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Conversations That Matter

Sarah
Social Media Does Not Equal Instant Gratification
by Sarah 1720 days ago

Author: Sarah Rasmussen

When I hear the phrases “24 hour news cycle“ and “information overload,” part of me screams, “too much information!” This overload makes me want to go away, unplug and curl up with a good book or spend time with close friends. (Yes, to the surprise of many, I’m an introvert – an INTJ, actually.)

Why? I need balance between all-access all-the-time and focusing on the priorities I’ve set. Social media plays a role in these priorities – but it’s not a focus of my life.


One of the greatest benefits of social media – the ability to exchange and provide information in real time, without a filter – is still dependent on human beings, with all our foibles and need for away-time. I’ve recently been reminded that patience is still a virtue – now more than ever.

A colleague was trying to send direct messages (DMs) on Twitter to people she was following, but who weren’t following her back. To send DMs, the recipient and the sender must both be following each other. I explained this and suggested she look to see their pattern of posting - one had tweeted in mid-December, with nothing until early February. This isn’t unusual. There are many people who don’t use Twitter on a daily (or even weekly) basis.

I counseled patience. Knowing how often they tweet, I said, could help explain why it may take them a few days (or weeks) to respond to her requests to follow her so she could DM them.

Her tongue-in-cheek response made me laugh: “The greatest benefit of social media is sharing information in real time – and now we have to wait?!”

The advent of 24-hour news, social media, and iPhones have conditioned many of us to expect immediate responses from those to whom we’re connected – whether they are friends, co-workers or even strangers. I admit I’ve succumbed to wanting immediate responses. But my friend made me realize in a lighthearted way that every now and then, it’s helpful to take a time-out and examine whether our expectations are realistic or not – and maybe, just maybe, practice a bit more patience in our daily lives.





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