How do you gauge someone’s popularity these days? Depending on how old you are the answer here varies drastically, but it’s almost universally accepted that if you are on social media your popularity is at least somewhat gauged by your followers and the number of likes you get on your posts.
On some level we all buy into this. No one likes taking that perfect picture, coming up with an amazing tagline and then receiving no one recognition for it, but how far will the social media pageant take us in the coming years?
For anyone like me who LOVES Netflix, there is a theory that one of their shows offers. The Netflix series Black Mirror touches on the amazing aspects of technology and how people ruin it. In one episode they talk about a pseudo social media platform.
Netflix 2015, Black Mirror, Accessed July 29, 2017, <https://www.theverge.com/2016/10/24/13379204/black-mirror-season-3-episode-1-nosedive-recap>
Long story short, a ‘social media’ platform has become paramount to all people’s existence and influences most aspects of their lives. Instead of ‘likes’, people rate each other based on their interactions and as a result you have a rating attributed to you. This rating determines not only your social status, but also your class in life. For example, you need to achieve certain a rating to live in a specific upscale community. As a result, people become ‘fake’ in their interactions with others to achieve a higher status and without giving away the episode, things take a nasty turn and people end up showing their true colours.
An article written by Tash Robinson gives a great breakdown of the episode and talks about its satirical nature, but also touches on the truthfulness of the episode. The fact of the matter is there is a social platform (not a successful one) created in 2015 called Peeple that was essentially the same platform described in this episode, minus the applications to real life classism.
I’m not saying that we’re headed towards a society that bases people’s stations in life on their social media popularity, however, there is something to be said about social media being a popularity contest and it affecting people’s day-to-day lives.
There are TONS of people who have made a great living from being ‘popular’ on social media. They’re not particularly successful or intelligent people, but they know what people want to see on social and have created picture perfect personas online that people gobble up! As result, they’ve made a good, if not great living!
So here’s my question for the group…we know social media determines popularity on some level, but is it possible for the average person that our day-to-day lives will become more dependent on our ‘social status’?
Twitter – Are you taking part in the Ultimate Online Popularity Contest? Read more to find out!
Facebook – Are we headed down the path to an online pageant where our lives are directly impacted by our online popularity? Read Social Media – The Ultimate Online Popularity Contest to find out.