Stop trying to be liked by everybody

The other day in the LinkedIn universe, Organisational Psychologist, Adam Grant, posted the following:

The goal of social media shouldn’t be to collect likes from strangers. It should be sharing your insights and learning from the wisdom of others.

This was accompanied by an image of a building wall that reads: Stop trying to be liked by everybody. You don’t even like everybody.

A couple of days later, he shared the same in his newsletter. And a couple of weeks later, I shared the screenshot with my network. Boy, it was a hit!

Which makes me wonder — why do we post things and hope hundreds like it, thousands, or even secretly hope that it goes viral? Besides social validation, I think it’s to do with our secret desire to be famous, even if it’s for a mere 15 seconds/minutes/hours/days.

A marketer would see that level of exposure as an opportunity and try to deconstruct the post, reasons, study demography, and aim to replicate using a tried and tested formula. It’s a hit or miss, for the most part, but the “reach” matters to the marketers at the end of the day.

But what about the regular person who wants to share something valuable — a perspective, observation, or something deeply personal? I’ve observed only a fraction of such posts go viral on LinkedIn. Does that mean ones that don’t become a hit aren’t any good? Not at all!

However, the big question is whether that lack of validation discourages the regular folks from sharing their truth with the world. Because if it does, the whole purpose of social media goes down the drain. It will turn into a stupid platform with meaningless motivational quotes and inanely outrageous content that doesn’t have any substance.

Sure, your post might get in front of thousands of people, but do the folks who’re on TikTok or Facebook. What’s the difference? Are you on LinkedIn for entertainment or professional networking?

How can we make networking more useful? Not by sharing yet another motivational quote or content that’s engineered to go viral. (There’s no such thing like that, by the way.) But by sharing your truth. If the folks within your network or outside of it don’t like, love, support, or “care” your post, who gives a damn? And how does it reflect on your identity as a human being?

It doesn’t matter. What does is that you showed up and were courageous enough to speak your truth. But would you?

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