Things, as the truism goes, happen in threes. And there have been three major things in the past three months that prompt me to reassess my presence in social media. In fact, I’m wondering whether they are harbingers of a social media backlash.

  • #1: My time with and energy for social media venues like this blog, Twitter, other peoples’ blogs and LinkedIn among others has been on a downswing. The big demotivator has been an increase in the demands of my “day job,” which does not require much social media integration. (Hmmm.) Another reason, one I’ve resisted accepting, is that I might not have enough new thinking to share at the rate at which I have been contributing. Hard to swallow, but possibly true. At least I’m unconvinced that I’m offering many new insights or ideas that are fully original – beyond what I’ve shared and pondered publicly in the past year or so. If the conversation out there is getting stale, as I keep hearing and reading, I’m loathe to be part of the problem.
  • #2: Next was the conversation I had with the head of a very forward-looking, innovative and deeply engaged company in the interactive and social media space. Ironically, we met through a mutual Twitter friend, and here’s where the dialogue went: concern that the social media conversation has gotten stuck – too many retweets of others’ thoughts or comments about them; a perceived lack of innovative and original thinking reflected in social media venues; and less excitement about discovering the social media phenomenon now that we’ve all been so immersed in it. That is not to say that there isn’t original thinking happening or that everything that social media platforms can do has been fully exploited. It’s just the feeling that the interchange has become somewhat circular.
  • #3: In his Advertising Age Gen Next piece “In Defense of a Limited Online Presence: Why I Stopped Tweeting” Alex Kniess writes, “It seems like the majority of the content I subscribe to is repurposed and watered down. There is so much noise out there that it’s hard for me to find the source. Where are the original ideas coming from?” So, now it’s official because it appeared in Advertising Age, doncha know, and the writer comes from the very generation thought to be the linchpin of social media activity.

I don’t presume to have an answer here, and this is not an indictment of social media or the people and content on it. Yet this convergence of like-minded observations has me assessing where to be in this space. For now, need to be here is trumping want to be here just because I can.