot begin to tell you how ridiculously happy  I am to finally have somebody tell me exactly what I should be doing, and how wrong I’ve (presumably) been doing everything up to this point.  Apparently the numbers have been scientifically researched and verified. In the end, I really could honestly care less.

The Ideal Length for Everything You Want to Post Online

But hey, you say: “I wanna stand out! I wanna cut through all the noise. I wanna be relevant damnit.!” Isn’t that ultimately what social media is all about anyway: our undying need to be seen and heard, to be noticed, adored, affirmed and praised for how awesome we are in all of our creative uniqueness? Huzzah!

For years, I’ve been saying that social media ultimately appeals to two specific (and largely opposite) traits common in humans—narcissism and voyeurism—but increasingly I am of the belief that the tendency towards narcissism predominates, and indeed that social media is changing our culture to one that is increasingly more self-absorbed and narcissistic. An article from the NYtimes in 2012 explored just this question, at least in regards to the mighty SM Gorilla, Facebook. The final conclusion was, well… inconclusive. Some suggest that the area where social media is  turning people into self-absorbed, un-empathetic anti-social brats the most is with teens.  If anywhere, this is one age group where I would expect it to likely be the case, since social media does to a large degree replace traditional face-to-face communication. For younger people who are still learning how to interact and engage with others, a computer screen isn’t going to convey the subtle nuance of a real conversation. It makes sense.

Perhaps social media is turning us into a world full of narcissists, and perhaps it isn’t, and perhaps it’s moot. Social media isn’t going anywhere, and I don’t imagine any sort of grand movement where tens of millions of us are going to suddenly jump ship…nor am I suggesting it.

The real point of this post was (at least when I started) to discuss if we should all conform and adhere to reports like these (apparently social media and the web is also responsible for making us all a little more ADHD). Shouldn’t the general quality of the information and thoughts contained in a post trump the “scientifically researched” little box that we’re supposed to occupy?

If you have something to say, I say “say it” and don’t get too terribly caught up  in whether your post is too long or not long enough. Take the care to edit yourself and distill your thoughts so that you can say what you want in as elegant form as works for you, but beyond that, let your freak flag fly.

This post is—by the way— much too short. It is only 529 words, but I’m happy with it, so my apologies if you feel gypped. I have other things to do.

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