Are you a social media lurker? If you are, there may be bad news on the horizon.
The 90-9-1 principle says that in a typical online community, content is created by just 1% of the community, engaged with by 9% and passively consumed by the remaining silent 90%. This means that on a platform like Facebook, we scroll past hundreds of posts in our Newsfeeds which we never Like, Comment or Share – but we see them.
However, there is a growing trend of moving away from open social platforms like Facebook to more direct, private messaging platforms such as Snapchat, WhatsApp and even iMessage or good old texting. Facebook’s frustrating Newsfeed algorithm and increasing numbers of advertisements combined with disturbing mass research is fueling a groundswell of discontent. Social contact has become more fragmented – people are more likely to use several apps or platforms for different purposes or people, rather than just one or two big players like Facebook.
For a lurker, this could signal the return of the old days before social media. There may be people you feel like you know quite well through their Facebook posts, but as they move off to other platforms to communicate and share, they may not include you – possibly because they simply have forgotten that you are even friends. Suddenly you go from knowing all about their recent holiday and laughing at their witty quips, to just an annual ‘happy birthday’ exchange.
Is this the ultimate FOMO? Will you be left wondering how come you didn’t know about that new baby, or the drinks last weekend, or the job offer overseas? Perhaps one way to head off this social media isolation is to engage with the people you want to keep in touch with. Just comment, tweet, like or retweet them. It’s not going to hurt and you might even be surprised to find how much they appreciate hearing from you.
We’ve become awfully lazy on social media – let’s up our game a bit and move from the 90% into the 9%.