Your eyes fall lazily on every Instapic on your feed, without even a flickering deign to double-tap.
You peruse your Newsfeed on the regular, but only as a voyeur. Considering you don’t “like,” you definitely do not leave a comment. OC? Not from you.
You are an onlooker in the shroud of comments. Users’ vitriol pools into inane buckets of bias. While they bang their keyboards, you listen to their discordant symphony.
You jaunt through public accounts of estranged people and strangers still. All the while your account’s privacy settings keep you secure in an unsearchable corner.
You only comment on so-and-so’s Timeline when you receive an automated birthday prompt.
You are commonly heard saying, “I, like, never check Facebook,” and/or “social media is, like, a total waste of time.”
You can mentally compile a minute-to-minute itinerary for all of your Facebook friends’ daily routines.
“Incognito mode” is your browser’s default setting and also happens to be an integral part of your habitual stalking sessions.
You sardonically scoff at social media users that post and are active online.
According to common sense, if you answered “yes” to 5 or more, you are a lurker. To be honest, that’s alright. There are worse things to be. The good news is you are not alone.
In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all of the content.
This unwritten rule of “90-9-1” describes how most internet users divide their time online. “[The rule] says that 90% of the time we just consume content, 9% of the time we interact with content, and only 1% of the time we actually share something,” says Sheana Ahlqvist, User Experience Researcher at Ph.D. Insights.
It is okay to be an onlooker sometimes but to think that we are quiet and therefore overlooked is wrong. Whether it be by the tech giants that scrounge our data or your empty-nester caregiver, people notice us. Some even care. As long as we are honest and tactful, we can find meaningful engagement in our online lives. We just need a driving impetus to guide us.