Follow 4 Follow: The New Form Of Currency That We’re All Buying Into
It wasn't too long ago less than a decade to be exact where the world we lived in required you to partake in a genuine human interaction, become fully engulfed in the real world around you, and actually live life if you wanted to meet someone, sell a product, or get people to listen to your new âfire mixtapeâ. It seems as though as of late, this has become somewhat of an ancient concept though. It used to be that who you are, was whom you were when standing in front of someone, giving them the essence of your presence and conversation. Unfortunately this is no longer the case.
With the introduction of smartphones and social media, weâve now reduced this concept and pushed everything back into the comfort of our own rooms, offices, and basements. You can now be whoever it is you idealize your self to be, by just creating a Twitter/Instagram page to cater to that ideal. The people you choose to follow are those who influence that character, and the people you allow to follow are now considered to be your audience. Everyone has joined in the rat race that is gaining the most followers, likes, and views on their profile pages.
This evolution in social interaction has grown to be more than just a Generation Y fad; it is now a societal standard. It is dominating the newer class of humans and even reaching over into past generations, such as our aunts, uncles, and parentsâeven grandparents. Nearly everyone knows what Facebook is and how to navigate through one, and most people aged 18-24 have parents that are now becoming familiar with Instagram. It all seems like a harmless way of connecting and staying in touch, but it's safe to say that the way we value our followers and profiles is now unhealthy and regressive.
It's almost as though your Twitter/Instagram has become a new form of identification, like a cyber version of your driverâs license. If you're a millennial, you're almost guaranteed to have called someone you're barely acquainted with by their Instagram @ name. Your 500-1,000 followers are equivalent your bank account, and likes/views are synonymous to someone complementing your sweater or shoes at work. This has created a false sense of self in nearly everyone that indulges in these apps. Itâs inflated our egos while simultaneously killing our desire to make something of ourselves because weâre so accustomed to being rewarded instantly. The need for self-gratification is at an all time high.
On the reverse side of things, there are definitely a handful of upsides to the social media society we live in. While natural human interaction has gone down drastically, people are now much easier to reach, especially if you run a business that depends on this aspect. Many product companies, service industries, and start-up businesses are thriving off of the social media world because the audience is greater, and consumers are more willing to pay out of pocket through apps such as PayPal and Venmo than to physically give their cash away. The days of luring customers into a store or place of business are redundant when you can virtually grab anyoneâs attention wherever they're currently located in the world.
Another great aspect of social media is the ability to work from home, and even be paid by advertisers for your popularity. Many artists and musicians receive monthly checks from the likes of YouTube and Instagram based on streams, views, and paid advertisers placing their products on certain profiles. Even apps like Spotify and TIDAL allow for musicians to gain followers who actively listen to their work, thus breeding a monthly sum of cash per audio stream. This is where social currency functions as a real life application, breeding real currency for users involved.
As the infamous Drake once stated, âWorried âbout your followers, you need to get you dollars up!