from consumption to engagement
I’m still pretty new to this whole blogging world. Over the past several months, blogging has been a creative outlet that’s helped me to pay attention, write, connect, and engage. And I really enjoy it – most days. The days that I enjoy it the most are days when I hear a little tidbit from you, my dear reader. That’s what helps me to think I’m doing something other than just blabbing on to myself. It’s what helps form a half-baked idea into one that is more fully baked. I treasure your responses.
As a teacher, I liked to engage the students – to look in their eyes and see a little spark that tells me that they’ve “got it.” I enjoy doing public presentations too. But what if I was leading a discussion with a room full of wonderful people (like you), and I asked a question, and no one answered? I know that they’re there – they’re looking at me, and most likely some have heard what I’ve said. But there’s no response. That would feel yucky to me.
Sometimes I wonder how I can make you, my audience, more engaged. Or perhaps you are engaged and I just don’t know it.
How do you move from consumption to engagement? What does engagement really look like? What compels you to dive in?
It’s a risk to engage. I remember the first time I posted a status line on facebook. I was so nervous! What would people think?
And this past fall, I was part of an online course called Unraveling, where for 2 months we posted photos to a private flickr group that related to weekly themes. This was huge for me too. Did I want to be so public with my life with 150 total strangers? Did I have anything worthy to share? And What Would People Think? (a recurring theme in my life)
We can’t engage ALL the time. It would be a full-time job to daily go through my friends’ facebook postings and comment or “like” each one. Sometimes we just consume.
I think that my culture teaches me to consume, and I bring that to my internet use. We’re taught to consume literature, music, text messages, e-mails, junk food, and material possessions.
So how do we get to that point where we are comfortable engaging instead of just consuming? I wonder about this in our churches too – how do you get people to engage, rather than coming with a consumption mindset?
I can easily just look at myself to know why people don’t feel led to comment. Am I too Mennonite? Too Canadian? Too shy? Too busy? Or do I wonder whether I actually have anything of worth to say? Or do I worry about what people are going to think?
So here’s my advice to you, silent readers out there: comment away. Join in the fun! It can take way less than one minute to make a comment. And the absolute worst that could happen is that you post a forgettable comment, but make my day brighter in the meantime.
Here are some options for when you can’t think of a long, brilliant comment. Any of these will just make my day (and that’s the point, isn’t it?):
- I hear you.
- I’ve been wondering the same thing.
- I have a different perspective. Let’s talk about this sometime – in person.
- I’ll think give this some thought.
- You’ve given me something to think about.
- love it.
You are most welcome to engage. (you can do it, Mom!)[a bit nervous to publish this whiny-needy post, but here goes…]