Here comes another of my rants about social media’s so called influencers.
First one was very much about bragging.
This time I’m going to rant about how much they humblebrag, how pathetic it sounds and looks, and how not very influential it is.
First let’s have a look into dictionary.
Humble = modest. (+)
Humblebrag = an ostensibly modest (-)
Ostensibly modest = oxymoron. Moron being key part of that oxymoron.
p.s. Why not use “proud”! (+1) or delighted (somehow +)
There is nothing wrong being proud or delighted with what you may see as your own success!
Let’s go into some details for you to understand what sparked this post.
In recent days I had the unlucky misfortune to come across numerous posts on various social media platforms from so called influencers where they obnoxiously talked about themselves.
“My Huffington Post” got 1 million views in 10 days. So humbled. Here is the link”
“I am so humbled to be part of top 100 influencers on #BigPizza.” (#BigPizza being code word, replace it with whatever you heart desires.)
It got me fed up. Literally.
So I started a conversation on Facebook with some of my friends and although the majority of them agreed with the sentiment, some suggested that it’s sometimes a question of fine lines and personal opinion. Fine with me, so to speak.
So let’s draw some fine lines.
Here are mine:
i) If somebody has to say they’re humble or humbled — they are not!
ii) Not long ago LinkedIn was giving away some awards, a completely insignificant piece of glass, really just a bit of marketing exercise to try to resuscitate a dying patient.
Soon afterwards many of those “humbled” awarded people plastered it (with pictures obviously) all over their Social Media. Acting like Kim Kardashian getting an Oscar.
Reality check dear influencers — this LinkedIn award is important only to you and LinkedIn, keep it to yourself. The one place where you can put it is your professional business page (or LinkedIn profile). If I will look for your credentials, in case I would like to hire your influence — I will check what sort of trophies collects dust on your shelves. I promise!
Reality check no. 2 dear influencers — in the meantime, in Africa, John Doe works his face off 12–16 hours a day so 12 orphans can have water, education or medicine. And he does not post anything of his work on Facebook.
First of all he has no time.
Secondly — it does not cross his mind.
Now tell me who’s humble?
And who’s influential!
iii) Someone suggested people often talk a lot about themselves when they, for example, are excited about projects, a new job or something significant to them and it might be seen as humblebragging. I guess excitement may cause them to post a number of enthusiastic updates on their social feeds. And that’s fine with me. If you are passionate and excited and you talk a lot (probably even too much) about something — you’re just annoying and boring after a while. But you are genuine and people will sense that, they will feel it.
If, on the other hand, you wrap something in fake modesty and keep banging on about how “amazing” you are at your job, and how much you “enjoy running these seminars and workshops and they are oh! sooooo much fun….” — that’s just Super Ego talking, self-promotion, no content, no creativity or decency. And I guess intelligent people feel that too.
Does it make clearer what’s bragging (even if covered with fake modesty) and what’s not!?
I am not going to name or shame anybody, so do not expect clear examples of who I am talking about. You probably see those kind of posts and updates yourself — take your pick.
Also, there is not value in such and I’d rather build people, not destroy them.
Even anger (if I was angry) is an energy you can use for good. And I believe that if you give people rope (social media) they will either climb up or hang themselves. You don’t have to help either of them. You can, but you don’t have to.
Whatever people do — they do it to themselves.
So let’s talk for a moment about those who get the balance of social media right.
By balance of social media — what do I mean?
Someone said that if/when you create good content you gain right to advertise/pitch. I agree.
Q: What’s the ratio?
A: Does not exist. Don’t let anyone fool you into believing 80–20 or 90–10%.
If you have to have any ratio — this is how it works.
If you send me content that will make me lose my breath, if you can make me fall in love with you just by sending one piece of content — I am all yours. Go on! Take all of my money.
But if you keep banging on my door in the middle of the night, if you are standing outside on my freshly mowed lawn and singing songs from the 8o’s — that I like very little — carry on… I am not going to buy anything from you anyway.
And more so — if you keep telling me how great you are because you made some sort of list (that I’ve never heard of or needed) — carry on! You’re good! If you say so! But I am still not interested.
There are a few people I really admire and learn from on Social Media. Those are my influencers, even though some of them don’t know it. And the thing that unites them, something they have in common, is the fact that they don’t talk about themselves.
I wrote about some of them on LinkedIn some time ago, when I was learning about engagement on Social Media. Since then I have added a few names. Like:
What do they talk about then that makes them influencers and role models, real leaders?
They talk about ideas. They promote other people. They support causes. They connect others. They unite networks into communities. This is how you build influence, on Social Media or outside of it. You attract people, you build networks of like-minded and inspired people, and you help turn these networks into communities.
And there is nothing in it for you. Apart from satisfaction of a job well done. And the legacy you will leave behind.
If that sounds like too much or too little for you — go on — keep telling everybody how good and humbled you are. That’s what people will remember about you!