Is “Super Hero” the new “Rock Star” in social media circles?

Is “super hero” the new “rock star” in social media circles? I hope not. I was hoping these terms were fading away. When I see people referring to themselves and others as “rock stars” or “ninjas” it makes me cringe as a professional. You are not a “rock star” unless you are Mick Jagger. Same goes for “guru.” If you aren’t well versed in Hindu teachings then no “guru” title for you.

I’ll be honest I’m an outsider to the social media sub-culture, so I don’t know how this lexicon started nor do I use it. What I do know is it needs to stop. Perception is reality. The words you use to define yourself and others carry weight affecting your interactions with others.  First impressions count.

Social media is maturing. It is now a creditable communications channel used in business and government. Think about it, would you call someone a “super hero” in a business meeting and actually mean it a good way? If you were looking to hire someone and you saw them describe themselves as a “ninja”, what is your first thought? And be honest.

So stop it. It isn’t helping your creditability. Nor the field of social media.

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Ann Marie van den Hurk, APR, is an accredited public relations professional with over a decade experience bridging the gap between traditional public relations and emerging technologies.

  • doughaslam

    People have been using “Super Hero” metaphors in social media guru circles for several years now. I was hoping it had passed its expiration date by now

    • Ann Marie van den Hurk, APR

      I guess bad terms are like cockroaches… they never die it seems. 

  • ShellyKramer

    I feel the same way about “diva” or “maven” anyone who has a business or a social media handle that ends in “licious” and there are many offenders. Makes me crazy when people belittle themselves and the profession they are in with such “cutesy” terms. 

    • Ann Marie van den Hurk, APR

      Agree!!!!! Save cutesy for home not the workplace. And people wonder why they aren’t taken seriously on the workplace. 

      • Ike Pigott

        …or, answering the inevitable question from the spouse and spouse’s said friends, “What is it you *do*, exactly..?”

  • Ike Pigott

    I don’t attach a label, but people in my company call me “guru” a lot. I don’t know where they get it.

    While I would never put it on a business card, the image I use within my mind is “Social Media Sherpa.” A Sherpa helps you reach a higher place than you’d have gone, by showing you the path and even carrying a lot of your load your first times up. It’s more of a service mindset than anything else.

    (I’m not advocating for a switch to Sherpa… Just merely noting that if more of the self-professed Gooroos and Ninjas and Happiness Officers would adopt that perspective, we’d all be better off.)

    • Ann Marie van den Hurk, APR

      I’m cool with “Social Media Sherpa.” And it becomes a trend we can trace it back here. ;0)

  • M Untiedt

    And yet, a lot of social media is between friends, friendly and casual. I think it’s a snob move to look down on all uses of friendly, casual terminology. You have to consider the context. I just called a dear friend a rock star yesterday and I rather resent being smacked by someone on a high, high horse for congratulating her on a big, public accolade she received.

    • Ann Marie van den Hurk, APR

      A good portion of social media is still among friends and is, as it should be, casual. I undestand your point and my language is very different around friends including professional friends. It is more loose and humorous. The point of this post is in regards to the business setting and not belittling what is done in the field of social media. Thanks for stopping by.