Oh popularity…the very word makes many revert back to loathsome memories of high school and the cruelty of those with social power as humorously depicted in the film Mean Girls.
Image courtesy Google Images
As we mature and leave the boxed-in informal network of high school, we realize that popularity is still pervasive in our social networks. Only now it is based more on rewarding positive, rather than cruel sentiments to others and can reach extremely high public visibility. “People enjoy the fruits of rank” says Kadushin (2012, p.84) and will risk not having positive sentiments returned by others in the quest for a higher social rank. With Twitter, in order to gain a high following, this risk must be accepted as dues are paid to honour those not just in primary networks but new networks at higher rankings. It is easy to become wrapped up in personal feelings of doubt and concern when putting your opinions out to a public that may not seem so receptive. However with tenacity and an understanding that one-to-one reciprocal relationships can not be maintained with large social networks, this should arm you with the ability to move beyond high school fears of ‘outting’ oneself as someone who wants to be a member of larger social networks.
In the spirit of trying to maintain humour in my blog posts in the midst of an intense spring institute, here is a funny (mildly offensive video) for some techniques for becoming popular. In short, don’t be a slut, don’t be a pussy and smoke! (not too sure about that last one)