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Day 23: How to be Popular

Ok, so that title grabbed your attention huh? If you came here to ACTUALLY learn how to be popular then I'm sorry to disappoint but you're in the wrong place. Today I'm going to be speaking on a topic that has been on my mind for a long time. Popularity.

So what is popularity? Popularity is the idea of being admired, loved or supported by many people. There are many factors which society can use to identify one as popular. From how "attractive" you are, the amount of friends you have and your following count on social media. Popularity has been considered a major thing within society for many years but I have noticed that it seems to be in the back of people's minds more so now than ever.

Straight away the whole idea of popularity is damaging to humanity, but the reality is, it will always be there. As humans we categorise one another creating social ranking. Walking around school and college our brains automatically try to suss out the popular crowd and identify those who are on top of the social ladder. It's not something we do on purpose but because we're human. There is no way that you have never been out in public and tried to figure out what sort of people are most likely "popular". It can be emotionally damaging to put yourself far away from the top of that social ladder. That all comes down from feeling worthless, unappreciated, self conscious and other negative things that we shouldn't feel. It's so sad that one thing like popularity can have so much power over somebody's life.

The idea of a good reputation seems to overshadow the rest of people's lives. I sadly used to be a victim of that. It is a known fact that as human beings we crave love. We feel, we love, we want to be loved. Sometimes that is what gets the better of us. The whole concept of being popular means we're loved. Right? Mean girls says otherwise.
It's crazy how far people can go to have the "perfect reputation". They'll cut you off, put on this fake demeanor to impress other people and forget who they really are, just to be who society says to be. It takes a lot more energy to change yourself than to be yourself. Trust me, I know.
It's funny because everyday I see people in person and online trying to fit society's image of popularity but I know it's not really them. It's kind of like a cookie cutter. We try to fill in that shape but at the same time we're being separated from everything else. We're cutting off whatever is stopping us from being that perfect image.

One factor that seems to determine your place in society and your social ranking is social media. Like I said, it seems to matter more so now than ever. Technology has evolved. Social media is becoming this big thing. It's a part of our daily routines. I mean it's pretty difficult to avoid. It's 2016, almost 2017. Social media isn't something we can easily ignore.
Social media platforms have almost become this place to promote our lives. It's like a form of advertisement trying to convince you that one life is better than another. It doesn't directly do that but it kind of does right? How many times have you scrolled through Instagram and saw pictures from somebody's year of travelling and thought "wow that is an amazing life to have" or saw a picture of a couple and thought "I wish somebody could look at me like that" or "that is goals". Instagram in particular is very good at making you feel jealous. That's right. You're jealous. But so am I. It's not a good thing to be jealous obviously but that is how we feel. We want that life in the image and wish we could have that. But guess what? Social media isn't a true representation of how people live. We THINK that somebody has the perfect life because they get to see the world but maybe they didn't have the best start to life and that money they used to pay for that holiday had to be saved for a VERY long time. That perfect couple you see in the picture? Not so perfect. Maybe that girl is cheating on her man and he doesn't even know. That STUNNING woman with flawless makeup and pearly white teeth? She could be covering up those scars and bruises with makeup because her father beats her and she's been bullied all her life.

Social media is not always a true representation of a life. She may have 50,000 followers on Instagram but she's still in debt, he may have a million subscribers on YouTube but he's depressed. That couple may look perfect but they're on the road to divorce. Popularity online means nothing. That candid, airbrushed photo isn't the life. Their life is behind that smile. If you take a photo of yourself and find so many flaws about it, are you going to post it? No. They are not going to post pictures that actually describe what they're going through. We share the best parts of our lives and it fools people into thinking we're OK. It's hard to determine the real and the fake. Of course there are people out there who are genuine and do share the truth, but sadly that isn't entirely the case.

You would think by being popular, it means that everybody loves you right? Unfortunately that isn't true. Even movies can tell us that. Those horrible, mean, plastic girls that rule the school are actually hated by half the school in those typical high school dramas. They THINK that everybody worships the ground they walk on and the floor is waxed and shiny just for them but actually they waxed the floor just to see you drop. Harsh but valid. People need to dismiss this idea that if you're popular, everyone will love you. "I don't love myself but if everyone else does then maybe I will too". WRONG. Stop striving to be popular and strive to be the best version of yourself possible. Don't aspire to BE the best but aspire to be the best YOU. A little deep (who am I kidding this whole post is deep) but when you die, you know who you'll be with? YOU. It's just you. You're a solo act. One day it will just be you and you have to deal with it so you may as well learn to love yourself now. You could have a million followers on Twitter and have people make fan accounts for you but when your time comes to go, none of that will matter. Yes you'll leave a legacy and you'll be remembered but you're being remembered by people you don't even know. Numbers won't matter. That grave next to you could have family come visit everyday but you don't because you shut everybody out. You cut off your loved ones to impress people you didn't even know. Again, harsh but valid.

I've never been popular so I don't know what its like but it's got to be tiring right? There is a lot of pressure. Now that you've created this empire and image for yourself, you have to maintain it. You're known as this "peng" slim thick model so you always have to look your best. So help the world if you get a pimple because the world will go crazy. "wait, she's not perfect" "she's such a catfish" "she's actually so ugly". There is an immense amount of pressure on you now. You wanted to be popular, You wanted everybody to know who you are but now it's time to maintain it. You finally got those white vans but now you have to keep them white. Same thing. It can't be easy. It just can't be. You showed the world your "perfect" relationship but how are you going to tell the world that you cheated on him? Tough situation.

Despite how it may seem and how it may appear, popularity doesn't bring you happiness. It may bring you friends, but are they friends? It may bring you money, but what is it being spent on? Drugs? Anti-depressants? A certain degree of happiness may come from being "popular" but doesn't make your life wholesome.

There is a sad reality. There will always be someone out there who is better than you. Better grades, better style, better opportunities. But that is OK. That is them, this is you. You don't need to be the best. You need to be happy. You need to love the life YOU have and love your own life. If we start stepping away from this concept of being popular, we can make humanity so much happier. Don't strive to be popular with other people, strive to be popular in your own eyes. Want the life you have.

It's not easy to always think that way, I still don't always think that way but if more people start loving themselves and the life they live, flaws and all, we're on the right path.

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