Be More Than Fluff

A Short Guide on Giving Feedback on Social Media

Every time I see a post online with 2345 gazzilion comments I am disappointed and rather than be at awe at the virality and success of the post, I look at it for what it is: “fluff engagement”.

From the Kardashians to your local artist the comment sections looks a little like this:

User A: Amazing! ❤
User B: Awesome Work!
User C: Love this 👏
User D: YAAAS Kween/King! ❤ 🙌

While some might argue that this is just a wave of positivity, I think content creators and artists deserve more valuable feedback than just the overwhelming venerating positivity fluff and/or the complete opposite, berating, horrible, day ruining comments. We need to normalize being constructive and purposeful with our interactions or social media will devolve further into just meaningless interactions diverting you from real life. We need to have substance — and be more than fluff. Here’s why.

Content Creators are as Good as Their Followers

A content creator is NOTHING without its following, therefore the feedback and the healthy back and forth conversation is key to transform the interaction and take content to the next level. The creator/follower dynamic should be a symbiotic relationship that is cultivating its own culture and logic.

If we just send out descriptive negativity and all the positivity is fluff without substance, content creators are forced to be defensive and double down on behavior that might perpetuate bad habits and decisions. Part of being a fan is contributing a constructive feed back loop system that continuously elevates the content.

It Helps Solidify the Relevance and Professionalism that the Platform can Provide

If you are the type that uses social media for “networking” or to advance your business and get sales leads, it is important that the platforms you utilize to do this have a degree of professional cred. It would also help justify the hours you spend in there if the engagement and interactions are actually meaningful and not just a giant ego-stroke fest. Social Media platforms are defined by the quality of their interactions — and so promoting more substance and constructive criticism filled interactions allows you to invest the time in these platforms with professional purpose — and not just because you read an article in Medium that said that engagement is king. While engagement is crucial, I’d wager quality over quantity is always best.

It Helps You Understand More Deeply

The act of thinking critically, organizing it in your head and placing it in a sentence helps you become a smarter and better communicator. So there are no downsides in being a more purposeful commenter when in social media. It will also allow to understand your creator more deeply, because you are not just writing it off in your brain as a quick interaction. You are devoting time, effort & energy, allowing your brain to interact with the data for more time. Being more purposeful with your commenting habits will automatically give you more intimate understanding of the creator, better tools of expressions and higher capacity of understanding as you go forward.

How To Criticize?

That could be a whole other article in itself. And you know what? It will be. Stay tuned! But for now, let’s break it down some critical questions:

1- What was good about the post?
2- What was bad about it?
3- How could it be improved?

Then comes sentence structure,
[Good] + [Bad] + [How it could be improved] + [End on a positive note]

Preface with the good to get them excited about the post, hit them with the bad, but never without offering suggestions or solutions, and then — always end on a positive note, to soften the blow or to simply let them know that you mean nothing of it personally, just some constructive criticism.

It’s important to note that some people are horrible at receiving criticism, but that doesn’t mean they should be shielded from it. In fact, the shielding is what got them to be so bad at it in the first place. So do them a favor and be honest — your thoughts matter, and you shouldn’t dishonor your capacity of critical thinking by constantly commenting fluff.

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Architectural design practitioner on my way to licensure. In a quest to find my voice in a noisy world.

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Andrea Arias

Architectural design practitioner on my way to licensure. In a quest to find my voice in a noisy world.