We’ve all been there.  Having just written (what we think) is a great update on one of the big social networks, we hear “crickets.” No one says anything.  We might have felt that our status update was witty, but apparently no one else did.

LMS: “Like My Status” 

The shockingly addictive spell that Facebook has had over people during its relatively short existence has, in part, been driven by the “Like” button and our need for validation from peers & family.

Interestingly (& perhaps a bit concerning for parents) “LMS”  or “Like My Status”  was the #1 breakout acronym on Facebook in 2011.  Kids basically invented a Facebook “call to action,” as a reminder so peers would Like their status updates.

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LMS & Brands

Brands could leverage (some would say exploit) all this expressed need for virtual validation by becoming deeper imaginary friends than they are today…validating and commenting on user posts in a more robust way.  Imagine if a branded personality “liked” your status (even if your friends didn’t).  How cool would that be?

Old Spice successfully tapped into the deep need for validation with their powerful/award winning “responses” Twitter campaign…and, they really only scratched the surface of “virtual direct response” to consumers within social networks.

As consumers, we should expect to start seeing a deeper level of 1:1 engagement from brands in the future as social media engagement becomes more sophisticated.  The 2011 LMS meme shows just how deep the human craving for validation runs, and brands will increasingly pick up on this.

Now, let’s switch from brands to a discussion on what could happen as people start realizing that their “need for validation” via social network content creation is killing their productivity.

Attention Respectful Social Networks & New Productivity Monitoring Software  

At South by Southwest 2012 there was a panel outlining hazards of The Attention Drug Wars.  One panelist posited that attention respectful social networks will be created as an “anti” movement tires of being pushed to constantly update their content within social networks.   These new social networks won’t spam you with “triggers” (emails, push notifications, SMS messages) or anything else that interrupts your work flow.

Indeed, as social networks get more aggressive in their attempts to keep people inside their ecosystems, we could see an exodus to smaller, more niche networks that protect consumers from what some see as intrusive spam.  Like the organic food movement, attention respectful social networks will provide an alternative to “mass social networks”  and appeal to those dissatisfied with the lack of “attention respect” shown by social network designers, etc.  Additionally, tools like RescueTime will emerge, helping to free us from the addictive allure of social networks.  Note:  If you have not yet downloaded RescueTime and need to get your social networking under control, go check it out.

What are your thoughts on all of this?

Photo courtesy of AllThingsD