Read! Really!! When Skimming Sabotages Social
Do you ever ask yourself:
Did anyone really read that post before responding?
Did they read the article in its entirety before coming to a conclusion? Before commenting?
I do ask those questions, several times each day if I’m being completely honest. Sadly, it appears that the rapid onslaught of content has created such a compelling case of information overload that our skimming, rather than reading, has risen to higher and higher heights.
I often see industry articles that try so hard to hammer this idea home:
People don’t read on the Internet, they skim.
A blanket statement if there ever was one. If you want to take part in real and meaningful discussion on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, in the comments section of a blog, anywhere online – you have to read and fully comprehend the topic, the idea, the story being shared. If someone’s talking about Twitter, no matter how carefully you craft your input on Google+ you’ll find your response out of place and, thus, likely to be ignored.
This isn’t something that only occurs amongst those interacting with longer forms of content. The skimming isn’t relegated to blogs, eBooks and white papers. I’m often a bit perplexed when I realize that followers aren’t reading and comprehending Facebook and Google+ posts. Rarely longer than a paragraph, with a direct call to action – yet, often the answers and replies have little to do with the question and/or call to action.
You spend a lot of time and energy ensuring everything you create showcases and shares your expertise. Take it one step farther and craft careful responses to questions and discussion topics. The first step? Read and comprehend before you start typing that response.