Popularity:Curse or Boon

“Avoid popularity; it has many snares, and no real benefit.”

-William Penn

Popularity- it is one of those things you may have gained or may not have gained, you may have wanted, want,will want or won’t ever want. Popularity is evasive, not easy to achieve,even more difficult to keep. Is running after popularity worth the effort?

From my experience in life I have seen two kinds of popular beings-one natural and the other disliked popular.

The former beings do not seek out popularity. Their natural sweet temperament or friendly humour draws them to people. Though they are not always highly powerful they are natural leaders. People want to be with them to please their soul. They are ‘popular-prosocial’ as described by psychologists.Unfortunately, statistically speaking only 9% of the popular kids in school are widely liked by their peers.

So it leaves us to the other group- disliked popular or ‘popular antisocial’ as per psychologists. If you have been to school you would know about this kind. They are usually bullies and snotty kids,teens or adults who get a laugh out of hurting others. Superiority complex-an attitude of superiority which conceals actual feelings of inferiority and failure, runs deeply in their veins. As most people do tend to get a kick out of watching other people squirm, they are in awe of this group. Being friends with this group is better than being against them as that would mean being more popular, less bullying faced, etc.  They usually scorn people who are lower than them in the popularity ladder.woman-girl-teenager-wine-large

It is often the oppressed ones who want to seek out popularity, to be valued and respected by peers. The question then asked should be not what it takes to be popular but what are the consequences of being popular?

  1. As I said before only 9% of the popular school kids are liked by their peers. So if you want to be popular you may have to put up with scorn and what we call ‘back-bitching’.
  2. Popularity is often associated with’cool’ stuff like alcohol, smoking, dating too much, early sexual-activities, being unkind to others,etc.
  3. Climbing up the ladder often means being friends with other popular kids thus neglecting and alienating the old ones.

So, from my point of view what I can say is that popularity, though it gives us some power at disposal, doesn’t necessarily mean we are well liked. It just means we can usually get things done the way we want.

So if we want to be popular we have to try to be among the 9% of the generally liked kids i.e; we can not compromise on our values. Easier said than done ,but it should be like this because from my experiences I know that popularity is fickle.

“Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, and riches take wings. Only one thing endures and that is character.”

-Horace Greeley


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