There are many pundits talking about social media as a “bubble”. Just as we experienced the recent housing bubble or Internet bubble of a decade ago, they argue that social media will reach a point of diminishing returns. While I don’t believe that social media will ever disappear, there is some truth to this argument that we need to take into account.
I remember a mere 5 years ago I was doing seminars on what a blog is, what a podcast is, and how you use these in a business environment. Those seminars consisted of helping people set up their tools and learn how to use them in a meaningful way. Today, everywhere you turn there is a newspaper article, TV news segment, blog, or social network posting with someone’s opinion about social media, how to use it, and where it is going.
I was driving and listening to a sports talk radio show recently and heard “Tweet of the Day” segments and even interviews of athletes on what they Tweet about. Late night comedy hosts have bits about Facebook and Twitter almost every night. Also, since when did it become hip to plaster a “Follow us on Twitter” or “Friend us on Facebook” logo on every possible piece of company literature? When I saw the phrase, “WWJT? What would Jesus Tweet,” I knew it has hit mainstream America.
So what’s next?
I think many people are beginning to experience what I have for about the last year – what I like to call social media exhaustion. It is not that social media are not valuable. They are simply on overload. You reach a point where you feel as if you are the digital version of Henry David Thoreau. You just want to go find a pond somewhere and build yourself a cabin – sans broadband.
Remember when social media used to be the tool we used to escape all the noise of the advertising world? Now social media has BECOME the noise. We have created the very environment we were trying to avoid.
Is social media a bubble ready to burst? Possibly. The more likely scenario is that more of the classically trained marketers, like myself, are going to find ways to use this one-on-one medium to avoid the noise and establish relationships the old fashioned way… by earning them.
If you are tired of the noise, let us know. Bring us your tired, your worn, your huddled masses, and your fed up anti – Mafia Wars/Farmville/”Business Opportunities”/Group Invitations/Cheap Software activists. Come find rest for the social soul and value for your time. Tell me how you avoid social media exhaustion…