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Would You Be Missed?

Posted by on Aug 21, 2010

A couple of weekends ago I took a little test on Twitter. I wanted to see if I didn’t start off engaging anyone if I’d be missed. I did know that one of my blog posts was scheduled to post late morning, but I was curious if anyone would pick up on the blog post or send me anything.


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When I finally looked later in the day I did have messages. A couple of people had retweeted the post. A couple had responded to the post. And one person had written me a welcoming message to the day. I felt pretty good because I think it shows I do have at least a little bit of impact, or influence, online. Of course, my local influence is still nothing, as everyone who wrote me was from somewhere else, but that’s okay; I’ll take what I can get.

Our lives are so much different now than they used to be. In the past, there was some sense of community, of knowing the people who lived in your community. You’d see people in the neighborhood and know everyone’s name. You’d shop at the same stores and see each other there.

Nowadays, we have more ways to communicate with each other, yet instead of spreading the sense of community, for the most part it’s become more restrictive. You only message so many people because you don’t want to pay for extra time if you go over your minutes. We don’t have to leave our homes to go meet people because we can bring people into our homes electronically.

It’s a shame, but that’s pretty much my life. I work from home most of the time, so I don’t have a need to leave the house all that often. I’ve learned that my wife and my elderly neighbors across the street think that I’m getting old before my time because I don’t leave the house. My mind says not to spend money unnecessarily, and that includes gas for my car. It’s less expensive to stay home, so I do. I leave when I have something specific to do; just getting out for the sake of getting out makes no sense anymore.

This leads me to wonder sometimes if I would be missed by many people if something happened to me. If I stopped twittering, left LinkedIn alone, got off Facebook, and pretty much just withdrew would people notice I was gone. Sure, I know a few would; I do luckily have a few friends, and of course my wife, mother and grandmother. I do have my newsletter. But would any of the “masses” really miss me? Would I even have a legacy that someone would say “that was a good guy”. Unless my wife sent something out, and that’s not going to happen, would people reach out and say “hey, where are you”, or would time just move on?

It’s an interesting question. The second question is if you’d want that sort of thing in the first place? As I’ve talked about this concept of influence I’ve thought about the second half of that, which is once you have some influence can you ever have a private life again? Then I came to a resounding “yes”. We had this CEO of Hewitt Packard have to resign and get out of Dodge because of an alleged sex scandal, and I realized that I had absolutely no idea who this guy was, yet one could imagine that his influence had to be pretty high. If it wasn’t for the scandal, he’d have never crossed my mind at all. And yet, because of his influence, his indiscretion (alleged; yeah, right) was big news, and plastered all over the media. Almost Tiger Woods bad, but that kind of thing is hard to top.

Do you think you’d be missed by the masses if you suddenly stopped writing or doing whatever it is you do online? Do you care? Or would you like something mixed, like the treatment Ben Vereen gets from the Muppets in a performance of Mr. Cellophane?

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32 Comments »

Would I be missed? I dont think so as there are so many people doing the same type of stuff.

I think its the same for most of us out there. Unless you are an Authority in what you do and people are relying on you for specific guidance for a specific task in hand I think there are so many people to fill the void.

I must say though if I didnt see a blog post notification come in from you next few days you would be missed by myself 🙂

August 21st, 2010 | 10:28 AM
Mitch:

Thanks Peter. 🙂 It’s a strange concept to explore, and I was thinking about it because one of my friends passed away, and if it hadn’t been a fluke that one of my wife’s friends was looking for some other information and came across it, we’d have never known.

August 21st, 2010 | 2:11 PM
val:

I’d miss you – I have done a few times already when you’ve gone days without posting! And by now, I tend to think of people I’m in touch with via the ‘net, they just pop into my mind at odd times during the day and you’re one of those.
🙂
As for whether I’d be missed. I hope so, but who can say for sure? I was quite surprised a few months ago to find the blog archive of someone who used to read my first blog (from 2004) and to discover that this person had done a post about my having deleted my blog and how she’d miss me – and she went on to say why. One thing that got me was I’d started using tags to be able to find my own posts (it was kind of before they became the done thing to do) and she noted that I referred to my fun postings as ‘light’ and my serious postings as ‘heavy’ (or something like that). I’d forgotten the tags I’d used myself, so it was kinda nice that someone remembered them – and me!

August 21st, 2010 | 1:46 PM
Mitch:

And I bet it felt good, didn’t it Val? It shows that you made an impact on someone, and that’s kind of the point. We all make impacts on someone, and it’d be nice to make positive impacts on a lot of people.

August 21st, 2010 | 2:15 PM
Rose:

Would I be missed?

Well, I have vanished from my writing community a few times and have had members write to see where I’ve been. I think I would be missed by some.

Would I be missed on Twitter? Most likely not.

If it is any consultation you know that I ask how you’re doing often.

August 21st, 2010 | 2:10 PM
Mitch:

Yes, and I appreciate those times, Rose. I’m with you, I don’t think the Twitter community would miss me, but then again I don’t think it would miss almost anyone.

August 21st, 2010 | 2:16 PM
Gwenrule62:

Since I’m just learning about the internet community I know I wouldn’t be missed but what you said about never leaving the house–since I started spending so much time online trying to make some money, they think I’m losing it. I’m a widow and handicapped and this is a way I can support myself but they seem to think I’m depressed and call it isolating. I worry that I’m losing my non-virtual friends and since I don’t have anyone but my dog here I need my real friends but there is so much to learn. Anyway, interesting thought provoker. I’ve bookmarked you so don’t go away just yet–I’d miss you.

August 21st, 2010 | 3:52 PM
Mitch:

Thanks Gwen. lol Actually, I do get out of the house, just not as much as my wife thinks I should. As a matter of fact Thursday I not only gave a workshop, but later on I went to a tweetup and met about 15 or 16 other people there. I don’t do it every day or even every week, but I do get out. Maybe your offline friends could find ways to have events that maybe you could get to, or have them at your house here and there.

August 21st, 2010 | 4:41 PM
Dean Saliba:

Nobody misses me on Twitter or my blog, but I do get missed if I don’t use Facebook for a couple of days.

August 21st, 2010 | 7:28 PM
Mitch:

At least someone’s missing you, Dean, and that’s pretty nice right?

August 21st, 2010 | 7:47 PM

I don’t twitter, I am rarely paged on FB and I have a hand full of loyal readers of/commentators on my blog. I am sure that they would miss me if I stopped posting and I would very much care indeed. Similarly, I am a loyal visitor to many blogs and I miss it when people don’t blog and I send messages to them on their contact box asking if everything is okay. I would, if you stopped blogging!

If I dropped dead one day, it wouldn’t matter to me would it?

August 21st, 2010 | 11:09 PM
Mitch:

It wouldn’t matter to you, Rummuser, but it would matter to the rest of us. So don’t even think about it! 🙂

August 21st, 2010 | 11:46 PM
Carl:

You are absolutely right Mitch, but it is a bit sad if you make somebody to miss you very strong.

August 22nd, 2010 | 8:55 AM

I would miss you.

I do occasionally get an email from someone asking where I’ve been- mostly from online communities I’m involved with.

August 22nd, 2010 | 10:12 AM
Mitch:

I don’t get it that often, Carolee. I’m not about to try to go missing, but it would be an interesting experiment.

August 22nd, 2010 | 2:14 PM
Kissie:

Ben Vereen is going to get you!

I think I may not be missed too much in cyber but my family and friends and any who know me in real life, how can I put this without sounding pious, simply adore me. (in all modesty)

Hey Mitch, for the second time in a couple of days – YOU ARE HILARIOUS. I literally laughed three times while reading this. You can ask any of those who think I’m so adorable and they will tell you I am not one who laughs aloud. I will SAY something is funny but not laugh. Thanks for giving me a dose. 🙂

August 22nd, 2010 | 4:46 PM
Mitch:

Kissie, Ben Vereen loves me; he called me up to say thanks for sharing this video again. And thanks for the nice words; my wife sometimes thinks I’m funny, and when we’re together for some reason people laugh all the time. Also, thanks for playing the Sunday question game; next week, same Bat time, same Bat channel.

August 22nd, 2010 | 5:31 PM
Kissie:

Didn’t realize it was a game.

August 22nd, 2010 | 5:56 PM
Mitch:

My terminology, it’s always a game, life’s a game, food’s a game, a game’s a game… that way we’re allowed to have fun with it all.

August 22nd, 2010 | 5:59 PM
Kissie:

Cool, I likey. Still hadn’t watched the movie yet. 😉

Hey, have you ever seen the movie, The Game. Oh my.

August 22nd, 2010 | 6:00 PM

I’d miss you!

I think that it is tough to measure if one would be missed by dropping out of social media. Like you wrote, before the internet, people would see you face to face and around the community.

The internet, however, is a different story. There are infinite amounts on information/people on the internet. When people have a real life connection I think that people would be missed more. It is for this reason that I am sure that you would be missed at our tweetups if you disappeared.

Also, you have a ton of regular commenters that follow and comment on your blog regularly. There are not many blogs at all that can say they have an active community/following. I think that you are doing great.

To answer your question, I don’t think that I would be missed online, but like you and some other commenters, I think that real life would be a different story.

August 23rd, 2010 | 1:56 PM
Mitch:

I think you’re on your way to being missed online as well; you write a quality blog & it’s easy to read. I just see my professional life finally being more national than regional at some point; at least I’m hoping so, and I hope to be doing what I want to do as well. Some people aren’t ready for bigger things; I’ve been ready for a while now. Yeah, I have to admit that I do want to be missed; vanity, whatever. I do have a nice community of folks who might miss me; I’d miss them as well.

August 23rd, 2010 | 2:33 PM

I talk about this with my children and how important it is to make a difference in the world. We don’t have to be Mother Theresa, just a good neighbor.

Do that and people will notice when you are not around.

August 23rd, 2010 | 3:20 PM
Mitch:

That’s great stuff, Jack. Parents I think are extremely important in that, as kids, we really don’t appreciate how special our parents are until they’re not around. I know when my dad went to Vietnam for a year I got a special sense of that, and now that he’s no longer around at all I feel it even greater. And I know the impact he had on the rest of the family as well as some people who used to go to him for answers and the like.

Try doing good in some fashion and you will be remembered; I like that a lot.

August 23rd, 2010 | 5:00 PM

Hey Mitch, I’m not sure if I would miss you on day one mate, but if you stayed away longer than that I’m sure I would be wondering where the hell you were, especially if I was waiting for you to make a chess move.

As for me, I’m pretty sure no-one would miss my tweets because I don’t tweet all that much.

August 31st, 2010 | 3:37 AM
Mitch:

They might not miss your tweets, but you’d definitely be missed. Your blog is popular.

August 31st, 2010 | 7:52 AM

Not according to Google Analytic which seems to think I’m only getting 3-4 visits a day?

August 31st, 2010 | 11:44 PM
Mitch:

Really? Guess you’d best be getting more active again. That can’t be right.

August 31st, 2010 | 11:47 PM

I know it’s not right but that’s what it’s telling me so I just not bothering with them anymore.

September 2nd, 2010 | 12:49 AM
Mitch:

But they’re supposed to be top quality, so there has to be something odd going on.

September 2nd, 2010 | 2:40 AM

Sure, but I sure don’t know what it is. I just had another look and according to them I had one visit yesterday, 7 the day before and 1 the day before that.

Reports for all my other blogs are way down as well. If results showed zero you would assume I lost the code but it’s tracking visits just not accurately.

September 2nd, 2010 | 3:55 AM
Mitch:

That is just so odd. And you’re right, at one point on my business blog it did lose the code when I changed themes.

September 2nd, 2010 | 9:43 AM