LinkedIn epiphanies: the informercial person’s second coming?

If you’re looking for high-quality entertainment based on human frailty, you can’t go past an Informercial mash up.

Here are a series of ordinary events such as garden hose wrangling, trying to hold up a towel, hold a phone to their ear, putting on your socks, and eating crisps that go so wrong for so many innocent people.

Of course, until someone comes along with a revolutionary infomercial solution that completely changes the game, leaving us wondering how we ever lived without it.

It’s essentially people failing at problems no one has to justify some company somewhere inventing a cordless phone bracket for your head. And selling them in a 241 offer, throwing in bath towel tape to keep you un-naked for good measure.


LinkedIn, you’re the informercial person’s second coming

LinkedIn has become a series of over-jubilant people finding themselves in some great epiphany.

I saw someone write with great intensity about how the simple act of making a sandwich had given them a lightning bolt sized insight about their business, for example. As an electrician’s daughter, I immediately assumed something in the kitchen isn’t working quite as it should be rather than the business equivalent of the Jesus toast phenomena.   the famed Jesus who appeared in toast in 2014.

If you can imagine a board meeting where:

·       The Muppets snort cocaine

·       Wash it down with red cordial

·       Proceed with cheerleader practice

That’s the chorus we sing to on LinkedIn now.

Everyone is overcoming a lot. The bar is sinking lower and lower as we proceed. And the education keeps flowing.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good reluctant hero story. Or marketing analogy. But…

A guy announcing his engagement on LinkedIn, and then a segue that into “What getting engaged taught me about B2B selling” is showing that we’re doing our best version of living.  This is currently trending on Threads with hilarious commentary.

Watching everyone trying to manufacture authority by trawling the day-to-day for light bulbs is part of why LinkedIn reeks of hyperbole.

Position of Authority vs Look at Me

I spend a lot of time with my university poetry teacher’s voice in my head screaming:
“Show, don’t tell”.

We’ve caught the reality TV infection. We’re grabbing the popcorn and slinging things together trying to trend ourselves into leadership.

We know how to:

·       Introduce a central character (always ourselves these days)

·       Who faces some turn of the screw moment (the ‘look how far behind I was’)

·       That introduces stress and tension (relatable business drama ahoy)

·       Coming to a wonderful conclusion (pick me)


·       Can someone who struggles with a garden hose lead?

·       Will the person who drops everything when greeted with two hands and three things work under pressure?

·       Do we want a guy who sees commitment as a marketing opportunity?

·       Is the person with the guru’s blueprint going to cope when things don’t go to plan?

·       Should sandwich making honestly be that enlightening?

Are we going a little far down the rabbit hole of disclosure into making a rod for our own backs by seeming excited by unexciting things? Are we so keen to have epiphanies about the things we do, that these epiphanies have lost all meaning?

There’s relatable. And then there’s reaching into hyperbole.

There’s light bulb moments. And then there’s manufacturing epiphany to feed an algorithm.

And there are stories we can tell. But maybe other times they are nonstarters that do better with a little less blazing insight and just staying plain ordinary.

What to do instead

Clearly, LinkedIn and I have a funny relationship. And I am there one minute and gone the next. I know what I should be saying, but rarely do it. So maybe don’t follow me for consistency. But follow me for advice instead. 

But I know what I like to read. And that comes down to:

a)       People who are genuinely sharing to help others

b)       Seeing the best in creative and professional work

c)       Unpacking intriguing and interesting questions

d)       Trying to make workplaces and working less rah-rah and have an honest conversation

e)       Learning new concepts and new ideas

f)         Exploring innovation

g)       Discussing challenges – with more than “pick me, pick me” as the solution

h)       Sharing moments with people who don’t make it all about them all the time

i)          Listening to people who frame the conversation on others, the community, their industry instead of one upping

j)          Hearing from a person’s experience and knowledge without having to manufacture and manipulate it into some big leadership swing

Are you with me? Tell me what you’d love to see more (or less of) on LinkedIn.



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