“Followers”: In what sense?

ID-100214020Let’s admit it! The more “followers” someone has, the more inclined we are to follow that person too. The more “likes” we see, the easier it is for us to click that button under his post. It’s not that we don’t have our own opinion or that we necessarily disagree with that, but my point is that in many cases, we are easily influenced – more or less – by what is the mainstream. I remember how many times I said to myself “oh, that’s a really awful song” and a few days after listening to it on the radio, in clubs or elsewhere, not only I started enjoying it but I also started questioning my first reaction! Each of us, as an active member of our society who interacts with others, can be influenced dramatically by what other people do or think. In fact, only few have developed such a determination to resist all these daily messages of what someone should do, like, follow or not.

What’s the problem with following in social network? In my opinion, the notion of being a “follower” has an innate, maybe slightly discerned, distortion. I might be wrong, but first time I heard the word “follower” in the social network was when facebook was launched. From then on the term “follower” became such a common and popular word globally that now it’s used everywhere. At a first glance, it seems to be just a simple word. But since – as I had mentioned in a previous post – words are vehicles of concepts, I cannot help it but wondering how many of us think of ourselves as followers in life generally. We follow people, we follow posts, we follow actions, we follow anything with a “follow” button. At the end of the day, is this word so innocent as it seems?

Of course, the experts of marketing are measuring our likes and our followers to plan their strategies to earn more money from all of us. Based on what our choices are, they try to make conclusions about the opinion of the majority in the world: what they are interested in is the opinion of  “the average person”. But the average person simply does not exist in reality. You cannot be the same with me and vice versa. Neither we can be an average!

When we learn from a very young age to “follow” to such an extent, the chances are that, at some point, we might start considering ourselves as “followers” who will always search for someone to lead us and our lives. So, does this mean we should not follow or like anything or anyone? No. I am not saying that. But what I would consider, though, is to check every now and then, if following others has turned me into a more passive being that needs someone else to lead my life or if my interest for my very own life has started to dissipate.

 

Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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