Inspiration Schminspiration

So, inspirational quotes on social media. How do you feel about them?

You know the kind of stuff I mean about meeting challenges, and finding opportunity in adversity, never accepting failure and being an inspiring leader. That kind of stuff. If they are in quotation marks, then they are mostly by people I’ve never heard of.

The problem with most quotes found on the internet is that they are not trueWhen you encounter them on social media, what is your reaction? If you are like me, you may roll your eyes and scroll on past. But still they keep coming. Day in, day out.

So this got me to wondering. Why do people keep on posting them? Do others really get something out of them that I am missing? Or are we all secretly hating them but saying nothing out of politeness?

A straw poll amongst my social media contacts revealed a categorically negative response to the question: How do you feel about motivational quotes on social media? Some responses included:

  • “I wish to stab the poster with my pen”
  • “Show me stuff! Support me! Give me guidelines. Look at my work and tell me what I’m doing well/need to work on. Don’t fob me off with silly platitudes”
  • “It just seems so fake to me. I’d rather practical, usable examples than waffly bulls**t nonsense!”

Trust me – those are the printable ones!

And it seems we are not alone. A recent study by PhD candidate Gordon Pennycook indicates that these quotes are not effective in hitting the right spot with the right people (read more about his study here ) and that their impact can often be negative.

The trick to great social media content is to present your audience with engaging information that gives them something that is relevant to them, that they can use, think about and respond to. Even if it’s something they don’t agree with, at least they have engaged with it. Surely a quote from a stranger with vague platitudes is the antithesis of that – bland, generic and ignorable.

So next time you read one of these quotes and wonder why you are not as deep and meaningful as you’d like to be, just remember,

aXm1734xjU  Deep isn’t it? It’s an inspirational quote. By me. You’re welcome!  You can make your own deep and meaningfuls on the website IspiroBot. You’re welcome!

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