Social media has taught me that the most effective comments are not about me, but are about what I just read. I’m still finding the balance, but I used to think that my comments explaining how the post/status related to me were important to the author. I came to understand that people are most interested in knowing they have been heard and understood.
Here’s a recent post I saw on Facebook:
Poster: I will never order from Domino’s again! They messed up my order!
Responder A: That must have been terrible since you were trying to feed four hungry teens!
Responder B: Aw, that’s too bad. I’ve had really good luck with Domino’s all the time.
Poster: Exactly, Responder A! I had to scramble to find something after we had already waited an hour.
Poster in response to Responder B: *crickets*
Author of article or blog post: The popularity of the Super Bowl is on the wane. It has turned into a business and the joy of the game is no longer in evidence. People only watch because they want to see the commercials, but the commercials can be seen elsewhere.
Responder A: With social media, we can watch the commercials outside of the game and still be connected to the experience.
Responder B: I’d rather watch the commercials in the context of the game.
Author: Yes, Responder A; that is exactly my point. Watching the Super Bowl is such a social experience, and we can have the experience without even watching the game.
Author in response to Responder B: *shrugs*
These types of examples help me see what I think helps the Poster/Author feel heard. . He/she wants to know that someone understood what they were trying to express. Giving this type of feedback requires a deeper level of interaction and attention on my part. It’s really a win-win situation.
N.B. YouTube comments are a unique species altogether and are excluded from reasonable discourse.