Ever since I started writing this blog in February, I’ve noticed something about you people — you’re lurkers.
I post all my entries on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for everyone to see. In terms of comments and interaction, I usually get a modest response. But I know you’re reading this right now because I use bitly links, which tell me how many clicks each link receives and what social media site the clicks came from.
For instance, I wrote a blog post on Tuesday about high school books. Two people liked it on Facebook — but bitly tells me 10 people on Facebook opened the link. That means eight of you didn’t comment or like my blog post.
None of this offends me. I’m happy if anyone takes the time to click on my blog. But it’s intriguing how most people on social media lurk in the shadows, never making themselves known.
I’m no stranger to lurking. It’s much easier to click on a link someone shares and never comment on it, even if I think it’s interesting. Sometimes, I don’t want the person to know I looked. Other times, I just don’t have anything constructive to add in a comment.
It’s similar to a real-life conversation. Have you ever wanted to listen to people talk without adding anything yourself? That’s why eavesdropping was invented. Lurkers just want to do the same — take in a conversation but not be forced to participate.
About 40 percent of active Twitter users are lurkers. I’m sure if you look at your Facebook friends, there are people who update a few times a month or less. In other words, many of us are just there to see what other people are doing.
Humans are like that. They want to glean information without contributing any of their own. We consider ourselves to be social creatures, but sometimes, you just want to get the gossip and get out.
I don’t know who you lurkers are, but I welcome your eyes nonetheless.