When Success Means Social Silence

In today’s hyper-connected, always-on, always-talking world, it might seem a little counterintuitive to some that success actually might be a much-needed pause.

When you get out of that social stenographer mentality and think about it, being in the moment and fully appreciating what you’re witnessing or experiencing requires full attention.

Though some view multitasking as a necessary evil and others are even more complimentary, when it comes down to it, there’s no way to be fully present if you’re divvying up your attention. We all know this inherently but many operate as if they don’t tweet or post about what they’re seeing or doing, it must not be that important to them in the first place.

A post from Ad Age yesterday titled “Jennifer Hudson’s Whitney Houston Tribute So Moving People Stopped Tweeting” puts a finer point on these general thoughts. The article outlines how people were so engrossed in the actual performance that, to a greater extent from normal, many didn’t feel it was worth diverting brainpower from being in the moment to efforts around sharing their reactions right then and there.

According to those who were tracking Grammys related posts, the number of tweets dropped off considerably during Hudson’s performance before promptly picking up again after her last note. Was this stop-and-appreciate-the-moment event a fluke or will we see more people put down their internet-connected devices or at least look away for long enough to take in entire performance, segment or even show?

While mindfulness experts have long decried the dangers of distractions and their propensity to undermine contentment and efficiency, it seems that only relatively recently that marketers began to seemingly encourage people to embrace the moment. Windows Phone’s “Really” and Dodge’s “The Internet will be just fine without” campaigns (below) come to mind.

As attention will always remain the golden currency of marketing, we should expect to see more events, campaigns and other efforts attempt to prompt their audiences to completely tune in. The real question is, will marketers be open to embracing such mindful silence as a metric of success. We’ll just have to stay tuned.

What moments have you seen elicit an almost eerie tranquility due to a lack of tweets, posts and other social updates?  

Have you seen the marketing world attempt to tap into the silence more readily or do you feel that trend may still be some time off?

(Image: lenartney)

About mattwhiting

Seattle-based social media and digital communications consultant for Waggener Edstrom Worldwide. Also types words about music for SEA live MUSIC.
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  • http://www.jeremymeyers.com/ Jeremy Meyers

    Nicely put, Matt.   I think the marketing world attempting to ‘tap into the silence’ would be the worst thing they could possibly do, like when someone yells “freebird” at a concert’s quiet moment. 

    That said, I put nothing past the ‘marketing world’ when it comes to being tone-deaf and shrill.