The Digital Mess

Microsoft has recently launched the "Save social energy" campaign and it has nothing to do with using less social media to conserve energy. At first glance, I thought, why is there a need to "save social energy"? What does it even mean? Social energy is the extent to which people can enjoy interacting with others in a stimulating environment. The movement therefore aims to help users achieve maximum efficiency on their social media platforms by generating minimum noise. When I actually read what was being said, I found myself giving way to Microsoft’s conviction. They believe the explosion of activity and sometimes-blind rush of social media exploitation has created an overwhelming threat to social energy. From a PR standpoint, the campaign appears to me as a tactical marketing strategy employed to promote the recently revamped Microsoft social media systems. But that aside, the thought behind the campaign is not to be ignored. As the novelty of social media technology wears off, organisations are quickly understanding the need to integrate it into the business function to the point where it is no longer viewed as a separate entity, or gives an edge over others if offered by the business. Social media is in transition, to being an almost natural way of how consumers live and businesses think. The clutter and noise on these platforms are however distracting us from the very reason we turned to digital technology, to simplify work processes. According to ComScore, social networking takes up over 18 percent of time spent on the web in Singapore. It hardly seems a convenience when weighed against the amount of time wasted sorting through the overwhelming content. The Microsoft campaign should prompt us to evaluate our own social media strategies and how we can not only work to increase web presence but also effectively use technology like cloud computing and the likes to reduce digital clutter. I guess what this all means for PR is that content should not just be generated for the sake of it. Often times, priority is placed over the pervasiveness of brand presence rather than the quality of it but what businesses sometimes fail to understand is that consumers and their clients are not interested in the fact that you are saying something, they care more about what it is that you are saying. The tools are there for us to use, yes, but not to use simply because they are there. As I see it, what is happening now is that consumers are starting to develop an impermeability to social media marketing tactics and this has got to be the backlash of the immense content on social media platforms that consumers are badgered with today. That would spell the decline of social media. Cleaning up the digital mess? Don’t just write it off, it might just be the future face of social media technology.

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