This post is inspired by @jared_parmenter who has quickly become a trusted friend and colleague through social media networking. And no, I did not have to use a formula to determine whether or not he is an influential person I needed to follow.
An awkward and somewhat disappointing experience (as fresh and recent as of the date of this post) with one social media guru (who shall remain nameless) compelled Jared to share his quandary with me. I’ll skip the details but will instead rail against— I mean, cite some thoughts with respect to the title of this post.
Sympathy for the Devil? Not here.
From the perspective of someone who already has a hard time stomaching the perceived clout of social media evangelists (or socialebrities as @ChristinaKudym once coined in a tweet) I admit that I am somewhat biased (somewhat).
Having said that, here are my 2 cents:
- Influence is largely a visceral experience that cannot be quantified.
There. I said it. So can we stop hemming and hawing about whether or not we can measure it? What influences me to want to connect with and further nurture relations with a professional, colleague, educator, friend, etc. is not something that I look up and calculate. It’s typically driven by a combination of empirical assessment and instinct.
- Admiration is healthy. However, admire the knowledge more than the person.
We’ve all been in awe at some point over someone’s presentation or speech or whatever content they were sharing that made our eyes sparkle and that bulb light up in our head. Neat, huh? Well, the person who effectively delivered the insight(s) may be awesome, but what was our brain really after? Uh-huh.
- Even the best of the highly educated, enlightened and amicable people are fallible and emotional.
The road to hell is paved with social media gurus— I mean, half-hearted intentions. None of us are perfect, model social creatures. The collection of Shakespeare’s dramatic works portray the more sanguine human foibles that educate us to accepting our fallibility. So yes, even your most venerated guru will spit on your face if they’re feeling paranoid that day or cornered into a conundrum with the world’s microscope breathing right above them. Meh. We all get that way somehow.
There are many great shakers, movers and even influencers around. And to me, sharing and dialoguing with them are perhaps two of the most useful and gratifying experiences.
I don’t need a signed book, t-shirt or doll to make me fully appreciate the impact of experiencing their um so-called insights.
graphic sourced from http://www.rachelkashon.com