Even The Ordinary Has Value

This time of year there’s a lot of resolution-themed updates and articles flying around. And I’m always all for it. One I shared recently was advice for 20-somethings that ranged from backing up your hard drive to becoming more politically informed. I shared it with my network with a note that those tips aren’t just for 20-somethings. Then I moved on with my life. As you do. Just another status update.

That was a few days ago but made me think of it recently. So I revisited it. The first piece of advice was this:

Before you status update, Tweet, Tumble or Instagram, pause and say to yourself, “is it entirely necessary that I share this morsel of thought with my entire social network?” And if the answer is not yes, I absolutely must, then step away from the Internet.

At first I was in wholehearted agreement. Most people don’t want to read about what the people in their various networks have for breakfast every morning (or worse). Or about all their comings and goings (thanks Foursquare). But then I thought about some of my interactions from the last few days.

Yesterday I had a nice conversation with someone on Twitter, yes it can happen, because I tweeted the album I happened to be listening to at the time. Up to that point, we both followed one another, I’m not sure for how long, but had never actually interacted. We’ve chatted regularly since then.

A while ago I got a lot of responses when I posted a picture of my grandfather’s straight razor, which I had restored, and said I was going to try shaving with it. Not exactly earth shattering news but it sparked a lot of great conversation including some about tradition.

My point is that most people probably aren’t interested in what I’m listening to or what kind of razor I use to shave with. But you never know when something simple like that is going to resonate with someone. And the resulting conversation strengthens that relationship a little bit.

Isn’t being social what social media is about after all?