Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind, don't matter, and those who matter, don't mind. ~Dr. Seuss
Girls just wanna have fun ~ Cyndi Lauper
Make some fun, happy time ~ Alex Ovechkin

Monday, September 28, 2009

Social Networking = Popularity Contest?

First things first, I love people (most of the time). I love to meet new people, learn new things, get ideas and thoughts that might have never occurred to me, people watch in crowds, the whole shebang. I enjoy Twitter and Facebook. I like connecting to strangers and maybe make new friends, (can’t have enough of those in this life!). And, secondly-a little disclaimer here- this is NOT directed at any of my current Twitter followers or Facebook friends, just so you know, but to people I've unfollowed or unfriended, because I've kinda had enough! I vent, and that’s how this blog rolls.

So, that being said, am I the only one who has noticed that these sites can occasionally turn into popularity contests? Not so much Twitter and Facebook fan sites; i.e. counting their followers. Fan sites can be informative and fun, so why not? I talkin’ more in the vein of ‘I did that too, only better’, or ‘I’m smarter than you and I can prove it’ one-upmanship. It’s like meeting someone at a party and you begin to tell some little story and they immediately interrupt, telling a similar story of their own, and you know their only purpose is to show you they fit in or are ‘better’ than you.

I’ll willing to admit that I have found myself disappointed when a Twitterer follows someone I also follow but not me. Or, a Facebook 'friend' replies to someone with a more in-depth or interesting answer than I had gotten. Or even ignores me totally. I find myself thinking, why/why not me? Self deprecation can hit us all at one time or another, we are human after all. But, when this happens, I am reminded of something I learned a long time ago, but frequently forget; life is not a popularity contest. (Also reminded of; ‘It’s not personal-it’s business’, ‘Whoever has the most toys at the end of the game, wins’ and ‘It’s not who you know but who you blow’, but maybe those aren’t quite as applicable here.)

So, to all those people who have the urge to one-up somebody, I just want to jump in and say ‘Chill out!’ If you whip out the ‘I’m just as good/better than you’ card, do you really think we all sit back and say: ‘Oh, X is so much smarter than me?’, or ‘I am so jealous of X, it must be great to be them.’? Unfortunately, the answer to that is a resounding NO, your desperation for approval screams off the page. So what if you met So and So, so what if you drive an X, so what if you graduated from X University? For the most part, people aren’t as impressed as you think they are.

And, to all of us who have been one-upped, just a reminder, life is not a popularity contest…Any questions?