Over-Saturated, Over-Exposed - Sick of Email Notifications? Me too!

One of the strangest and funniest things I have ever seen occurred yesterday.


I was driving with my sixteen-year old daughter and fourteen-year old son who were returning home after a week at my mom's some 300 miles away.  I had missed them and we were eagerly catching up, exchanging stories of our week apart while listening to music.  We drove through a South Orange County suburb, passing malls and beautiful subdivisions as we neared our home.  A stretch of deserted, brush-lined highway loomed and standing on the right side, walking along an empty sidewalk was a tall man, approximately mid-twenties, walking with his arms stretched out to his sides and he was gazing skyward, as if in utter supplication.


He was completely naked. 


He was completely naked and walking down the street, facing on-coming traffic.  Facing me, facing my children.  I squealed, told my daughter not to look, as I could hear my iPod-clad son shift his weight in the back seat, sitting up to see what the commotion was all about.  We were soon graced with a full-bodied view.  As we passed, he turned toward the street and garnered further attention... Our shock turned to total amusement.  In an effort to let go of the discomfort, we laughed wildly and then later, bantered about it for hours afterward.  We wondered why, initially thinking he must be crazy, then we thought he might be drunk or drugged, and our final guess was that, maybe, he had lost a bet or it was a prank of some kind.  No matter the reason, my family will laugh about this for a long, long time. 


My daughter looked at me and said, "You have to write about this, Mom."  And she was right, but as I tried to tie this crazy incident to some business practice or motivational speech, I failed.  I failed miserably. Truly, what did this nut-job (no pun intended) have to do with anything or anybody?  He didn't inspire me or change my mind about anything.  He didn't alter my opinion or open my mind.  he didn't teach me or my children anything.  He didn't lead us to water or make us drink.  He didn't start a new trend or end an old one.  He only inspired laughter and a little togetherness, an inside joke now, forever, with my kids.  And I guess, that is a good thing.


What I don't want is to strut around in my own arrogance or ignorance, caught unaware or haughty in my work or life.  In his complete nakedness, exposure, he actually closed himself off.   He left nothing to the imagination, and in his lack of leaving, he was uninteresting.   He not only lacked clothing, he lacked character and I felt sorry for him.  Over-exposure, over-saturation is never a good thing. 


Think of the emails you receive for some new webinar about social media or the endless daily emails from LinkedIn Groups or Facebook groups, or the personal emails you receive from arrogant or ignorant  group owners.  Or the sheer number of spam emails you receive every day.  This over-saturation does not interest me, it's not even as amusing as a naked man walking down a well-traveled street.  Over the last six months, I have slowly changed my notification settings on every social network to which I belong.  I unsubscribe, I reply with "leave out".  Frankly, I am tired of the exposure, so I have taken control.    


And that's the way I like it. 


by rayannethorn





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I would have gone for "Too much transparency" on that one.

Nice twist on a unique experienc Rayanne!


Seeing someone so exposed, so vulnerable, and so clearly in need, can be likened to some of the resumes I have received over the years.


Who among us hasn’t had a real gut-laugh over some ridiculous faux pas in a candidate’s resume? For a while, I even kept copies in a folder entitled, ‘OMG’. I went back to read a few several months ago and instead of laughing, I felt sort of embarrassed. It would be tantamount to pointing at your ‘full-Monty’ friend and laughing while nudging nearby friends in spite of his obvious departure sanity.


As recruiters I believe we tend to overlook the fact that when reviewing candidate resumes, we are, in a very real sense, seeing them at their most vulnerable, their most naked. I’ll try to keep that in mind now that I have the image of your story etched in my mind.


Thanks ~

Rayanne, this just proves what I always knew about you - you can take ANYTHING and turn it into a valuable lesson.  :)  Thanks for this - I'm off to change all my linkedin notifications!!  Every morning I spend 5 minutes deleting e-mails I will never read...

@Tony: I had what I referred to as "The Wall of Shame" in which I posted awful resumes on the opposite side of my cube.  For a long time I thought it was hilarious and so did my co-workers.  I was doing this in a time where business was booming and things were looking great in the economy (circa 2005-2006).  Over the most recent years those resumes have become much more frequent and the feeling is no longer humorous...it's slightly depressing.  Seeing these resumes from what I used to call "the dredges of society" has changed my outlook greatly. 

Instead of ridiculing someone for a skill they don't possess (grammar, writing, English, ect.), I'm helping them hone their message and get better looks at their experience and skills.  I simply don't have time to do this for everyone, but I try and help out at least 5-10 people specifically per week.  Most of my help is as simple as reformatting a resume or helping someone describe their job duties in descriptive ways. 

What comes to us easily as recruiters in terms of resume writing is a skill that some people will never master.  Instead of ridiculing that terrible resume, brainstorm on how they could improve it and take a few minutes out of your busy day to do some pro bono resume consulting.  I always feel good after!

Growing up is a real bitch, isn't it Keith.  :)  We have all had to take a second look at some of the stuff we thought was funny at one point in time.  Think of it this way, 80% of the world is stupid , ignorant or close to it 20% got most of the savvy about all kinds of stuff.  I have to make a conscious decision almost everyday as which percentile i want to be in that day.
And the second part of that is, if we make the decision to be in the 20% I think we have a responsibility to realize that we are fortunate to have the option so we have to cut the 80% a little slack who for any reason are not able to make that decision.

This is a very entertaining story. I like your writing style; it is very detailed, descriptive and emotionally connecting.  And your sense of humor also adds to the total reader experience, which made me feel as if I was also a part of your story.  Thank you for sharing…

The only thing that “took away” from the great story was the weak message-as the title implied.  My take away from your story is that of transparency. 

By being naked, he is showing the world that he has nothing to hide! 

How does translate to the business world?

If you make an attempt to show the world that you have nothing to hide, you will be perceived as honest and trust worthy, which is the foundation for building meaning, long lasting relationships.  And as a result, you will become a more confident professional in your craft. 

Social Media technology is the new tool that will teleport one’s local transparency to the National stage.  But I think we are going about it all wrong!

@Keith - you have a point about transparency... but as Sandra stated at the beginning - there is such a thing as too much!  For all that Social Media technology has given us so much transparency and information exchange, at some point there's so much going on that you don't know where to focus or what to look at.  It all becomes noise.

Hey Rayanne,

Quick note to thank you for this post. After reading I immediately went to my LinkedIn profile settings and stopped those annoying group updates and then did the same on Google+. Sometimes it just takes a nice reminder from a smart friend...

I have been trying to get rid of all those linkedin group updates for a month.  I have no idea why they seemed like the thing to do at the time i joined those groups.  Maybe part of my initial "SM" strategy to stay connected and informed.  I quickly have discovered that my brain is already too full of interesting but useless information without doing the same thing to my email. 


I wasn't that social to begin with and social media is turning me into a misinthrope.


All i can say about email notifications is..."Go back it's a trick"!

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