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The “stories” that you share…

While I can’t imagine ever appreciating what Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and the other platforms has done for us, as far as communicating like humans is concerned, I do appreciate one feature that I believe is a great way to keep your contacts (including your friends and family… mom and dad included) updated on your whereabouts and what’s on your mind.

No prizes for guesses here — stories are indeed a great feature! And the reason why I love it is because it’s a conversation starter. One little nudge is all you need to get talking, which is great! I, however, am not fully sure if people utilise it well. At least not everyone does. I certainly am not the right person to be using stories because I don’t think I have to state every flipping thing that’s on my mind. We’ve got Twitter for that and it’s ruined our culture in more ways than we would like to admit.

What peeves me the most is a WhatsApp story with loads of selfies. More than I (or anyone else) would care to bother. My rationale mind goes, “what’s the point now that I’ve already caught a glimpse of how you look 16 times?” It’s a massive time suck for people who like to checkout stories in their spare time and then whine about them. Folks like me get busy blocking people or hiding stories from these self-obsessed souls.

I know one friend who posted two dozen pictures with stunning backgrounds. The keyword being ‘backgrounds,’ he was in the forefront in all the damn pictures! I was compelled to text him and say, “move the fuck away from the camera, would you? You’re blocking the breathtaking scenery!”

He blocked me. Which is great! One less person to worry about. But that’s not the point. Stories ought to be engaging and let others get a glimpse of your experience, not necessarily you the person. Overdoing the latter just irritates people, particularly the ones who’re obsessed with thinking, though they rarely complain. And I guess that’s the damn problem.

If you’re thinking I’m unnecessarily blending the principles of marketing into something as mundane as a WhatsApp/Instagram/Facebook/Whatever “story,” you’re probably right. But take a moment and think about what’s going on here — the stories are posted to be consumed by an audience. And the intent of the posting them in the first place is get conversations going (aka driving engagement). The only two ways to create engagement is to make sure that the audience likes, comments or share your content further. Right? Now, how the hell would you drive engagement when all you post is a dozen selfies? And if that’s all you do you’re one self-obsessed moron everyone should unfollow but they won’t because they’re good people and don’t want to offend you.

Yeah, I get the “self-expression” bit. But there’s this thing called too much self-expression. Masturbation is a form of self-expression too.

Irrespective of the platform, your audience deserve better content.