September 12, 2012

opt out, opt in

In our transition to the east coast, both Brooke and I have gone through our feeds and subscriptions, weeding out what no longer is relevant to our lives. While I make broad use of social media and web-based tools,??Kalle Lasn convinced me in his book Culture Jam that there is something about "media pollution" that needs curbing in our lives.??So, we each unsubscribed to Twitter and blog feeds we no longer needed to be kept in the loop with. In addition, we began to go through our email inboxes, unsubscribing from email lists that pertained to things we no longer would be able to contribute to meaningfully or no longer needed to be informed about.??

I've been surprised by, and frustrated with, how difficult it is to opt out of certain things. When this has been easy, I can most certainly say that those are news services, consumer resources, affinity-, faith-, or cause-oriented networks, etc. that I will look into again if I find myself in San Diego. And I would recommend these to those I know that find themselves in the area.

When opting out has been difficult, I've made a mental note to never refer or use that [fill in the blank] again. It displays two things:

1) Desperation rather than appreciation for an audience. This exposes a functioning on a paradigm of scarcity rather than abundance and conveys a lack of confidence. If you don't have confidence in what you're delivering, others will pick up on this and find another way without you.

2) An inefficiency and inability that is not confidence-building in those you hope to serve. Analyze your systems of organization and ask yourself whether or not they actually achieve what they are supposed to. If something like excusing yourself out of a process is difficult, chances are participating in such a system is just as difficult. Cut the fat, reorganize, whatever is necessary for there to be meaningful contact with whatever it is you do.

All this to say that having permission to opt out, means that I will more likely opt in at another point in time.??Let people opt out graciously and succinctly when they need to. If you do so, chances are they will come back to you when it's time for them to do so.

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