My technology coach, Rob Bronson, just showed me a YouTube video from Lisa Nova, the self-proclaimed Twitter Whore. Her videos made my blood boil and compelled me to share my thoughts.
Lisa Nova has created quite a brand for herself. Her videos on YouTube have attracted quite the following. As of March 26, 2010, viewership of Lisa’s three videos are in the millions:
- Twitter Whore – part 1: 1,861,420 views
- Twitter Whore – part 2: 1,069,507 views
On the one hand, Lisa’s videos on Twitter make a powerful point: people are spending enormous amounts of time tweeting about ridiculously things. The need to have followers and to get attention has has risen to new disturbing levels. “Add me” “Love me” “Follow me” “Tweet” – Lisa repeats in her parody videos – is becoming the new social epidemic.
On the other hand, poor Lisa has created a personal brand for herself, one that no doubt will hurt her future career prospects (unless she chooses to stay in the field of soft porn and on-line entertainment). Why on earth would she position herself as a whore in any context? If you think I’m being prudish or over-reacting, check out her other video Sloppy Drunk LisaNova with 7,023,939 views. Would you hire Lisa as an employee in your organization after seeing this video?
Key point #1: you must carefully manage your public persona and use good judgment in what you do and say on-line. It never goes away. It’s a permanent, world-wide record of your credibility and image.
Is it really our intention to get attention at any cost?
In many ways, technology is aiding and abetting misdemeanorsin professionalism. These can have significant career management consequences. No one can refute the power of social media and its growing importance in the way we communicate, connect, promote and get elected. But we must be aware of its shortcomings and dangers.
Social media fills our desires to be in constant touch with others, to be accepted, to be noticed, and to be liked by others. This is especially true amongst young people, who are now growing up with social media as the norm for communication and interaction.
I do worry that the art of conversation and quality communication is being sacrificed for expediency and instant gratification. Technology offers us the ability to communicate to millions, very inexpensively, and instantly. When it comes to communication, what’s more important: quantity or quality? How will this affect our relationships long term?
When I coach professionals in giving high engagement presentations, I urged them to avoid palaver, or idle chatter. This is especially important during the openings and closings of your presentations. In 1:1 conversations, a certain amount of small talk is appropriate to ensure rapport and to make people comfortable with you.
I think it’s safe to safe that there is a great deal of meaningless chatter on these social media sites.
I just checked my Twitter page and reviewed the content uploaded by my “friends and followers.” Some of the tweets had relevant substance (in my opinion), while other tweets were throw-aways, time wasters, meaningless chatter. Here’s an example “Good Morning! Happy Friday All!” While this is a nice thing to say, and I know that you are still alive and kicking, the message lacks substance.
Key point #2: If you don’t have anything meaningful to say on-line, don’t say anything at all.
Now, I know what you are thinking. Meaning, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Who am I to judge what is meaningful to others. Who’s to say that this article is meaningful and worthy of reading or responding to. Certainly, my YouTube videos don’t have nearly as many views as Lisa Novas.
As a fellow motivated leader, I ask you to consider the idea that what you say and how you say it impacts your professional image, reputation and even your outcome. Every time you send out a communication, be thinking about how this behavior and message and style reflects on your personal leadership brand.
Key point #3: Personal vs. public thoughts – discern what’s appropriate
Before you hit that “reply all” button or Tweet something that feels important to you at the moment, stop and ask yourself:
- Is there a better way to respond?
- Is there a more appropriate channel or way to communicate what I need to communicate?
- Should I just let this urge pass me by?
- Is non-response the best response?
Now, the irony of this article is that I fully intend to share it with my friends on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. I’m curious as to what opinions and reactions others have. Does it make your blood boil also? Or should I have just let this one pass me by, saved myself hours in writing and chosen to ignore Lisa Nova and her videos?