That quote came from the hilarious movie Ghostbusters…but you probably already guessed that. I was thinking about that line tonight as the movie I was watching on my TV ended. The credits finished, the audio stopped, the picture went black and suddenly it was quiet. I’m not sure if I was thoroughly enjoying the moment or just too lazy to get up and find the remote. I’ll be generous and claim the former. I noticed the air conditioner was running, the dog was snoring, a car drove by…and the smell of cookies. “Listen…do you smell something.”
The web today is a cacophony of noise and it’s no wonder our online senses are confused. Is it really a success if we google something and the total number of pages found stays under six digits? Shouldn’t it be easy to find a good plumber online without having to navigate through pages about porn stars and plastic surgeons? I visited a web site this week with a “follow us” area showing at least 8 different ways to connect to the company. Really? I was tempted to click them all (just because) but then I wondered…if I follow a company using 8 different types of social media, is that considered stalking? Or am I just being a dedicated customer? (Maybe the smorgasbord of social media selections had something to do with this article. http://bit.ly/i2SHTE)
Most people I know, and probably most people you know just move on through their virtual day, fighting through the online noise. Most of us are so accustomed to the noise we don’t even realize it’s there. It can confuse, annoy, irritate, confound…even cause us to become addicted. It is becoming more and more difficult to make quick, clear choices as businesses and ventures of all kinds clamor for our attention and support. It seems that it takes something REALLY special…unique even…to cut through that noise, to catch the viewer’s attention and make them stop long enough to connect. But how does one discover something REALLY special while being constantly bombarded with noise.
So, here’s the challenge of the day. Unplug. Just for five minutes…ten if you’re bold. Turn off the TV, the cell phone, the radio, the MP3 player, the computer….all of it. Find a quiet spot and just sit. Listen. Smell something. Does your perception change? If so, feel free to share your experience here. If unplugging just bores you to tears, grab an oatmeal raisin cookie, crank up the iPod and log back in. There’s a virtual sea of people just waiting for you to push that button.