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Do #Inspirational #Quotes Work for You?

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Inspirational quotes

If you’re on Social Media, you’ve seen those– Inspirational Quotes meant to lift you up, or your day, if you so choose.

In the internet glut of images and words, some tend to stand out, and yes, I do share them on Twitter or Google+ or  Facebook, and yep, now Pinterest, from time to time.

With apps on phones and tabs, it’s easy to create a collage, edit a picture, slap on a quote and let it loose in the cyber world, leave it to flutter or sink, as it will. I’m guilty of a few of those– yesterday I made one of those quote + picture thingammyjigs on Amlokiblogs. And to the left, you can see a drawing I’d scribbled some time back, and added a quote to.

I often wonder, though, whether some of the quotes make any sense. Maybe they’re too glib, facile, and sometimes, overstated, even. I found this sentiment reflected in this article:

Inspirational quotes cross the bounds of class and taste. It’s true they are vented freely on The Apprentice where “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”. (That’s the candidate Ella Jade Bitton.) But they also colour political discussion. The Scottish yes campaign cited the supposed Gandhi quote, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” You can buy inspirational quotes in the New York Public Library shop, see other people’s favourites on Goodreads. Inspirational quotes were even on billboards at the Frankfurt book fair – “because you can’t buy happiness but you can buy a book”. Congratulations if you make it home tonight without seeing an inspirational quote. You will probably find all the ones you avoided, photographed by your friends and posted on your Facebook wall.

Inspirational quotes operate as currency on social media – not only in terms of the way their wisdom is handled and passed on, but because motivational tweets have become a key indicator of a person worth following. In 2013, Forbes ran a list of the most influential people on social media. (There is no escape: clicking that link will activate a pop-up “Quote of the Day”. Enjoy!) Haydn Shaughnessy compiled the data, and noticed that the most influential people on Twitter offered a stream of motivational content. “When we looked at leading social media influencers in 2012, they were all people who created a lot of content. By 2013,” he says, “it was much more likely that a top influencer would be tweeting inspiration instead of creating separate content. The reason? People probably don’t read content anyway, they just share it.”

I don’t know if I would stop sharing inspirational quotes, or even posting them from time to time. Who doesn’t need a dose of positivity every now and then? But I think I would hold back a little– anything, even goodness, when taken to the extreme, has its disadvantages. Saccharine, asinine, isn’t where I want to go.

What about you? Do you read Inspirational Quotes? Do they inspire you? Or do they annoy you just that little bit sometimes?



Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • I have a whole folder on my phone full of quptes, but not just inspirational ones. A lot of the inspirational quotes I see in my newsfeed are 1-dimensional and contain spelling and grammar errors. Many are religious. I avoid those, and instead stick to well-written, universally-appropriate quotes.

  • oshrivastava says:

    Reblogged this on oshriradhekrishnabole.

  • irmantasrei says:


  • I never seek out inspirational quotes and often find them annoying if they’re thrust at me. If they appear in context, though, in something I’m reading or in conversation, then it’s worthwhile. I suspect that inspirational quotes are, as you suggest, a marketing tool, which I dislike on principle, and I’m also guessing that if someone’s putting out 365 quotes a year, they couldn’t possibly have the time or interest in thinking about what they’re saying.

  • djokedjack says:

    I think for people keep share the inspirational quote, because i believe there must be one person at least read the inspirational quote and get the spirit from that quote.
    I also get spirit from the quote my friends share, eventhough i seldom read it because there are so many inspirational quotes nowadays in social media

  • Lianne D says:

    I love inspirational quotes! Coz they perk me up and inspire me. If htey dont zi let it pass but dont get annoyed. Someone, somewhere, a person or life might be saved because of them. We never know.. 🙂

  • Inspiration quotes are everywhere, even many people keep sharing it on Facebook and Twitter. I like reading those quotes and inspirational lines, but only to use it in my writing somewhere. When I am down and upset, I usually look back in time and that inspires me to move forward, no matter what the challenges are.

  • Thank you for liking “First Snow.” Interesting post! 🙂 I like seeing inspirational quotes on other people’s blogs. Sometimes they cheer me up or encourage me not to give up. However, I mainly use factual quotes on my own blog, especially for posts that involve historical sites, natural phenomena, or geographical locations.

  • I do!!

  • I do like the quotes, and I’m surprised how often they fit what I need (perhaps I shouldn’t be — with the glut out there, one is bound to be relevant.) The ones I get most tired of are of the “chin up” variety—sometimes I think we need to quit being so chirpy and let people mope a bit, at least until it feels right for them.

  • Sometimes they resonate; sometimes they annoy. It depends on my mood of the moment and my preferences. Enjoy your day.

  • FarmerFi says:

    Sometimes I come across one that seems in tune with how I happen to be feeling. Mostly though, I kind of zone out when I see them. I tend not to follow accounts on twitter that only tweet this sort of thing.

  • jmsabbagh says:

    Awesome post.Regards.

  • It depends on my mood, the quote, and whether or not the quote was mis-attributed to George Carlin. Some make me angry, some make me happy and inspired, others make me think, still others make me think, “just because a four-year-old says something doesn’t mean it’s deep.”

    • I stand corrected and surprise . I wrote earlier that I generally despise them as silly pap to increase post counts but it looks ss if some people actually enjoh the .

  • For me, Inspirational quotes alone, without context or used to sell products are just creepy and flat-out uninspiring. Quotes from a poet in subject with a great poem can be illuminating. For example, Charles bukowski’s ‘So you want to be a writer’
    when it is truly time,
    and if you have been chosen,
    it will do it by
    itself and it will keep on doing it
    until you die or it dies in you.

    there is no other way.

    and there never was.

  • lexacain says:

    I really like inspirational quotes. They let you know you aren’t alone. I recently put a bunch on a blog post and asked readers which one they liked the most. They ended up liking different ones, and I was reminded how different people need different things at different times.

  • I read them. Sometimes they could be a real nice pick me upper. But many a times I read them and go – really? Isn’t that just good common sense!

  • Dawn Gena says:

    When I run across a really good one I share it everywhere. I like the ones that seem timeless. The ones said or written many years ago but could have been quoted yesterday because of their relevance to today’s situations.

  • says:

    Not exactly.. It inspires me sometime but just that. It doesn’t lift me up. I think I need more than just a quote to fire my spirit.

  • I send out one per day at work. People seem to like them. I find them thought provoking at times.

  • Too many are like overeating and give you indigestion. I don’t mind bumping into one perhaps once a week… so long as I can relate to it. I still think Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata contains as much wisdom as I can accommodate and still reads true 30 years after I first read it.

  • I usually roll my eyes when I come across these inspirational quotes … but then on the very odd occasion one does kind of get to me!
    Really enjoyed checking out your blog. Feel free to have a look at ahouseofbooks – it is very new so I welcome the feedback of a more experienced blogger!

  • randee says:

    They mostly annoy me because it’s too steady of a stream. They also annoy me because sometimes I say to myself, “That’s a good one; I’m going to remember that one'” but I never do.

  • I haven’t found any quotes that annoy me yet. Thanks for this informational blog.

  • I love quotes! I create some myself. I’ve been wanting to know how I can create the quotes with pictures thingammyjigs. Please let me know.

  • Whilst I enjoy sharing inspirational quotes that resonate with me, I have de-Followed all but one on Twitter. I don’t want to share them just to increase Followers/Friends; I don’t want to dilute their Power.

  • Inspirational quotes indees do good to your spirits. But after some time, you get to see many such happening in the social media that nothing gets registered in the mind. Have you experienced this ?

  • thortonjakes says:

    Great topic! Thanks for starting this discussion.
    Yes, I find quotes to be entertaining, and sometimes inspirational. It’s fun to stumble upon a gem of a quote. On the other hand, I think that posting a quote has become a trite cultural norm for social media. Unfortunately, it seems like it is used most often as a quick and dirty way to make oneself appear thoughtful and sagacious. Rather than posting one-liners from literature and history, wouldn’t it be much more worthwhile to post content worth quoting?

  • I like inspirational quotes and will share a few. They can brighten a dull day or mood, and offer encouragement.

  • I suppose it’s like with anything else – too much of a good thing loses some of its impact. I enjoy inspirational quotes from time to time and even pass a few on, but I also gloss over many of them when they become like ads and that’s all I see. If all it takes is a click of a mouse and a share to become influential, maybe we need to reevaluate a few things.

  • Sometimes I find a quote amusing, interesting or thought provoking, but my mind tends to run off in its own direction, growing more irritated the more of them I see. It’s not the content that bugs me, it’s the mindset that seems to go with it (especially on most social networking sites, where you see the greatest glut of them): “If I do nothing but randomly spout pithy ‘wisdom’ and arcane sayings, then I’ll seem deep, interesting and emotional, and people will like and respect me!”

    Unfortunately, given the statistics mentioned here, and general personal experience from watering the interwebs, they’re right. :/

  • I do read them and the ones I relate too I like! jackie

  • Can I say that this bugs the shit out of me? But I wonder how much this reflects the overload of poor content? Or just a lack of time to read content. And is it me or is it fantastically ironic that the top media ‘influencers’ simply regurgitate the wisdom (or lack) of other people? It seems then that the shortest path to influencer status is being the best at hitting the share button. But this is is instructive to blog writers who want more exposure as I do. The title of your piece is probably more important than the topic when it comes to grabbing attention and shares. Its not exactly on topic but Tim Ferris interviews Maria Popova in one of his podcasts and they talk at length about the importance of content over SEO and marketing conditions.

  • I was supposed to be rich and famous by 20 – I’m 31 years passed meeting my goal 😉 I keep two sources of great inspiration on my studio desk – A book titled “Late Bloomers,” and a quote by WInston Churchill – “Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”

  • uniqusatya says:

    I dont particularly go and read them,but when come across few remarkable one,love to pass them on and take its learnings but most of the others do annoy me cos all those flowery quotes have lost their place in this tough world 😉

  • The only blog that inspires me is that by Mr Wilde:
    “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation”
    As such, I prefer to forge my own path rather than project quotes from others as an explanation of my journey.

  • wgr56 says:

    I hate to admit it, but for me when it comes to inspirational quotes, much depends on who said it. While it’s true that unknowns can spew forth pearls of wisdom, I find that I just don’t pay as much attention as when a quote comes from someone famous. I do love quotes, and have often gone looking for them to support something or other that I’m trying to write, but usually I’ll search for a name first, as in “Bob Dylan quotes” or “W.C. Fields quotes” rather than searching for all quotes on a particular theme, like “quotes about butterflies.” Maybe I’m missing out by doing that way, but I find that I’m quite attached to placing the who before the what.

  • Wonder Woman says:

    I love inspirational quotes. Change always happens from the inside out so if inspirational quotes further that change I think it’s a good thing. I must admit that at the start of a New Year it can get a bit annoying because everyone on every social media platform is spewing them out. They lose power sometimes when there are everywhere but they work.

  • Inspirational Quotes inspire me


  • I don’t mind quotes or mantras on social media as long as they make sense. The ones that are like “girls who wear heels throughout their lives will stand up taller than some”. Well, yeah. Literally. But standing tall isn’t always a literal thing…

  • Birgit says:

    people can criticize everything even when things are good. I love quotes and if a person doesn’t like them…don’t read them! I say to all these critics “stop the madness and, for once, will you just like something just because it is nice” 🙂

  • Peter Nena says:

    There are some that genuinely uplift the spirit. Some others, however, are but a jumble of words constrained to achieve meaning, though sophistic. Superficial statements bordering on delusion.

  • davidprosser says:

    Occasionally I will see something that is uplifting or maybe that motivates me but in truth it’s something I just generally like and move on from. I’m reluctant to share them as I am often bombarded with the same one five or six times a day and don’t want to do that to someone else.
    Different for me though are messages promoting peace, love and tolerance which I will pass on in the hopes of attaining that goal no matter how impossible it seems. I’m sure more people want world peace than want war no matter what the weapons manufacturers say. A sure sign of my hippy days of the 60’s.
    xxx Massive Hugs Damyanti xxx

  • TheLastWord says:

    For me the telling quote is :” People probably don’t read content anyway, they just share it.” It encapsulates everything I believe about social media. It seems the social media profile of people is totally different from their real lives, the real beliefs. People are trying to fit in, portray themselves as good people. The way they write online is nothing at all like the way they talk in real life. Everyone is in a hurry, to be first to share. Somehow, it seems you have to react to every bit of news the very minute it happens. There is no research, no analysis, nothing to show that you processed the information and made an informed opinion. Immediacy wins over analysis.

    Sorry for the rant!

    I find inspirational quotes annoying because they are

    1. Threatening – share or else something horrible will happen to you
    2. Shaming – “Let me see how many will share this on their wall”
    3. They’re matched with horrifying images
    4. They’re political
    5. They’re religious
    6. They’re banal and pointless
    7. They’re badly written with poor grammar.

    I don’t find them inspirational at all.

  • DMCrim says:

    Sometimes I over look quotes but more often I find that I love them! Usually they motivate me or give me a laugh which is always helpful, especially on Mondays!

  • I do like inspirational quotes, especially in the midst of all the negative and bad news that is often on social media.

  • Unless they have unique humor or quirkiness to them, I just find them to be banal if not completely annoying.

  • I see so many inspirational quotes in a day on various social media sites that they have lost all meaning for me; I just see them as spam.

  • Dan Antion says:

    I find them interesting but I usually want to know something about the person and the context in which the quote was used.

  • Carrie Rubin says:

    I read them occasionally, and I set aside a few that really inspire me so that I can look at them from time to time. Unfortunately, I seem to forget the advice and go back to my old ways quickly. Until I pull the quote out again and start over. 🙂

  • wildbilbo says:

    Not a fan of ‘motivational quotes’, mainly because I have never encountered anyone who has been ‘motivated’ by one. Indeed, I wonder if that brief ‘saccharine-like’ uplift we experience after reading them actively inhibits any real change or inspiration.

    Short answer – if it isn’t funny, I pass it over like visual spam.

    I want content.

  • AlleyStories says:

    I think that most people actually find them meaningful. But we don’t actually follow them like “guidelines”. Its like people telling you smoking is bad, we take in that information but we still continue.

  • BellyBytes says:

    Inspirational quotes are often empty words and I wonder how they become quoteworthy.There is a slew of them in the universe yet we continue to remain uninspired.

  • jamborobyn says:

    I find they don’t add any value to my day, 99% of the time. Occasionally there will be one of those magical coincidences when a shared quote matches current events and provides a little inspirational lift, however for me usually no lasting growth ever seems to come from reading endless positive quotes. So my focus for taking in information, in general, may be different than the intent and focus of social media, anyway.

  • I so detest inspirational quotations – it like eating marzipan without the cake – that I don’t belong to any social media circle (Twitter/Facebook/Google/…) except for WordPress.

  • glenn2point0 says:

    I find some of the so called inspirational quotes quite ridiculous as some suggest that you can just think and then something that you want will manifest. Somewhat “wishful thinking”. Sure having a positive mental attitude is great but there are those of us, people affected by mental illness, who have daily problems with this and we cannot change things simply by positive thinking. A positive attitude keeps me taking my meds but my meds prevent me from sinking into delusional, disordered and suicidal thinking. And inspirational thoughts cannot change that, only medication can.

  • They do work for me, but many are trite. I’ve heard the same idea so many times, I feel like they’re nagging. The other piece that bothers me is there’s no connection between the saying and the doing. Sure, I agree with the words. Doesn’t mean I’ll ever follow through.

  • Mr. Rambler says:

    Quotes are just quotes. Sometimes, when a really thoughtful quote comes up, it hooks me and gets me thinking. But most quotes nowadays promotes a mindset which destroys it’s purpose. It’s funny how some people find inspiration in quotes that seem to be less inspiring and more negative. I guess, it’s all subjective.

  • Rachel says:

    I love inspirational quotes. I love quotes in general. It makes me feel as though I’m learning a life lesson or something, if that makes any sense.

  • Louise says:

    i,too, like the occasional quote but when you go for job interviews, the dentist, doctor, etc etc and they are hanging on the wall i try , valiantly, to ignore them. I once was a sports coach and PMG the were used by anyone and everyone. it was negative in the ned because even i began not to believe them.

  • Sometimes its a little pick me up or a laugh when I come across them

  • jeanryan1 says:

    Like everything else, they are fine in moderation. Nothing wrong with positive messages. We just need to stop when we’ve had enough.

  • I love this topic. I must confess that while I think they are annoying at times, they’ve repaired a bad day for me more than once. As for not posting them…why would you stop? 🙂 Take care and happy blogging!

  • This is an interesting topic for discussion. A life coach I follow posted a very famous Marilyn Monroe quote along the lines of: “If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you don’t deserve me at my best.” His brother, who guest blogs for him, and he both agreed that this quote is over-used and potentially damages women’s’ mindset toward relationships. That quote never annoyed me but this motivational coach and his brother opened my eyes up to the way quotes influence us. I think if quotes are used in the appropriate context and used sparingly they’re good 🙂

  • Lukyfrank says:

    Quotes give life a purpose a course that become one’s principles … Damn I love quotes

  • I even setup several quotes as reminders in my calendar. They pop up randomly on daily basis. But only few of them. It’s kind of reboot in way of thinking for me:)

  • I love collecting quotes, but I get tired of seeing nothing but quotes on social media sites. I especially hate “inspirational spammers” who send out 125 quotes per minute and clutter my newsfeed (I usually stop following these types)… I think quotes can be effective when done occasionally and with purpose. Personally, I enjoy quotes that are included within a larger article and have a purpose for being there more than a post that is nothing but a one-liner taken out of context.

  • I feel that inspirational quotes are cool, but not always inspiring. Sometimes I have to look through a lot if I need to find things to inspire me. I think that the re tweets and reports of these quotes aren’t saying, you helped me, but rather I agree with you. If they don’t change your thoughts, then it’s not really inspirational.

  • I love using inspirational quotes.

  • The Fellowship of the Dragon shares them. So does another blogger buddy I follow, Laura. Sometimes, they really hit home.

  • I don’t mind inspirational quotes. And it’s true that my quotes are what get retweeted mostly. But I hate the ones that say: share this with x-number of people and you will be blessed some kind of way.

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