Change, Social Media and Fakers

I’m calling you out. Every single one of you.

You’re all liars.

You’re all fakes.

And you wouldn’t know change if it came and slapped you with a wet fish.

Offended? Or at least confused?


I’m just as big a faker as you all are.

We write, in this social space. We pontificate, we hypothesise, we ruminate, and we stroke our own egos.

No one challenges us. Not really. They want to work with us and collaborate to achieve more.


We read, we share, we retweet, and we congratulate.

“Excellent post!”

“Great read!”


But it all means nothing.


You’re lulling yourself into the biggest false sense of security around.

“But it’s being talked about on social meeja, it must be happening somewhere.”

Have you changed because of what you read?

Or are you just motivated that someone has “risen above the noise”?

Yo, I’ll tell you now. My practise is the same as yours.

I use an LMS to administer and book people onto learning sessions.

I divvy out evaluation sheets to keep the powers that be happy.

I walk away so I can fight battles another day.

I favour face to face over online learning.

I write business cases and I write reports.

I’m a cheat.


You know the one’s who are making the difference?

The ones who know there’s a better way and making it happen.

And in all likelihood, they’re not on social media sharing their knowledge.

Not because they don’t want to, but because they’re out there making a difference.


All of us.


Published by

Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

26 thoughts on “Change, Social Media and Fakers”

  1. Wow Sukh! I agree the blogosphere and twittersphere can feel distant, meaningless, non-difference-making…..very, very occasionally. But the things I’ve read, the people I’ve met, the opportunities that have been opened – they’re so very, very real.

    Could we be more challenging of each other? Maybe. But I’ll bet that challenge is happening in real life conversations where honesty and authenticity can be seen & heard and not misinterpreted by the world. And hey, never a bad thing to help others feel better, happier, more able.

    For sure there are lots of people out there making a difference who aren’t on here. Doesn’t make any of us better or worse than anyone else. And doesn’t mean people on here aren’t also making a difference. Do you think you’re not?

    1. Appreciate you taking the time to comment, Helen.

      I’m not arguing against relationships that have been created. Those are good and great, and if social helped them all the better.

      I’m arguing against whether social made a difference to practise?

  2. Except we are the ones in the real world talking & making a difference.

    I like your blog, I do. Because it’s important to challenge what we think of ourselves as we challenge others. I respect your opinion as I hope you’ll respect mine to the contrary.

    But, quite frankly. This is BS.

    I say that because I stood up in front of a group of people I didn’t know this week, with years more experience to challenge and inspire them to make a difference in the world of L&D.

    I was terrified and brave. The people in the social media world offered me support and it meant more to me than you can imagine.

    To say that THIS is fake is insulting. Because all of us are out there making a difference.

    They may be small but ripples create waves.

    1. Really not liking your point here. I accept that challenge is good, embrace it even. However, I don’t think that I’ve ever read a blog and said well done if I’ve not liked the writing. I just move on to the next one. I believe and have witnessed more genuine people on twitter than I’d ever thought possible. Met many new faces, a number of whom I now call friends. So is that fake and am I fake? Absolutely not. Perhaps you’re having a bad day. Big genuine hugs.

      1. Hey Emma, thanks for commenting.

        I’m not questioning how genuine people are – I accept RTs and shares as genuine. I have no reason to mistrust anyone.

        Nor am I questioning friendships made via social.

        I’m questioning if practice was changed because of social. With all the hot air and myths about social, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the hype.

    2. Amanda, I’m not doubting the support received via social. That is special, and I rely on it too. It’s whether or not social made a difference to you making things happen, that’s what I’m arguing.

      In your case I think it’s clear it has seeing as you’re carving a whole thing out of the social experience. I don’t think that’s true of most people.

  3. ‘Great post’ Sukh. I actually tend to think that you are right in a lot that you say and I agree that your practice sounds a lot like my practice.

  4. I wish you hadn’t posted this so late last night. Had my mind more active than it should have been!

    I hear you though and know where you are coming from, but the social world is no more fake than any other group. Those who regularly attend conferences but go back to doing what they always did, are the reason conference agendas over the years have been so slow change and move on. We are all guilty of being a little less challenging and inspired once back in the office. Same goes for the thousands of delegates who will undertake training today and slip back into old ways on Monday.

    Personally, social has taught me more and influenced my approach more than any formal learning I have undertaken. The support and encouragement of others is a big factor. We have more chance of progress as a ‘tribe’ and social can provide the key ingredients for that to happen.

    When I ‘like’ or share something, it is not a commitment to replicate or implement. It is acknowledgment of great writing and thought provoking ideas. It’s encouragement and support.

    By the way, this IS a great post. Not because it will change me, but because it genuinely made me think.

    1. That’s what I’m after, Robert. Thanks for commenting.

      I want to know how social is making a difference, and what it makes you do differently. Business as usual will always happen, but there’s a lot written about how social will change the way we work. And there’s a lot of HR pros trying to make a point but missing so often. That’s what I’m after and you’ve helped give some clarity about your practice being changed.

  5. I know – I’m easily confused, but – what is your point here, other than perhaps to drive traffic to your blog? See – cynicism’s easy, and that doesn’t make it right.

    1. Cynicism is welcome, Doug. There is some truth to that.

      My cynicism is about people’s reactions to social and the promise of change it holds. We can get so caught up in promoting social as a force for good, that we don’t actually change or progress our behaviour.

      Mostly too we’re preaching to the converted in the social space. Katie McNab said it best yesterday when she described social as being an echo chamber.

  6. Most of us won’t know change until we see it in the rear-view and say “What the hell happened there?”

    We work on making change happen over here then we look and realise that a much bigger change happened over there.

    5 years from now, we’ll look and say, “Oh, THAT’S what we should have been focusing on!”

  7. Sukh, can see both perspectives – as someone who uses social media and as someone who is out there doing it.

    In addition to my day job, I volunteer in several areas – serve as a Trustee, chair a business forum to help keep our local businesses and community thriving, host a women’s network to help local women raise and achieve their aspirations, working with our city to crowdsource a values based leadership programme that is free and accessible to all…

    This leaves little time for constant SM engagement. What it does is give me exposure to people I would not normally meet in the day job and an opportunity to influence and use my expertise in different ways to make an impact outside of work.

    I also like to use SM as I find it is an excellent way of sharing info and resources, picking up on new ideas and trends, make new connections, learning….

    For me, it is a bit of both!

    1. Thanks for sharing, Vera. You provide an interesting perspective here about how SoMe can be supportive of your day to day practice, and that’s what I’m trying to understand better.

      I wager,though, that the activities you’re involved in would have happened without social being a presence in your life.

  8. We can all do or say what we like because of the battles other fought for the right to do that. I thank those who have stood up to oppressors and made a stance. Their legacy is our ability to say what we feel, believe in or are driven to.

    We all fake a bit everyday. Some good some not so.

    Whatever we do it for is our own counsel to keep. We have to look ourselves square in the eye and live with our sincerity or “fakeness”.

    Is social driving some kind of “new fake agreeableness”? Maybe. We on here all show up, comment and are judged by them.

    Some self promote; provoke; pulverise.

    Your latter point about heroes NOT on here may be right. They could be fake as hell still for all anyone knows.

    I only give a shit about what I believe in and care about. On here; off here whatever.

    Just because you are on here you are no more or less fake than you let yourself be.

    My view of why we’re on here is to learn. I’m learning my way through life and this “social” has become a huge part of that.

    Fuck all fake in that by my measure of myself but whatever anyone else thinks about me is up to them. Don’t agree with your point but thanks for making me bother to comment.

    I’m me. People can unfollow me if you don’t dig or get me. Fake it or fake off; up to you.

    1. Perry, I really appreciate you taking the time to comment.

      I don’t think there’s anything fake in showing up or in embracing social. It’s the ‘echo chamber’ that I’m rallying against here.

      It can be so easy to get caught up in how social will change things, that it’s hard to know if it’s actually making a difference in people’s lives.

      You, for instance, I know are making a difference with and because of social. That’s where learning for others comes from.

  9. After reading all your replies to the comments you seem to explain really well what you were trying to put across in this blog. Why didn’t you just write it that way? You have spent so much time trying to explain what you meant by the blog through your comments, rather than just write it that way in the first place. Just my thought. I love social media. Yes we may not always go back and create amazing change from what we see/learn from social media. But it doesn’t mean change isn’t happening because of it.

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