You Need to be “Respondable”

It’s not a typo.  The word I’m using and intended to use is “respondable”.  I’m using it as an adjective and I suggest you adopt it that way too.   Here’s what I’m suggesting.  If you are communicating, particularly in the world of social media, you have a responsibility to make what you put out there respondable.   Hint:  If you are going to adopt what I suggest, you better add “respondable” to your processor’s dictionary, because I assure you it’s not there and that alone will drive you nuts.

So what the heck am I talking about?  Some of you probably read, “You have a responsibility to be respondable,” and immediately said to yourself,  “Ahhhhhhhhh, I get that.”  Others may need to mull it around more.   I can’t take credit for the phrase.  A young, and very bright man I met at a business function said it to me in a conversation recently…I was immediately onboard.  It made perfect sense.   It came out of a conversation about social media where I was relating a story about someone in my firm who had just recently gone onto Facebook and was attempting to make sense about when and how often to respond to the “chatter”.  Like pretty much everything about social media, the “rules of use” evolve over time and are meant to be highly customizable to one’s needs.  The young man’s automatic response to whether someone “responds” to something was that the responsibility lies with the “sender”.  If someone wants a response, what they post (put out there) needs to be of value and worthy of a response.  It needs to be respondable.  I love it.

Of course not everything needs to be respondable.  Much of what we “put out there”, won’t be nor should it be.  The choice is all up to the sender.  And remember, you won’t always see the response, as many responses are personal.  Those count.  But the point is if someone wants a response, it’s their responsibility to make it worth responding to.  Again, I love it.

Know too, that vital ingredients in a respondable post or musing are honesty and integrity.  People will sniff out self serving “advertisements” and ulterior motives faster than a well trained drug dog in an airport.  You have to be authentic.   So while everything we post on line doesn’t need to be responded to, I’m thinking that if we all add respondable to our vocabularies, the world of social media will become even better.  What do you think?

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