Do you add valueless content to the digital world? How much of what you say or write is only valuable to yourself? How much of it consists of you complaining or bragging about what you've done (or even worse, what you're currently doing)?
I know I'm guilty of it: Sometimes when I’m alone and my mind is idle, posting something, anything, to Twitter and knowing that someone somewhere will read it gives me a sense of connection. But that's being selfish. How much does spewing useless information into the world actually help me (or anyone)? It makes me “feel” a little better in the moment, but does it really do anything for anyone long-term?
The Internet makes it easy for us to keep sharing useless stuff that we think is important because we don't see anyone’s reaction to what we're offering. If you stood on the sidewalk and asked strangers to listen to how your day went, how many people would care? With the in-your-face feedback that you’d receive on the sidewalk, how long would it take you to realize that what you're offering is valueless and adds nothing useful to the lives of others?
On the Internet, you don’t see when someone grumbles at that self-centered, narcissistic paragraph of text you’ve written; you don’t see all the eyeballs that pass over and dismiss your carefully crafted jumble of words.
Being in a constant mode of providing value requires changing your mindset. Yesterday, for example, I went for a walk to clear my head. Towards the end of the walk, I decided to post something on Twitter to share the refreshing experience. At first, I wrote:
"Just finished a nice walk outside in the cold. It really cleared my head.”
Then I realized I could provide more value to others by rephrasing the message:
“Got a lot on your mind? Try taking a walk outside when it’s cold and focus on nothing but your breathing and the movement of your legs.”
Now which of those two posts would you rather read? Which provides more value to world?
Be someone who creates value, not noise. If you find something of value, rebroadcast it (but don't become a repeater just rebroadcasting someone else's voice; create your own voice). If you feel you rarely have anything of value to share, try changing your perspective. If you still have nothing, don't share information simply for the sake of sharing. Sharing is good, but sharing something that only adds to the noise is not good.
Before you publish something you’ve written for Twitter, Facebook, or a blog post, ask yourself if what you're writing would be of value to anyone. If not, don't pollute the digital world by adding to the noise.
Be someone who provides value:
- Ask yourself how your observations, activities, and experiences could be useful to others.
- Rephrase valuelessness to provide value through making suggestions or offering advice.
- Try seeing things through someone else's perspective; would a stranger be interested?
- Only create or share when you think it will provide value; don't create or share for the sake of creating or sharing.
- Rebroadcast value, but don't become a rebroadcaster; build your own voice through personal observations.
- Change your mindset to reflect someone who provides value.
It’s amazing how easily valuelessness can become valuable by simply changing the perspective and intention.