Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

Is Your Social Media Bio All Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing? Here's How to Change It.

Is Your Social Media Bio All Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing? Here's How to Change It.

Is you social media bio all sound and fury signifying nothing? It might be if it reads, at any point, "I am passionate about X". 

Cut emotional words like "passion" and "passionate" out of your bio if you are talking about professional skills.

Why should you cut words like "passion" and "passionate" out of your bio? Emotionally loaded words don't tell us anything:

  1. Saying your are passionate does not actually make anyone believe that you feel so strongly about what you do, and
  2. how you feel about what you do does not tell us that you are either competent or any kind of authority.

Are you fervid about X? Intense or vehement? Quick to temper? Ardently sexual? This is what passion refers to when it's used properly, and it's not something most people actually want either at the office or during a friendly twitter chat. Check out its comparative options in a thesaurus, and you'll see how poor a fit it is.

"Passionate" has become lazy shorthand for "I want you to think I like what I do, but I don't know how to sell it to you". It's the equivalent of "long walks on the beach" on a dating site profile. Plus, there are millions of people who say they are passionate about things that they don't do very well or even understand in depth. Just take a look at all the passionate SEO experts out there. No one's buying what you're selling just because you say you have a passion for it.

But what can you say instead that will express both your authentic interest and at least hint at your decent grasp of the skill?

Rather than writing "I am passionate about SEO", write "I am an SEO specialist because visible content is powerful content."

See how that works? Now we both care. 

Tell us how what you do relates to us, the people to whom you are trying to appeal, not how it circles back to you. Make us a part of the loop. When you give a practical and meaningful reason that applies to what others might need from you, people are more convinced of both your competency and your feeling for your work, no steamy windows required.


UPDATE: If you are familiar with the soliloquy from Macbeth I am referencing with "sound and fury signifying nothing," you may remember the part just before this phrase that reads "told by an idiot". I DID NOT MEAN TO IMPLY THAT ANYONE IS AN IDIOT.

Aidan pointed out the allusion to me after I had already published and spread this piece around on the internet. Oops. This is why editors are good.

Here is the Macbeth soliloquy in question:

She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing. 

Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28)

 

Five Star's 280th Great Blog Roundup Is Brought to You By Susan Rieger

Five Star's 280th Great Blog Roundup Is Brought to You By Susan Rieger

Grace in Small Things No. 527

Grace in Small Things No. 527