Is this heaven?

A song by comedian Bo Burnham starts like this:

An open window

A novel, a couple holding hands

An avocado

A poem written in the sand

Fresh fallen snow on the ground

A golden retriever in a flower crown

It seems like a collection of random, idyllic images. It’s only in the chorus that it becomes clear what those images have got to do with each other.

Is this heaven?

Or is it just a white woman’s Instagram?

I can work with that. 😉

On social media, we often show an idealized reality.

You don’t share that your mud-legged golden retriever just soiled your couch, or that you no longer have the concentration for a thick novel.

The same goes for professionals and organizations: they also usually present an idealized version of themselves. They show how good and successful they are.

Does that work?

Certainly not always.

We might be impressed by the white woman on Instagram. But we don’t feel a strong connection with her.

For that reason, it’s interesting not only to communicate about the things you’re good at, but also about your doubts, problems and shortcomings. In a presentation, for example.

That’s scary and requires a lot of fine-tuning.

If you do it carefully, your audience won’t think of you as a loser. They will think of you as human, reliable and sympathetic.