Personal Social Currency 1
I wasn’t that popular at school, for that matter l am not really that popular now or am l, or are you?
In simple terms all it means is that ‘l am approved of’ or some people ‘hold me in their affections’ and to others again ‘they regard me favourably’. Being popular to me is in reality quite dull as a behavioural emotion as indeed is sociality. Being ‘social’ is hugely overrated! Okay, everyone likes to be liked … l get it. People like to be admired l get that also.
But at what cost to a person’s soul is this sought out and after?
During all of my year’s l have never specifically chased popularity or sociality, as l find them immensely tiring and stressful. I am who l am, it is that simple. But more importantly l like who l am, and if you don’t – well who gives a shit? If under that philosophy l manage to secure friendships so be it but l don’t deliberately or specifically fall over my own feet to chase it down.
And so now, we have in our mix ‘popularity, sociality and friendship’ all of which in my opinion make up for ‘personal social currency’ – a subject matter that many are fascinated with for it is in many ways people asking themselves how much are they worth socially?
To many, this term should only be used in conjunction with social and business media platforms apparently, but l disagree. Applications such as Facebook and Twitter measure your social success with ‘Likes and Followers’ – which surely is a form of popularity? In essence you and your personality are a brand, an identity that people can or cannot associate or resonate with.
There is a lot to take on board to being social and as such creating a nucleus of followers or friends and it is down to your own personal marketing and public relations as to how successful you and your branded identity will become. Ultimately you are responsible for your own personal social currency and how well you influence those around you.
I clearly remember when at school people desperate to be seen to be associated with the right ‘in-crowd’ which in turn boosted their own branded identity of popularity and hopefully churned more followers or friends to their circles.
For me, l was always the odd one out, the geek, the book reading and terribly shy nerdster! And yet, l had my own crowd of followers and l too followed them. We ‘Liked’ each other’s brand identity and watched from afar the flocks and herds of the ‘normal’ society members as they struggled to have their social currencies accepted by the most popular bankers. The antics they performed to become noticed – never shying away from the spotlight, putting themselves ‘out there’ for others to see. Becoming overly engaging in social circles, trying to develop a style that was befitting the circle they were eager to impress. And back then l would watch with fascination, that in all the process of trying to be accepted and thus become socially acceptable and ‘popular’, that they lost much of their uniqueness and originality!
School was hard work, l was never going to be socially valuable in the everyday or ‘normal’ society level, l was favoured by my gang for being quirky, the square peg looking at the round hole. Being popular was not what l was after, although being accepted as a fellow peer and not the victim to bullying would have been nice.
As l aged, l became less enthusiastic to fit into the standardised accepted mould of social politeness and appropriate behaviour as per normal society definitions. Fitting in was something l so wanted when younger and was present with me till around my mid to later twenties.
Long before my own diagnosis l simply awoke one morning and mentally had changed my opinion. And so the F.I.A Attitude was born [aka Fuck It All]. I was different to my society and that was it, simple. However, l knew l was worth more than the herd of sheep that walked the streets of life routinely day in, day out with no original purpose but always battling to fit into this niche, or that clique as their mood swung – and that was not for me.
Let the so called socialites who crave a higher profile and believe they need it in order to succeed in their chosen communities carry on regardless to the cost – losing their uniqueness and their individualistic personal branded identity to the call of normalcy!
My social currency value is in many respects irrelevant – does it matter to the world if l am popular, social or friendly – really, truly?
Is it not more important to be comfortable with whom you are personally?
Do l have to ‘fit in’ to the normal way of thinking? Do l really … truly?
I am in my 50’s and set and happy with the way l dress, act and behave inappropriately or not. I socialise when l want to and for how long and more importantly with whom l wish! I refuse point blankly to become a sheep rigidly and almost religiously following the ways of society just to be considered friendly, communal and social!
Some people, l seriously think believe that their own personal social currency is much higher than actuality. And worse, they continually worry about how they are perceived by social bankers. Long ago, l used to worry about how others looked at me, but mostly because l used to have an awful amount of tics and twitches as a child and people DID stare and pass comment! Much to my parents’ embarrassments!
I have read that it is scientifically proven that each and every person in the world can manage 150 friends at once – wow, those who have that must be incredibly popular, social and friendly and their currencies must be over spilling the chest of success. I see in the likes of Facebook people who have hoarded or is collected a preferred term, upwards of 800 ‘friends’ on theirWalls??!
How can they handle that many people on a personal level daily?How can anyone? If you are a professional brand or a business, sure l understand that – but personally?
I have way less than that – 46 – and of that number l only ever apply the 6 + 16 PLUS Rules. Six are my closest allies, what many would consider ‘true friends’ or about as true as l can be with my neutrality and indifference to people. The sixteen are associates or colleagues perhaps acquaintances is a better term and the PLUS are people that are just there and may at some point move into the 16. It’s quite complex to an outsider, but it is a little formula l live by and it works, because it means that l never really have that many people at any one time.
It’s manageable …
For me the 6 + 16 PLUS can change anytime and it’s not rigid it is flexible. In essence and in truth, on a day to day basis of seeing people within the 6 is much less than that – l see two human beings on a regular basis and one dog. But that is day to day in the real world and not the digital world. The 6+ 16 PLUS Rules only really apply to my digital footprint as in l see most of them on screen – best place for them.
People are ok, but too many at once and it is simply unpleasant. So my personal social currency in many respects is very low in my eyes and yet on the other side of the coin, others believe me to be popular, and why?
I can only think it IS because l am me, l no longer chase the path of trying to be accepted for who l am – you either like me or you don’t and if it’s the latter l basically don’t care, that’s your perrogative.. On the whole l am friendly to people, approachable and affable – but l have been burned by society in the past so my Bullshit Detector is constantly active and my tolerance for fools, Muppets and Pillocks is low.
The 6+ 16 PLUS code of practice works for me, and works very well. Personal Social Currency as a term is important in the real world, but the truest value a person can hold is their own personal worth. For when they realise this – their confidence, self-esteem and personal success will soar and rise. In short, l would rather be popular with me first and foremost than worrying about what others think or feel l should be perceived to be by society.
Facts – people and friendships are disposable, sociality is overrated and popularity unimportant – but when you are rich in personal belief, self-esteem and confidence in who you are, then that, and that alone is surely the best currency in the world?
What do you think?