Hyperbole is the Worst Thing in the World…Ever

The bloggers and Tweeple I find most interesting, credible and persuasive are those who communicate from a position of confidence and genuine subject matter authority (not the Twitter “I have a lot of followers” faux authority). That is why I cringe when people claiming to be social media “experts” overuse words and phrases like “amazing” and “I was blown away.”

Really?

It seems to me that experts should be able to take in stride most new ideas, information and experiences, reserving expressions of wonder and awe for the profoundly moving, revelatory or miraculous — rare occurences indeed. “Amazing” is a word best reserved for magicians at children’s birthday parties and hucksters shilling chamois cloths.

A single word or short phrase is certainly useful and sometimes necessary for prefacing a retweet, but if you feel strongly enough about something you viewed or read to share it with your fans/followers, then show them the courtesy of taking a few moments to articulate a clear reason why you’re recommending it — or at least choose a few words that aren’t rhapsodic-sounding but meaningless throwaway lines.

Excessive use of hyperbole and superlatives can make you look like:

  1. You’re cynically sucking up,
  2. You’re credulous and easily impressed,
  3. You’re trying to get a follow back,
  4. You’re a lazy speaker or writer, or
  5. You think your followers are suggestible bobbleheads.

If that’s what you’re going for and it works, good for you. But my hunch is that you’re alienating some people in the process. Me for one.

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