How Often Do You ___ Somebody Else's Stuff?

It's very easy to find yourself aimlessly scrolling through Twitter / Facebook / Tumblr, routinely refreshing news feeds and dashboards, all the while increasingly wondering:

  • How come nobody reads my blog?
  • How come nobody is talking about my new release?
  • How come nobody likes/favourites/shares my posts?
  • Why does nobody leave any comments / interact?
  • Et cetera and etc.

I know it is very easy to do because I catch myself doing some variation of the above variations all the time. I doubt I am alone in this.

But if you were to reverse those questions (i.e. how many blogs do you read, how many releases from other artists are you talking about, how many comments are you leaving, posts are you sharing, et cetera et cetera-ing), you'd probably find that you're ignoring even more stuff than your stuff is being ignored. Since it seems like everybody is pushing something of their own these days —whether that be a blog, or an album, or a vegan cake recipe, or a picture of their kids— there is a whole lot of passively skimming everyone else's stuff while waiting for a bite on your line. But if you can't be bothered to do what you want people to be doing to your stuff, you can't really be surprised at the lack of it. Or at least that's the realization I came to when I took an honest look at my online activity.

So the next time you find yourself throwing a bunch of “how come nobody…?” questions around in your head, take a look in the mirror and see if the way you consume / ignore content online is a lot like how you wish people were not consuming / ignoring your content.

And then maybe, somewhere off in a dusty corner of your brain, the chorus to that old New Radicals song will start playing. Faintly at first, but then increasingly louder as you reach for a share button you usually only notice when kittens r hazzing cheezburgers. And then you find yourself bypassing the favourite button in favour of the reply button. A conversation breaks out. It's brief but it feels good. That 1998 chorus gets louder as you send an old friend a message that doesn't include a link to your blog. You leave a comment on someone else's post, a post that you actually read all the way to the end. You retweet a tweet that wasn't just a tweet mentioning something you did. And right before you can push send on an email you should have sent a long time ago, your phone buzzes with the buzz of someone, somewhere, doing something with yours.*

Of course, giving takes a lot more time, especially if you're being genuine with the interactions and not just doing it to try and get it returned. And if the thought of doing that makes you go "who's got the time for that?", you might be right. Who has got the time? (just keep in mind that the lack of time also works towards your stuff as well)

* results may vary