Online Opinions: Quite Often What We Think and Share is Rubbish

By The Cog Blog Archives
Cover image for  article: Online Opinions: Quite Often What We Think and Share is Rubbish

Anyone who ever glances at Linkedin will know that in amongst the recruitment requests, the company updates, the PR boasts and the occasional useful link are numerous thought pieces telling us all how to do our jobs better.  If there’s one thing the online world has given us it’s the wherewithal to share our photos, our thoughts and our opinions with those choosing to follow us. Sadly, at the same time this privilege has it seems also robbed us of any sense of self-awareness, common sense and humility.  Everything we think, can be shared. If it can be shared, it must be shared.  The problem is that quite often what we think is rubbish.

Sometimes it’s ill-informed. Sometimes it’s self-justification. Sometimes it’s best kept to ourselves. And yet we go ahead and put it up there anyway.  It seems that seeing a thought in print imbues that thought with some gravitas, some respectability.

Here are some wonderful examples from some of those I follow -- with my off-the-cuff, un-researched comments. I’ve anonymized them.

  • “It’s not the big fish that eats the little fish; it’s the fast fish that eats the slow fish.” No it isn’t. Some fast fish are very fast, and very small. Some very big fish are very slow. However fast the small fish are they aren’t going to eat a far bigger fish. Trust me.
  • “The blue unicorn effect.” The point the writer was trying to make was that blue unicorns are rare.  No they’re not. Unicorns of any color are not so much rare as mythical. 
  • “Your social feed should tell a consistent and authentic story about who you are and what you care about.”  No kidding. Did anyone ever really think that being totally inconsistent and inauthentic was ever going to work?
  • “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Sometimes LinkedIn resembles an electronic version of those naff motivational posters only ever seen in poster shops and U.S. airlines’ in-flight shopping catalogues.

It’s also true that LinkedIn (and similar sites) gives a platform to those wishing to share the bleeding obvious. Like the post I saw last week suggesting that agencies and clients are better off working collaboratively.  Or the one stating that after months (or even minutes) of thinking about it the author had concluded that the basic principles of commercial communication apply equally to those planning online media forms as to those old gits plugging away planning old-style “soon-to-be-dead” media forms like TV.

All of this is pretty harmless, just as long as those doing the reading set these “insights” into context.  We are an industry far too obsessed with the short-term and the latest gadget, gizmo, post and press release.  Even when we know full well that the facts and the evidence point in a different, less glamourous direction we still latch on to the latest thing.

I miss editors, I really do!

The opinions and points of view expressed in this commentary are exclusively the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, Inc. management or associated bloggers.


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