Be Careful What You Read

I’ve been feeling quite intrigued by the concept of ‘whatever you read will influence the way you think‘ lately.

Whatever we’re reading, watching or internalizing in any other way, is of massive influence to us. We tend to perceive any first time knowledge as truth, especially when it’s presented to us by either an ‘authority’. Whatever that may be: A person, company or a well presented product.

It can be blog posts (like this, ironically), people you’re following on social media, or books. It’s good to remain sceptical. And to be able to be sceptical, you have to understand what is going on.

After all, things are only true if we believe them to be true and until proven otherwise (flat earth for example, although that raises another really interesting subject. Facts can be denied¹).

There is this effect called the illusory truth effect. If information is repeated often, people perceive it to be true regardless of the actual truth. We tend to think: I’ve seen this information several times now so it is likely to be true.

Especially when the repeat information is delivered by other sources than your first source. It triggers confirmation bias, which sort of strengthens your perception of the information presented to you.

We tend to seek for information that confirms what we know, rather than challenge it. And that’s not all. As it turns out, repeated information is shared with others more.

This means that if you share some content and repeat it now and then, more people will believe it to be true, and the more people read your content over and over, the more they will share it. In effect, your content is spreading like wildfire.

Marketeers use this a lot as well. That’s why distribution is so important in marketing. For your product to be noticed by people, it helps if you show it a lot on different channels.

Since a lot of the internet we use is owned by one of three parties (Alphabet, Amazon, Meta), it is likely that we see a lot of content if their marketeers have spent enough time and effort to promote it on these platforms. Be it through ads or content.

I think it’s one of the reaons why some people grow so fast. They understand the power of distribution to the sense that if you are visible on many platforms with engaging content, and – of course – repeat yourself, people tend to see experience your message as truth.

Interesting no? Writing it down in this way has made it click for me. I always thought: you should make a lot of bite sized content for all platforms if you want to grow a lot on social media. And you have to make original content every time.

But if you look at it thoroughly, most of the people you know through the internet are repeating themselves in one way or another. Right? And by doing so, they reinforce your perception of truth of whatever they’re saying.

So that seems like the ‘growth hack’ on social media in a nutshell. Make simple content. Distribute on lots of platforms. Repeat your message over and over. People will see it. People will follow you. Your accounts will grow.

And the crazy part is that having shitty looking content could even make you seem more authentic. I’d love to dive into that feat later on.

Build a personal brand that really suits you.


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