While having lunch with a friend who happens to be a successful business owner and podcaster, we began talking about popularity on Instagram and how easy it is to be consumed by the number of followers you have. We think about the number of followers we have when we run a promotion, drop a new product or share a flyer for an event that has us excited. We want people to double tap our picture, comment on our post or share it with others in their community.
When we log on to social media, it's as though we have walked through the doors of the world's largest high school. We immediately want to be validated, verified and approved for what we eat, what we wear, and who we sit with at lunch.
What's even crazier is that our popularity has now become quantifiable. Through our likes, the number of followers and post engagement, our social capital can be summed up in a quick screenshot of our analytics. From our friend interactions to how we receive our daily news, social media has impacted everything in our lives for the last decade. With many living out fake personas as they "do it for the gram," what may appear as friendly content in the digital realm, falls flat in real life.
I believe you can impact the world and never reach 1 million followers. The effect you have on others is your real social currency. Impact on the lives of others is your legacy. It comes from sharing what you know, giving more to others than what's expected and affecting change in a way that teaches people a better way to live their lives.
The next time you post a pic or send a tweet, imagine your son or daughter bringing it to school for show and tell or it playing on the big screen during your church announcements. It may seem popular at the time but think about the impact it will have on those around you.
There are no short cuts. You must commit to the journey of becoming the best version of yourself. Popularity may win you likes and get you invited to the hottest parties, but the real impact of your life will have ripple effects on nations and future generations.
Know your power and your worth. Focus your intentions on making others feel good about themselves. Lend your time and talents to be of great service to others and do everything with excellence. Popularity is fleeting, but your impact is forever.