Say you’re browsing on Facebook, or Google+, where this is less of an issue (for now), and up pops yet another post complaining about something.
Usually, it’s a complaint about a certain type of post, like political arguments or fitness boasts.
And there are enough of these complaint posts-about-posts that they’ve become a new type of post themselves.
Well, here’s my complaint:
What the hell do you want? I’m serious. You joined some stupid website because many other people you know did, or to find a job, or to send people to your gigs, or to pitch your product. Maybe you wanted to show off your kids, or your dogs, or your cars, or your station in life, or you’re a photo junkie, or you love technology stuff, and you just want to meet other people who share the same desires.
Let me fill you in on something I call the 3% Rule:
No more than 3% of any population are ever interested in you. Ever.
That’s always been true for business. It’s why 97% of television ads, radio spots, billboards, bus wraps, mall stores, newsprint coupons, windshield flyers, and tabbed posters on telephone poles hold no value for you. But when 3% of them do reach you, you never even notice, huh?
We’re All Businesses Now
But now that people are online acting like businesses: “Gawk at my kids, look at my garden, root for my team, vote for my candidate, watch my band video…”, we’re all experiencing the 3% rule. We don’t care. I don’t care. You don’t care.
The trick is to understand that. I do. When I post a marathon time, I know you don’t give a crap. But here’s a little secret: The post is not for you. It’s for the 3% who care.
So why are you my friend? Because we share other adventures that 97% of the crowd won’t care about.
The next time you’re looking at a baby photo and you’re ready to bitch about it, think about this: Maybe you’re not in the 3% that like baby photos. So maybe you should shut up about it and move on to the next post featuring funny cat pics, which you love.
It’s About Connections
Now to the darker, more personal side of this complaint: Maybe some of the people posting about cats or babies or bands or politics don’t have your wealth or time or passions. Maybe they post marathon times because they can’t post about career success. Maybe they post about their business because that’s how they survive. Maybe they post about politics or sports because that’s how they identify with people and connect.
We need that. That’s the whole point of this stuff; connections. If you’re complaining about those trying to connect with the 3% who share their passion, you’re missing it.