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The engagement portfolio

The people that we actively engage with are the ones who we regularly seek out to have conversations, to meet, to do things together and to hang out. The people that we passively engage with are those who don't fall into this category, and yet contribute to our Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn feeds.

The average of the number of people we engage with actively to those we engage with passively is typically in the range of 1:20 to 1:30 for a lot of us as a conservative estimate and can be as high as 1:75 to 1:100.

The amount of time we spend in active engagement and passive engagement are, however, fairly evenly split at a 1:1 ratio (excluding the immediate people we live with and work with).

In this sense, most of what we do in passive engagement is merely the equivalent of consuming very localised news and gossip.

I have many people on my social feeds whom I have never spoken to (electronically - chat, or otherwise) in several months or years, and yet, I know a lot of the things that they share about themselves. The reverse is true as well, where they know about all the things I share on social media.

This results in an artificial sense of engagement with that person (maybe this is the new real).

In that sense, passive engagement via social media is arguably a sanctioned form of stalking, where everyone gets to cherry-pick their stalkers and keep out the others.

Wouldn't you feel weird if some stranger knew all about the major events in your life in the recent months, where you stay, and so on? But, it is acceptable when that stranger is someone we knew many years ago and permitted to follow our updates on social media. And this is what I mean by a sanctioned form of stalking.

I've been trying to cut down on the passive engagement and either shift that time to active engagement or to other things that I could be doing.

After all, news and gossip, though they seem very informative and engaging at the time we consume them, soon become useless and we'll barely remember them a few weeks on (or even a few days on). 

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