social media

Why I Give A Crap About What You Ate For Lunch

When people are first getting into the whole social media thing, they’re often a bit cynical.

“Twitter is just a bunch of people talking about what they had for lunch.”
“I don’t want to know details of your kid’s stomach flu, dear Facebook friend.”
“If I see another cute cat video on YouTube, I’m going to flip out!”

Yep. As much as there is a world of amazing information, conversations and people to be found via social tools, there’s a lot of seemingly inane chatter going on too. Lots of people wonder what the point is. They say don’t understand why they’d want to know about any of this stuff. They say they don’t give a crap about what you had for lunch.

It’s too bad, really. Because if it wasn’t for all that so-called “inane” chatter, I probably wouldn’t even use social media.

Some of the richest conversations I’ve had have been about things like food, tea, pets, wine, and TV shows. Some of the best friends I’ve made, I’ve not made because I’m sitting around all day long doing “business” on Twitter. We’re friends because we’ve shared things about our lives with each other. Some of the most important client connections I’ve made, I’ve not made because of a tweet about my company. I’ve made them because of things like a tweet about the lemon meringue pie I baked last weekend.

You see, what makes social media so rich and compelling, is not people just doing “business” and being “professionals”. It’s people being…wait for it….people.

Bow WOW.
The other day, I was cruising through some Twitter posts while I was waiting for my class to start. I came across a post that had been retweeted by my pal @PrincessDoubt.

 

Being a dog lover, I clicked on the link immediately, and discovered that Jackson had gone missing at Bruce Pit, the dog park where I take our dog, Charlie. It broke my heart to know that Kelly (who is a stranger to me, incidentally), had lost her dog. I re-posted on Facebook and Twitter, hopeful that if enough people spread the word, someone would find Jackson and help him get home.

The next morning, I checked in on Twitter to see if there was any news from @jaxdecor and found this:

What a relief! It turns out Jackson was able to find his own way home. Miraculous!  (Here’s the full story, if you’re interested.)

I went on about my day.

That conversation had nothing to do with business (though me, @PrincessDoubt and @JAXdecor are all business people). Nobody made any sales. Nobody got extra “impressions”. There was no “ROI”. There was just life.

So why do I give a crap about what you had for lunch? Because to me, it’s part of what makes you, you. It shows me that you’re more than just your company’s mission statement. It shows me that you’re okay with letting your guard down a bit once in a while. It shows me that you’re a person, just like me.

And I want to do business with people. Therefore, I give a crap about your lunch, the A your kid got on his math test, and that your dog got home safe. I care if you’re feeling sick, and I care when you’re feeling better. I care when you land a big client, and I care that you loved that movie you took your wife to last night.

Make sense?

8 Comments

  1. I think “Care” is the operative word Suze! There is no possible way we could listen in on every communication, but we can pay attention to the people and conversations we care about. Relationships matter… it is through those conversations that we build relationships.
    Keep Caring!

  2. Stacerella (@Stacerella)

    Totally makes sense. And I heart you, Suzie!!

  3. I found this most excellent blog entry, because someone I care about posted the link on Twitter. I’m reading it as I prepare my lunch…which, BTW, is bacon-tomato pasta. :-)

  4. I use twitter to follow people with similar interests, allowing me to acquire exposure to conversations and content that I find interesting. From this perspective, people tweeting about their day-to-day lives is nothing but noise.

    I understand that not everyone uses twitter the same way, but I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that I like twitter precisely because it isn’t like facebook.
    Facebook is better suited for that type of empty conversation because it is a tighter network of people that you know in real life. In contrast, twitter’s networks are much broader, which amplifies the noise and makes it that much more disruptive.

    Just my thoughts.

  5. Lately I’ve had zero time for my blog, but I have been live tweeting Master Chef Italia for 3 weeks (convinced that no-one was reading but hey at least I was keeping some kind of cyber activity going). Last night I discovered that not only were people following, but I was getting responses and even got into a hysterical conversation with a total stranger about sunken ships and Seinfeld. I am still not a great tweeter, but last night was more fun than I thought possible – and I found some new people to follow which I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. And those are my 2 cents ;-)

  6. The facts of life will always be useful to some people and useless to others. Sometimes we go back and forth in our own perspectives.

    I don’t care what you eat for lunch as a general principle, but if I’m reading your blog for particular insights and one day you write something about your mother or your dog or your favorite soup — I may perk my eyebrow and pay a different kind of attention to understand why you wrote it out of the blue.

    We are fascinated by the inanity of life — precisely because one person’s junk is another’s treasure and it is inevitable there will always be something that we share.

  7. Pingback: Why Susan Murphy Cares What You Eat | Ari Herzog

  8. I reject Mclea’s reality and substitute my own. And to a lesser extent, Ari’s as well. I tweet about food because, truly, it has become the last safe topic that won’t get you called names, cyber stalked or cyber bullied or banned from your own account like other topic do in FB, Twitter and the like.

    Also, I love hearing people moan cooking is too hard, too complex, too time consuming and tweeting/blogging my simple meal idea to prove them wrong. I want people to go home and cook. I don’t want people to be tweeting as they stand in line at McDonalds (which happens more than we imagine). I want someone to know it’s ok to make a simple pita pizza for dinner in less than 20 mins. I don’t want anyone to think cooking is elitist, fancy, over the top, difficult, confusing or even mystical. I reject that notion outright.

    I tweet to be social about food, no to build my personal brand. Marketing and branding bore me beyond tears. Trust me when I say I would never follow anyone who only did business on a SOCIAL network. Ever. I would rather live in a forest like the Unibomber than read business content on FB or Twitter or G+ exclusively.

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