I love the “Mine” birds from Finding Nemo.
Matter of fact, I have a dream of initiating a crowd response of “Mine! Mine! Mine” at a national sporting event while the game is going on. Totally random, but how funny would that be?
Think of your status updates like the fish in this illustration. It’s out in the open and has now become a point of interest. Now your friends on the book of faces begin noticing your update and will decide if they want it or not. Sometimes just a single bird says, “Mine” and sometimes it’s a Flock of Seagulls (80′s reference! WOO HOO!).
Every status update that you write or read is actually an opportunity to start a conversation and engage with others. I know that may seem pretty obvious, but a lot of times we miss the opportunity.
Here are a few thoughts on how to get the conversation going again.
1. Respond to what you read. I would assume that most of us read through our timeline from time to time to see what’s going on in the lives of our friends. If you want people to notice what you write, respond to what they write. I actually believe the ratio should be 60/40 or 70/30 of you responding to what others say before putting something of your own out there. It just seems courteous. It’s like being a good social networking listener.
2. Reply to people that comment on your status updates. If you are going to write a status update and people respond to it that means they connected in some way with what you said. That’s a good thing.
Imagine if you were out in public with someone and this happened…
Person 1 “I just found out that I am related to Superman. How cool is that?”
Person 2 “That’s really cool. I used to wear my underwear on the outside of my pants and act like I was Superman as a kid.”
Person 1 just stares back at person 2 and never responds back
Person 1 “Can you believe what happened tonight on the Jersey Shore? Scandalous!”
Person 2 “I know! I cried myself to sleep I was so upset! Snookie is the smartest girl to ever walk the earth!”
Person 1 walks away in the middle of Person 2 speaking
I chose two scenarios that I am sure we have all experienced. Let’s assume that Facebook is not your personal diary. If we put something on there we are expecting that people are going to read it and acknowledge it. We should simply reply back. I am not saying that we should respond to every single comment we get on our Facebook page or status updates, I just think we should respond more often that we don’t. It’s like someone giving you a gift and then saying thank you. That’s all.
3. It might be time to release some birds.
If you have people that you have to block because you hate what they say, it might be time to set them free.
If you have people that you secretly hope don’t succeed in life, it might be time to set them free.
If you have people that you would never respond to anything they say and don’t really want them to respond to anything you say, it might be time to set them free.
If you have people that you can’t remember how you even know them it might be time to set them free.
If you have people that you wouldn’t even send the obligatory “Happy Birthday!” to even though Facebook reminded you to. It might be time to let them go.
We all have close friends and acquaintances. We are always going to have some people we are closer to than others and there is nothing wrong with that. I just think that it’s not a bad idea from time to time to go through your Facebook friends and let some people go free again. I am not saying that you should delete people just because you don’t want to ask for forgiveness or say you are sorry. That’s petty. There are just people from time to time that we realize we aren’t really even friends at all. I know it’s awkward to unfriend someone. That just seems bad. The good news is that they have probably been wanting to unfriend you too and were just hoping you would do it first.
Again, these are just my thoughts. Love them or hate them. I am just giving my opinion. I have some of the best friends on the planet and I love seeing what’s happening in the lives of those I care about all over the world. It’s all pretty amazing when you think about it. I just want to make sure I use technology well instead of letting it use me. Facebook can be a time waster or, if you are intentional, it can be an incredible resource for relationship building. You choose.