And enough with the ‘awards’ business.
How did we ruin an excellent professional network by turning it into yet another vanity outlet? Agencies are to blame.
You scroll through your LinkedIn feed and almost every brand or person you see is proud, thrilled, excited, or delighted to announce something big. In most cases, it’s just pretense. That award is just pay-for-play and doesn’t mean anything. That reported figure is cherry-picked from a bunch of figures that aren’t actually good. Those posts on social causes and awareness days are just virtue signaling divorced from reality.
In the long gone days before social media, getting a story out in public was a much more difficult task. Decent journalism was built on truth-seeking and did not entertain self-reported delusions. Even paid advertorials could not involve much bragging.
But now with social media, everybody has a voice and can say whatever they want. It’s revolutionary. Yet what people choose to do with this power is pretend to be something they’re not and seek fake attention.
When brands got in on the bandwagon, they were ill-advised by their consultants and agencies on what content they should put out. Agencies come from a peer-pressured world with no skin in the game. Awards, show-off, and self-aggrandizing talk are the only kind of tricks they have in their books to prove their existence. Unfortunately, they advised their clients to do the same. The result: platforms like LinkedIn have become like one big charade, riddled with cringe-worthy content and devoid of any authenticity.
What happened to being humble and vulnerable? Can we not tell a story as it is without lies or exaggerations? Are we as humans not stimulated by that anymore?
If you find yourself guilty, we invite you to stop and change course. Start seeing vulnerability as a strength. Start admiring the beauty of being grounded in reality and stating the facts. Drop the filters and effects.
You can even write about mistakes and the learning you got from them. It takes courage, but real people will appreciate you for that.
Let the purpose of most of the content you share be about giving value to the reader, no matter how big or small.
Talk about the things that matter and show gratitude and appreciation for the people behind the stories.
Of course, you can be proud, excited, thrilled, and delighted, but only when you genuinely feel so. Congratulate yourself when congratulations are due. We’ll be the first to genuinely applaud for you.