Popularity Isn't Cool Anymore

A billion likes is

Image: JD Hancock

There is a direct correlation between the number of people at a party whose names have appeared next to the word “influencer,” and the likelihood of fremdscham, the German term for vicarious embarrassment for those who lack shame. I have attended events where the flash of a phone’s camera turns otherwise rational adults into overeager strivers, dashing across the room to join group photos, shout-spelling their Instagram handles over the din.

Remember When Popularity Was Cool? Now It’s Work.

(Personally I think the flash should make everyone scatter like cockroaches, but I have also done my best to avoid events with party photographers, paid or otherwise. I find parties generally embarrassing for everyone involved, so I will often plant myself next to the least comfortable person in the room so we don’t have to talk that much and I can just savor the thick, awkward silences worthy of British television.) Anyway, this is a very good summary of social media climbing and why you hate it so much. (But I could also argue that, if John Hughes movies are to be believed, popularity has never been actually cool, and sort of misfiled as such.)