I’ve been planning to write about social media again for a while now. I’ve been having this inner psychic tug of war around my social media outlets lately. Luckily I’ve mostly kept them to myself. I’ve stored them up quite nicely in this metal file sorter I keep in the back of my head, far from the wireless lines that lead to my tweeting fingers and my Facebook status updater.
You know what it is?
I was fine, I mean really fine until Klout came around. I was even getting the hang of Google+ and Pinterest. I was constructing my own castle in a cute little social media neighborhood. I had a white picket fence and pink flamingos in my yard.
And then Klout came along.
It didn’t tell me to take the flamingos out of my yard but it kinda did. Klout is a service designed to tell me all about my online influence. So far I influence like 479 people. No matter how many times I tweet about it though, not one of those 479 people will bring me a donut so I ask you, what good is that anyway? I was doing just fine with Klout and had fairly forgotten about having signed up for it until one day a random tweet reminded me it was there and so I checked it.
My “klout score” was holding steady. “Cool” thought I. My klout is intact. I don’t know what it means (clearly not free donuts) but I was glad for not losing ground…because loss is bad, right? And this alone would be fine but then I had to check it again a few days later. And then again a few days after that. And then it happened. My “klout score” dropped.
This affected me. My klout dropped. Was it because during my move I stopped tweeting and interacting? Were my online friends feeling as lost in the shuffle as my children and my checkbook? Was it because I made a snide comment about someone else and their klout tweets? Was my influence dropping? Will I ever get free donuts?
As usual, with my social media rants this is where my real life friends, who love me an awful lot will say something like, “Ang. I think you need a social media fast” and maybe they’re right. Maybe I am a little too wrapped up in this whole online thing.
This whole thing can be an opportunity to understand some things about me better. This whole klout thing might be a chance for me to uncover a mechanism inside of my psyche. I ask myself as I read through my Klout rant, “Am I really this shallow?” To which I remind my self that this question is rhetorical and move on to the next question, probably a better question overall- “Why do I care about my Klout score?”
I already know this. It’s a long time life work issue.
I want to be liked and I’m a sucker for affirmation. Klout is affirming. Statistics are sexy when they are wrapped in a klout shaped box and when Klout likes me it means that I’m okay.
But you and I both know that’s not really true in the real world, clearly, from the obvious lack of donuts on my doorstep. In the real world I find affirmation in words and deeds of real life people around me. In the fact that people actually return my calls, ask me to lunch, say “thank you” and “I love you” through out my day. My online life is really just an extension of that. When I begin to question who I am based upon how I tweet therein lies the problem. I tweet therefore I am is a big fat lie…I am what I tweet is close but only if I follow my own number one rule for social media.
I’ll amend that to say that where social media is concerned I try to be myself…the very best version of myself. This is not to say that I am not genuine online, not at all. When I look at a Klout score to inform HOW I tweet that’s a problem. When I saw the number drop I wondered if I needed to be edgier, sexier, wittier, nicer, meaner…I dunno. And then I remembered my number one rule, be yourself, the very best version of yourself. It’s the rule I give my kids when they meet new people. Be the best version of you. It’s the rule I tell myself when I go into new situations, be the very best version of yourself. In real life, klout comes from being the best version of oneself. Klout comes over time, with interaction and engagement and care. Online, geez, who knows…what’s in the papers? What’s the hot topic? What are the hot button words of the day?
It’s all transient and transparent. It’s not real.
There are no donuts on my doorstep, people. No donuts.
So, I’m saying this out loud (online) not because I think Klout is bad, because I don’t. I actually do find it interesting and fun and as long as that is where it stops, as long as I don’t let it seep into my soul and inform my sense of real life “self” then I see no harm in it. And who knows, it may lead to an influx of donuts on my doorstep. It could happen.