Instant Applause vs True Connection

Photo Credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/48540847@N03/11053344696/">Barry.Lenard</a> via <a href=”http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">cc</a>
“There’s a huge difference between the pleasure of instant applause and the long lasting impact of true connection. — Seth Godin”

Instant applause is more accessible than it’s ever been.

  • Take a picture with you kissing a baby and put it on Facebook (something I’ve proven time and again leads to instant applause).
  • Have a professional photographer take an amazing looking headshot and change your profile picture.

Your notifications will be filled with hearts, and likes, and comments.

However, this not only leads to a temporary connection between an artist an audience. It gives the creator a false, highly addictive dopamine fueled sense of accomplishment that doesn’t last. But it’s only in the last 10 years or so since we have democratized the ability to create and broadcast ideas that we have have been conditioned to seek out instant applause. The desire for instant applause keeps people checking their smartphones 100 times a day for a dopamine fix, like a junky seeking heroin.

The long last connection with a small army or tribe will always trump the instant applause from the masses over a long enough timeline.

The pursuit of instant applause shifts our focus from the process to the prize. And building a substantial body of work requires a creator to place priority on a true connection over instant applause.

When you fail to get an instant applause the natural temptation will be to give up on long lasting connection impact of true connection. Resisting that temptation is what separates those who make an impact with their work from the ones who don’t.


I’m the host and founder of The Unmistakable Creative Podcast. Every Sunday we share the most unmistakable parts of the internet that we have discovered in The Sunday Quiver. Receive our next issue by signing up here .