The Power of Social Media Persuasion

It is doubtful that by now, you haven’t seen Simon Sinek’s rant On Millennials in the Workplace which has been granted YouTube fame with over six million views. For a while, I saw this rant posted daily on many of my friends’ Facebook feeds with captions stating that Sinek’s depiction of an entire generation as “entitled, narcissistic and lazy” was “right on the money”.

What I find shocking is that Sinek can make simple generalizations about an entire generation and gain so much fame without much of his anecdotal remarks being linked to real research and fact. Sinek states:

  • It’s not Millennials’ fault they are entitled, narcissistic and lazy it’s their parents’ fault
  • Getting participation medals as children has ruined their entire self-worth
  • This generation has lower self-esteem than any other
  • Their addiction to instant gratification has caused them to be impatient and incapable of working hard to attain a long term goal
  • They have no real relationships and don’t know how to have proper interactions with people and form deep meaningful relationships
  • Millennials have no coping mechanisms

My favourite generalization is how Sinek relates the dopamine released by being engaged in social media to alcoholism. Is this guy for real?

Alternatively, you may find Mark Hill’s rebuttal This Millennial Rant Deserves A Trophy For Being Most Wrong to Sinek’s video an interesting perspective and total destruction of Sinek’s demeaning depiction of Millennials as well as how he belittles the real issues that Millennials are faced with. Hill writes: “Well thanks, Simon. Now where’s your pithy solution to the fact that salaries are going down while the cost of health care and education and housing is going up? What bold leadership solutions will help the fact that 40 percent of America’s unemployed are millennials? Social media addiction can be a problem, sure, but that’s like saying the biggest problem on the Titanic was that the food was too salty. Millennials aren’t stressed out because their Facebook posts aren’t getting enough likes; they’re stressed out because the economy is shaky and society’s reaction is “Stop texting so much and learn to love life, you self-centered kids!”

What’s interesting to note is that Hill backs up his statements with facts as you will note in the many live links in his blog whereas Sinek is hailed as an “expert” despite lacking the qualifications and having done the research to back up his statements.

Now, more than ever, we must scrutinize all the “information” that we come across and remember to consider these types of videos and blogs more as opinion pieces rather than gospel.  Social media is a powerful tool that can be used to share factual information to the masses quickly but it can also be a dangerous tool and have negative effects if not properly scrutinized.

The one thing that is obvious is that both Sinek and Hill do a great job in engaging the audience and help elicit a lot of opinion from their viewers.

What’s do you think about the authors’ views on Millennials? Do you agree with Sinek, Hill or both?

Twitter post:
How to label an entire generation in 15 minutes #millennialsmisunderstood

Facebook post:
Social Media is a powerful tool of persuasion. Do you feel Millenials are entitled and narcissitic or just misunderstood? Read more here:


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