I don’t expect people to care what I think, but enough is enough. If there is anyone who appreciates the power of social media, it’s me, however there comes a point when it is simply too much for one person. This commentary on social media indicates that my sanity is at stake. Spartan Race has recently introduced it’s own social media platform termed “Spartan Pages” and is encouraging and challenging athletes to create one. Those with the most followers get to be part of the “Dream Team”. I am not criticizing Spartan Race for doing this. They are a business and are attempting to generate interest, stickiness, loyalty, and traffic. I would probably do the same thing if I were in charge. I also do not fault anyone else for signing up. There are very good reasons for others to join in and for them, it is the right thing to do. I am not discouraging anyone else from doing it. There just isn’t a compelling reason for me. At least not yet. If Reebok Spartan Race wanted to sponsor me (which they don’t), then I would gladly do this, but after the fact, not before.
In my professional studies of social media, I am sensing a fatigue on the part of users. A fatigue that inevitably occurs with extended time processing the massive amounts of media coming to them digitally. I personally am already tuning out a significant amount of OCR (and personal) information received via social media. That disturbs me because I LOVE this stuff and find it valuable for a number of reasons. But, the uniqueness factor has almost disappeared. When I see repeated or similar information hitting me on blog feeds, FB feeds of athlete pages, Twitter feeds, FB OCR groups, etc… my mind begins to ignore it because it is almost always the same. I don’t need to follow it elsewhere. I’ve seen it. Everyday. The sameness varies, but rest assured that most of it is one of the following: description of a workout, description of a race, or discussion of the merits/ills of the sport. Don’t get me wrong, I think the information is interesting and valuable and I contribute to it as much as anyone else. My mind no longer pays attention to all that information multiple times from multiple sources, so skipping them becomes a heuristic (mental shortcut). It’s unintentional, but it’s natural. Outside of a few of my favorites, team pages, and/or close friends, I find myself much more likely to pay attention to the individual or group that posts less frequently. It is eye-catching.
I personally do not want to add any more than I already do to the digital clutter. I don’t want to maintain multiple profiles. I don’t want to sacrifice any more ‘real’ time for digital time. I don’t want to ask others to follow me on yet another media channel. The audience who already chooses to follow me (for what reason, I have no idea!) on this blog, Facebook, or Twitter is the audience that matters to me. This might sound grumpy. I’m not. This sounds like something from an old person. I am. This might sound whiny. I’m not. This might sound like exasperation, and I will admit there is some truth to that. I am currently at my limit for reading and posting to social media. It may sound like a rant. It really isn’t. Read this in the voice of someone who is simply explaining his rationale for not going along with the crowd. Good luck to everyone participating in these pages because it is a cool idea. I hope my friends who choose to participate make the Dream Team. Forgive me if I choose not to join in. It’s the right decision for me.
P.S. By the mere fact that I’m writing this makes it seem like a bigger deal than it really is. Now, it’s back to Facebook, and Twitter, and blog reading, and…………………