“Social” Attitudes, Attacks & Popularity

by Jay Deragon on 11/29/2010

Some people have an attitude of self- righteousness and they attack others when their “self- righteousness” is challenged. You can see the “self-righteous” aggression throughout social media when  people claim stupid positions then attack  when others disagree with their positions.

The term “self-righteous” implies confident of one’s own righteousness and intolerant of the opinions and behavior of others. Other terms used to describe “self-righteousness” include holier-than-thou, pharisaic, egotistical.

Many of today’s popular bloggers have become intolerant to others challenging their positions or beliefs about all things social.  The word intolerant implies not tolerating or respecting beliefs, opinions, usages, and manners of others. In other words bigoted. Would you like to be known for any of the above descriptions?

There are many “popular” bloggers who are on speaking circuits, have published numerous books, massive following and coverage by main stream media and all this popularity has made them untouchable in their own minds. Social celebrities seem to be following similar behavior patterns as celebrities created from old media channels. The popularity leads them to believe that their popularity is because they are socially savvy and they possess all the wisdom about all things social. Social celebrities forget that the only reason they became popular was because of the actions, decisions and engagement of an audience that follows them. An audience can stop following as fast as they followed when those they originally followed become “celebrities in their own minds and untouchable by their followers“.

The Enemy of “Social Media

Danny Brown  raised awareness of a critical issue that impacts everyone engaging online in his post “Don’t Be A Blogger If You Can’t Stand The Heat”. The issue is one of mature thinking within the marketplace and the lack thereof reflected by many of the popular bloggers.

Those who hang together rise and fall together. The fall is coming faster than the previous rise of popularity. Why do I suggest this? Because the very essence of all things social is social engagement which isn’t conducive to arrogance, self- righteousness and intolerance to challenges from the “crowd”. In other words the enemy of social media is indeed arrogance, self-righteousness and intolerance which reflects a lack of maturity.

Maturity is a process of learning new knowledge and helping others apply that knowledge to create new abundance. Being arrogant, intolerant and self-righteous doesn’t mix well with learning and helping others. You can be the smartest guy on the planet but if you lack social maturity your knowledge will be rejected by the crowds.

Organizational Immaturity

According to Altimeter most Social Strategists and their programs lack maturity, with only 23% of Social Strategists having a formalized program with long-term direction. They are overwhelmed with six major challenges – with little relief in sight: Resistance from internal culture, Measuring ROI, Lack of resources, An ever-changing technology space, Resentment and envy of the role, and A looming increase in business demands. Now ask yourself do these findings reflect mature thinking?

Furthermore the report suggest they have two possible career paths for “social strategist” are: 1) Fall behind and become a “Social Media Help Desk”, or 2) operate from a strategic planning position.

The “heat” within the social media kitchen has just begun to boil. While demand for all things social is increasing so is the demand for maturity in thinking. Ever heard the analogy of frogs sitting in slow boiling water? Ego’s fed by popularity are sitting in the water whose temperature is rising and they don’t even know it. Sooner or later they will drown in their own popularity.

Some people and organizations are ruining their social reputation and worth by not thinking about what they do and don’t do. Not knowing how to disagree without being disagreeable, thinking you know everything there is to be known and finally not grasping the soul of the human network is relational reflects a serious detriment to social worth.

Whether you blog for personal or business engagements doesn’t matter. We are headed to a point in time that our social value index will become a measure of our social worth. The difference in worth is not a monetary measure rather it is and will continue to become a relational measure of value. Financial gain only comes from providing social worth to others.

The measure of any relationship is based on the value of exchange. There is no room for arrogance in any healthy relationship whether one to one or many. There is only room and value in learning from each other.


Jason Tryfon November 29, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Not much to say here other than I agree 100%. I truly believe that the social media frenzy/potential bubble has propped a few people up on a pedestal who will be forced to face the reality of coming back to earth shortly as you articulated. Good article.

Jay Deragon November 29, 2010 at 11:20 am

Thanks for stopping by Danny….you started me thinking from your original post and my mind just keeps going on this thread 🙂

Danny Brown November 29, 2010 at 11:07 am

Great topic and post, Jay, with some key points throughout. I think this statement sums it up perfectly:

“Social celebrities forget that the only reason they became popular was because of the actions, decisions and engagement of an audience that follows them. An audience can stop following as fast as they followed when those they originally followed become “celebrities in their own minds and untouchable by their followers“.”

Like you say, a fall can be just as quick as a rise. And with the speed social media moves at, it’s a lot harder to get back up than it used to be… 😉

Cheers for a great Monday read, sir!

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