You can easily become invisible.
Ask anyone who has been walking while checking their email, or focused on getting to their next destination how many people they actually saw on their way there and most will not be able to tell you. This taken to the extreme has lead to people crashing into one another, spilling coffee, and even serious injury or death. When we are trying to get somewhere or we are focused on our own stuff, the people around us become noise. We want them out of the way and we certainly do not want to engage with them.
Our email inbox and social media is like that sidewalk.
This is why it is important to figure out if we are providing content or noise.
Going back to the sidewalk analogy, we can see that if someone has somewhere they have to be, then anyone who is not part of that agenda becomes noise. The same is true for the people who open their email. In the past few years, we have seen this happen with the rise of email marketing. Now everyone has at least one mailing list they are on, but the real question asks is that mailing list is seen as content or noise. Content is material that is useful to us. We read it and it is worth our time. Noise distracts us from our agenda.
When someone sends me an email blast, I feel the same way I do when I walk by someone shouting at the crowd on the sidewalk. I know that their message is not for me and I file it under the category of noise. The same thing happens on social media. If someone reaches out to me directly and asks a thoughtful question, I pay attention. If someone tweets at me and advertises something, I ignore them.
So here we are on this overcrowded sidewalk with a very important question to ask:
Do we create content or noise?
I know which one I want to make.