Monday, September 14, 2015

Popularity Contest

Today’s world of social media has afforded us with the opportunity to reach far and wide. Never before in history have we been able to “touch” and connect with others the way we do today. Certainly this technology has spread valuable and important information to many that before may have been limited in its reach. This of course is an amazing feat but with it there can come a price.

There seems to be a non-stop and rapidly expanding arsenal of the latest tools for us to reach out into the ethers. Every time we turn around someone somewhere is telling us of the importance of gaining new followers and growing our numbers. The equation seems to be that the larger your audience number the more likable and important you are, sort of like the popular kids in school. Didn’t it always seem the poplar kids were the ones in the know and the ones to know that were held in higher regard by the masses? Today we label the masses “friends” and “followers” and the popularity contest is still going strong.

Surely you know it was a lie then and it still is. At any given moment you can click on your Facebook or Twitter page, for example, and see a continual flux in your approval rate. I know because I’ve watched mine wax and wane. Certainly no one would call my stats impressive but after each high or low finding, for an instant, my mind believes the message I’ve been fed. If my numbers go up, well then I did something “right” and if someone unfriends me or ceases to follow me then the first question is, “What did I do wrong?”

This continual drive to for an endorsement is exhausting. In answer to the question of, “What did I do right or wrong?” the answer is, “Probably nothing,” on both accounts. We are bombarded with the notion that if we post a gripping photo, most inspirational quote or profound educational link we will somehow be rewarded with a greater audience as a means of measuring the value of our content and us. We invest our mental energies in the magic formula. I find it to be a lie perpetrated by our egos.

The truth is that how people treat and react to us, whether in cyberspace or face-to-face, has far less to do with us and is more directly linked to them. What is going on, or not, in their inner and outer world has far greater impact on how they respond to us than our efforts at tossing out the most ideal elements. We would be better served to shift our focus to authenticity.

Share and convey what is true for you and that which speaks of the gifts and insights you can offer, it will resonate with people or it won’t. You are no less important or relevant if you have 100 followers or 30 million. You will reach and touch those you are meant to serve, let that be your inspiration and cease playing the numbers game. Know that your worth can only be found in your own heart, not social media, and all that is required is the number 1- and that would be you.

Be well and happy.

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