We all strive for it, since we are social animals. No, we are not talking about the marriage proposal kind of engagement.
Merriam-Webster give us two definitions (from #3) of engagment:
a : the act of engaging : the state of being engaged
b : emotional involvement or commitment
With the definitions (#5) of engage being:
a : to hold the attention of
b : to induce to participate
Every single day, millions of posts go live on various social media platforms the world over. People feel validated when others engage their posts. Every platform has a way to do it, even this one.
The flip side of the coin is heartbreaking. Many people feel rejected on the sole basis their attempts to engage others go unnoticed. They do not grasp the concept: Lack of engagement comes in many forms.
- Algorithms serve content to users. The post may not have been seen.
- Some people never engage on social media.
- “Like” may not be the emotion the post engendered.
- Shyness is not easily overcome.
- Voyeurism is rampant.
When polled about posts they missed, most people honestly answer they did not see the post in question. Social media has patented algorithms which drive their feeds based on relevance. Floating a new idea is that environment is a recipe for non-engagement.
Introverts, in particular, and many average users never press interaction (engagement) buttons. Statistically, the majority believe if they engage a post, all of their friends and family will see their interaction. While there is evidence social media algorithms use interaction to serve content to others, a basic lack of mathematical understanding reinforces an underlying fear of exposure.
The fear of being judged is real, a strange brew of imagination run amok, history of tsking, painful emotional baggage of rejection and self-imposed isolation.
Not Quite Right
When a post is heartfelt, weighty or shock-worthy, giving it a thumbs up may leave a sour taste in the mouth. How does one “like” a picture of a tortured animal as support for an animal lover? How does one “plus one” a post of catastrophic footage in support of someone who donated to a cause? How does one “favorite” a post about death?
Whilst some platforms have different emotional expressions to encourage more engagement, the fact remains: Some subjects are complex and would require actual intercourse to explain one’s engagement.
- I like the fact you are an animal lover, but the picture of the 70 pound horse is revoltingly disturbing.
- I am glad you donated to the cause, but the post-apocalyptic photo makes me want to cry.
- I appreciate you are trying to celebrate the life of a loved one, but I do not like the fact emotional turmoil is part and parcel.
Not everyone can voice their opinions, stand tall alongside their beliefs, rail against the machine or laugh unabashedly. Shyness is often just that: shyness. It is not a lack of conviction, a weakness of character or an ambivalence.
Timidity can be painful to the shy person. Even protected by the anonymity of the screen and hundreds upon thousands of miles, a shy person simply cannot engage any more than they can in a convention full of strangers. Even when the person is viewing BFF’s post, the shyness overcomes the desire to engage.
Voyeurs often fall prey to judgment of those who do not understand their voyeurism. Do you know any of these people?
- A paraplegic who watches the athletic posts of others
- A divorcée who looks at wedding and anniversary photos of a happy couple
- Small business owner following a Fortune 500
- A distance-challenged grandparent poring over baby pictures
- Potential employee on a job board
They are not pining after the things they have lost. They are celebrating the good in others’ lives and attempting to enrich themselves. The voyeurs are not jealous or self-loathing. What they know is: most people consider voyeurism creepy. How ironic they are judged by those who publicly post what voyeurs enjoy?
Not About You
While is may seem unfair a picture of a random kitten is engaged more than someone’s celebration of a new grandchild, it is no reflection on the grandparent who posted it or the friends who did not engage it. Rather than passive-aggressively feeling rejected, simply seek direct engagement.
- Ask questions
- Direct the message
- Tag the photo
Virtual life has just as many hard knocks as the FAB world. Engage both equally for the best experience.
#Hashtags: #communication #socialmedia #engagement
What do you engage most on social media? Can you think of other good voyeurs?
Thank you for sharing The M3 Blog with hashtags.