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“Posting Dead Zones” Are Encouraged by Social Media Practitioners Taking a Utilitarian Approach to Social Media.

A few years ago we were part of social networks. These networks were based on social interests, activities, passions and more. Over time as attention shifted from Social networks to social media so the activity that people were busy with changed. With that change social media professionals filled the channels, pushed for “audience” rather than friendships and eventually created what they call the “posting dead zones”. This is both amusing and sad.

Social media sites are part of social networks

It is amusing because social networks, later called social media were entirely about conversations and sharing content and experiences of interest. In such an environment you would use social media from the moment you woke up to the moment you went to sleep. You would meet with members of your social media social networks a number of times a day. The Return on investment for having no “posting dead zones” meant that people would be attentive to what you posted.

With time, and as early adopters were replaced by mid to late adopters, as conversations became less private and less personal so the opportunities to connect with people declined. Instant messaging via Google Hangouts for Ingress, Facebook messenger for personal friends and whatsapp encourage exchanges between existing networks. The work of adding new people to a social network has shifted back to face to face meetings.  As a private user the return on investment in regards to social networks has imploded. We see this with Facebook and Twitter. Their stickiness has declined.

Taking a utilitarian approach to social media will encourage people to disconnect from brands that fail to engage them. I follow brands, people and projects that engage with me when I post and comment. I look for content. I do not wait for it to pop in to my feed.

Social media practitioners forget that social media are about social networks. People use the social network where they connect with other people. When a social network is no longer sociable “posting dead zones” get extended so much that vibrant networks become ghost towns. Facebook and twitter spent so long focusing on getting advertising and mainstream media on board that they forgot the essence of social networks.

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