I’ve always found it pretty interesting that the interest we have on our CEOs being on Twitter is largely based on them being previously unavailable. That ambiguity, that “what are they really like” feeling that leads to them becoming quasi-celebrities, is a big part of what draws people in. Same with celebrities; no matter how cool he really is, the more you know Ashton Kutchener, the more normal he is.
Basically, if we knew them, we wouldn’t care. The more you can get of someone, the more normal they seem. This much is obvious.
Here is where the study comes in. Apparently being too available makes you boring, but making yourself only a little accessible makes you interesting. It’s a fine line to draw. What can we learn from it?
Hugh McGuire said: “Don’t blog to be known– blog to be knowable.” So we should learn to express ourselves, particularly our quirks but also what makes us similar to others, in order to be seen as “like them” but interesting and funny enough to be different.
But something happens when people cross that line.
You can experience this yourself if you like by replicating something that happened to me a few years ago while watching a Tony Robbins talk. I didn’t know a lot about the guy when I watched his TED video, but I remember thinking “Wow! This is a smart guy.” So I went looking around a bit.
Go ahead and watch the video now, and then keep reading.
Way later, I was surfing through Charlie Rose videos and came across an interview with him again. I watched it, and my feelings were transformed.What does this mean? Well, first, I think it’s pretty clear that Robbins scripts pretty much everything– either that or he’s so practiced at it that it just rolls out.
But the fact that the story was told the exact same way means that my feelings changed a lot… and I somehow grew to respect him less. I now felt like it was theater, and slightly cheated.
Interesting, isn’t it?
This blog post has nothing to do with Tony Robbins specifically; I still have a ton of respect for where he’s gotten and how he got there. But it does have to do with how we feel about someone the more we get to know them.
Look, no one is funny all the time. No one has that many good jokes. So maybe that scarcity is a good thing– creating a good impression, but only often enough to be remembered.
Then again, I could be totally off. Am I?