As I drove home from work at 10:30 last night, I was passed by four motorcycles going between 90 and 100 mph, based on the fact that I was driving at highway speeds and they left me behind like I was standing still. It was astonishing to imagine four young lives putting themselves so needlessly at risk. I was reminded of a scene from the TV Show “ER” in which Nurse Hathaway is patching up a macho biker who’d taken a spill. She asked him if he knew what they called motorcycles in the ER; “Donorcycles”. He laughed and said, “Donorcycles…I like that.” Hathaway responded with no humor, “You would.”
As my mind continued to drift along these lines, I remembered something the late great Paul Harvey said during his news show many years ago. We like to think, when we reach the end of our lives, that our bodies have just worn out. But in reality, we actually rust out instead of wear out. Cigarettes, alcohol, poor eating habits and lack of exercise all tear our bodies down prematurely.
I was listening to a discussion on the local NPR about a year ago and the comment was made that we are afraid of sharks and lightening but what we should really fear is french fries and cheese burgers. Very few people die from sharks or lightening but millions die each year from obesity and heart disease.
In one of the greatest marketing books written in recent years, “Made to Stick” the story is told of an effort by the Center for Science in the Public Interest to change the practice of using coconut oil for popping popcorn in movie theaters. After many efforts to get the message across, only one message actually drove the point home and made a difference. They showed three meals: bacon and eggs, Big Mac with fries and a steak dinner. Then they showed a medium size popcorn topped with butter. The popcorn had more fat than a whole day’s worth of high fat meals. That started the groundswell to get coconut oil removed from movie theater popcorn.
What do these four stories have in common, apart from the fact that they are all health related? They all have the sticky message that “Made to Stick” discusses.
Donorcyle…rust out, not wear out…fear cheeseburgers, not sharks….one box of popcorn has more fat than a typical bad American diet… these message stuck with me for years.
What does this have to do with finding a job via social media? Too many times we waste our social media profiles with trivia. Tell me quickly what you do very well and grab my attention. “SQL server super geek” is much more useful than “Devoted father of 3 rowdy boys.” “Eat, drink and breathe SEO” is much more compelling than “Digital marketing fan.” “Certified Guerrilla Marketer” catches my attention more than “MBA, humorist and friend to many.”
Get on with it and give me that sound bite that makes me remember you. For more information, take a look at this previous post: What I Learned from an Arrogant Doctor