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I'm Not Crying - You're Crying!
A lesson in authenticity
If this week's Crying CEO of LinkedIn debacle was just a cringe-worthy event for you, then you probably spent a lot less time thinking about it than I did - bravo. It wasn’t the worst post I have ever seen on Linkedin. Yet the reaction was so strong. At first I couldn’t understand why? How? What was it about this post that drove so much reaction?
Well, it all comes down to one thing in my mind - authenticity.
The thing is - people know authenticity when they see it; they can feel it and sense it. People are drawn to authentic people; they are refreshing and honest and beautiful.
People also know when they see someone faking it. Like an animal smelling fear. And if you are faking it - people will react harshly. Why? It makes people feel like you are trying to manipulate them, leveraging a fake tactic to play on their emotions. No one likes to be manipulated.
So in a world where every other person is slinging an e-book with THE formula for growing your audience, and algorithms reward formats over substance, something sad is happening.
People begin to follow frameworks and back their thoughts and content into them just to try and drive engagement. A few more likes, a few more clicks. And along the way, everyone’s content ends up all feeling the same. Void of personality and void of authenticity.
A beautiful world where unique thoughts and opinions were expressed in ways as unique as the people thinking of them has now morphed into a world of boring, uninspiring and shallow formats. People following the latest and greatest framework and occasionally ending up as a meme in the process.
They forget that the uniqueness of the content they create has nothing to do with frameworks and formats. It has to do with them. They are the uniqueness - their perspective, their authenticity, their honest opinions. The one element no one else in the work can replicate. So why in the world would you ever give that away just to follow a framework for engagement?
What you are stripping from your content in doing that is worth far more than the few extra likes.
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