Tag: background noise

Signal to Noise Ratio

I keep the number of people I follow on places like Twitter and Instagram pretty low. Even on Facebook (where I’ll generally add everyone who adds me if I’ve met them) I will mute a lot of people… Sorry.

I do this because there are so many voices on social media now. Voices you agree with, voices you disagree with, voices who have an opinion on everything, voices who have very strong opinions on a few things. Whatever the case, there is so much noise out there, it’s easy for the things that matter and you want to see get smothered.

Signal to Noise ratio is an engineering term that measures “the desired signal to the level of background noise.” Basically, how much background noise do you have to endure to receive the desired signal we want.

This also applies to social media. How many posts do you scroll through each day that you actually find useful? How many opinionated rants do you have to see?

There is good stuff on social media. In fact, there is great stuff. But the problem is, many of us also have a fear of missing out so we follow everything and everyone so that we might not miss those trending things. But our pursuit of making sure we don’t miss out on anything, we end up missing out on the posts that actually add value to our lives.

So pare down your followers, stop worrying about having to see everything. You’ll quickly scroll through all of it anyways and you’ll still need to be told what is trending.

But when you start consuming the content you want to see, the content that you enjoy consuming, all of a sudden you’ll have a different experience (not just with social media, but with the world as well).

If we cut out as much of the background noise as we can, all of a sudden the signal comes through stronger and more frequently.

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