What I had for breakfast

by Eric Samuels

I vividly recall a conversation with a friend back when I first got into the radio broadcasting business. “I can’t stand listening to those DJs anymore” he said. “I couldn’t care less what the guy had for breakfast, I just want to hear music.”

A few weeks ago, I had a quasi-flashback when conversing with someone about social networking, to which he responded “I can’t stand all this garbage on Twitter and Facebook. I couldn’t care less what someone had for breakfast…”

Two comments, several decades apart, about two entirely different mediums, conveying the same sentiment.

In the decades I spent in the radio business, I encountered countless similar negative comments towards on-air hosts from friends, radio station listeners, and countless research/focus groups. Yet one of radio’s most endearing qualities can be the on-air personalities, when they truly connect with the listener and enable a radio station to transcend the role of jukebox.

Having said that, I would also agree, that for many, many reasons (more than enough to fill a year’s worth of blogs), much, if not most of the spoken word content on radio, is absolute drivel that fails to connect with anyone.

Similarly, in the world of social networking, there is compelling content and then there is everything else.

I have always likened it to the sound made by adults in Peanuts cartoons. Most of what we read and hear is little more than the communication equivalent of white noise. But to dismiss an entire medium because some or even most of its content is not relevant or of low perceived value is to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.

Besides, a truly great communicator should be able to knock your socks off recalling what she had for breakfast!

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