One More Misguided Distraction for Measuring “Self-Importance”

Is it not enough that those of us actively engaged in social media face the temptation to make false comparisons? (Susie has more “followers”; Bill’s lame post get retweeted multiple times!) Now we are beckoned to measure our social influence through Klout.

According to Jim Duffy’s  “Klout Review & Rating,” PCMag (June 2011):

“Klout scores are supplemented with three nominally more specific measures, which Klout calls “true reach,” “amplification” and “network impact.” True reach is based on the size of a user’s engaged audience who actively engage in the user’s messages. Amplification score relates to the likelihood that one’s messages will generate actions, such as retweets, mentions, likes and comments. Network impact reflects the computed influence value of a person’s engaged audience.”

Guess what else? If you use Klout to measure your online human value, you will get rewarded with concomitant measures of happiness: stuff!

“The primary business model for Klout involves brands working with Klout through Perks campaigns. In a Perks campaign, a brand will offer free experiences or products to Klout users who match a pre-defined set of criteria including their scores, topics, and geographic locations. ” (Taken from Williams, Stephen (November 28, 2011), “Chevy Gives 3-Day Sonic Drives to Those With Big Klout,” Advertising Age)

I am thinking of someone like Henri Nouwen or Fred Rogers or, heck: Pope Francis! — none of whom I  can imagine would give this kind of false standard of importance a moment’s notice. I’m guessing they would be otherwise distracted looking into the eyes of another human being, conferring human dignity by means presence and touch.

Please don’t take this test. Your worth, and mine, cannot–I dare say, must not — be  reduced “likes,” “retweets,” “shares,” and “mentions.” Your worth and, mine;  your influence on others’ lives, and mine;  have nothing to do with measurable algorhythms.  It is a lie. I am begging you not to buy into it.

Be who you are, before God. Do what God made you to do. Look people in the eye.  Show up. That is enough.

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About Wendy Murray

Wendy Murray is a veteran and award-winning journalist. She served as associate editor and Senior Writer at Christianity Today magazine and has written extensively for other publications such as Books & Culture and The Christian Century. She has written 11 books.