Student and Twitter user Christian DiPonziano shared on the “tweets from everywhere but Twitter” (#tfebt) tag a fascinating article from Teen Ink about how technology might be negatively affecting our society.
— Christian DiPonziano (@diCoDedXlll) October 5, 2014
The article, written by Teen Ink contributor Nables, raises a fascinating point. How do we define popularity in the age of Web 2.0?
“It has become incredibly easy with the rise of the internet to become popular just by making the biggest impression,” Nables writes.
Popularity for me, when I was in grade school, was defined by how many friends a person had. Reputation, by how teachers and other students felt about you. It didn’t extend into environments beyond that.
Now, however, it’s common for someone to have hundreds upon hundreds of Facebook friends, and your reputation can be made or broken by a few misinterpreted status updates. How exactly do we redefine reputation and popularity to accommodate those factors? We make the biggest impression.
Now, popularity is defined by who is the most memorable, and reputation is defined by why they’re that memorable. Often, negative impressions will gain a person more popularity than positive ones. Our definition of celebrity has been rewritten to include anyone who can make the most outlandish statements or gather the most hate. Take, for example, Justin Bieber. He was discovered on YouTube, skyrocketed to fame because of his talent, and was talked about even after he burned out because of his obnoxious and disrespectful behavior. In today’s world, that’s just how former child stars tend to keep the attention on them.
Technology, overall, has caused us to put negative connotations on “popularity.” Instead of going by who is actually the most likable, we go by who can make the biggest splash in the internet gossip pool. It’s both strange and a little disconcerting how we’ve come to this point, but who am I to judge?