There’s a style of
writing content-ing that makes me grumpy. It’s all over social media, but worst on LinkedIn.
Posts that communicate almost nothing, but are carefully crafted around the arbitrary rules of the all-powerful algorithm.
They are not made because the writer has something to say, but because they crave engagement. Engagement for its own sake is like the Ouroboros consuming its own tail. Feeding attention to attention-seekers to get more attention to feed attention-seekers so you can get more attention.
If you have something to say, say it. “Write the truest sentence you know” as Hemingway (I think) put it. And say it in the truest way you can.
Studying the intricacies of the algorithm so you can feed it sacrifices and hope it is pleased feels vacant and servile.
Virality is fun, engagement is fun, playing with the rules of the game is fun, dancing with your audience is fun, but only when you have an idea you want to share. Only when you have something to say.
Sharing for the sake of sharing to get attention for the sake of attention is a sickness. It’s devolving humanity into dopamine receptor powered automatons, salivating at the ring of the algorithm created by some half-hearted engineer buried in the guts of some confused tech giant.
What substrate do you want to build the bones of your ideas on, and what to give them flesh? Social media is a fine platform for this. But when you stop building on top of it and instead feed your empty words into its gaping maw for nothing but a heart emoji, something has been lost.
Don’t simp the algo. Say something.