When Facebook Live launched a few years ago we didn’t predict how quickly it would grow. At the time Fidji Simo shared an interesting statistic with me: people who watched live videos watched them for longer than edited ones even though most live videos weren’t watched live. On one hand that make sense as they haven’t been edited as tightly. Still, it struck me that there must be something fundamentally compelling about an unedited experience.
Authenticity has always been important. Humans are relatively allergic to bullshit. That allergy has only increased with the growth of capitalism where deceit bears a real cost. But I would argue the demand for performative authenticity has hit new highs in the last few years.
We are numb after decades of polished speeches, curated documents, and flawless visuals. We demand proof of life from those who wish to speak to us. We want to see their humanity on display.
When I give talks I work hard not to over rehearse. When I write I try not to over edit. Mistakes can make you relatable and recovering from them can get an audience on your side. Showing vulnerability ironically demonstrates that you are strong and confident.