This world has always needed leaders.
There were cavepeople who led the other cavepeople.
I don’t know his name, but I’m positive he existed. Other cavepeople followed him, whether by choice or force. They had to eat. They had to be warm. And they had to procreate.
Above all they needed to be safe so they could eat, be warm, and procreate.
Our human needs haven’t changed even after all those years. We still like to eat. Some of us like to stay warm. Procreation still exists.
And, above all, we still need to be safe.
Leaders have always needed followers.
Or maybe followers have always produced leaders.
Regardless, leaders have followers. That’s simple logic, right?
While followers need safety, leaders need another type of safety. A leader’s safety can look different than a follower’s safety.
Leaders need the safety of always having followers.
Followers look different now than they used to.
Hierarchies don’t look the same today as they did when cavepeople ran the rocks.
In many cases, the Internet and its extensions—meaning social media platforms—have flattened hierarchies. There are more opportunities for everyday people to become leaders. Or at least famous.
Let’s talk about everyday people.
I’m one. You might be one too. And we probably both have followers on different social media outlets. Personally, I find my social media activity fascinating.
There are times when I notice that I’m doing things on social media solely for the approval of my followers. I’ll write, erase, write, edit, add an emoji, then completely abandon a Facebook post because I’m thinking about what others will think.
Have you ever done that?
Gathering “followers” can be toxic.
Many of us are self-conscious about the number of followers we have. We can also simultaneously hyperaware of others’ followers.
Or maybe I’m just speaking for myself?
Take my Instagram account for example. At this very moment, I’ve got 628 followers and I’m following 279 people. (Interesting side note: I just got a little self-conscious writing that.) Anyways, my best friend’s little brother has more than 1,000 followers and gets a triple the amount of “likes” on his posts.
He’ll pop up in my feed, and I immediately start thinking about his followers.
Do you do the same sometimes?
Think about a hypothetical situation for a second.
Instagram disappears tomorrow. So does Facebook. And Twitter. Then bye bye Snapchat. Adios email mailing list. Everything vanishes.
You’re left with zero followers.
Now, what did you actually lose?
The truth is that we wouldn’t lose much, which assumes that we’d lose anything at all. Businesses might be different, but I’m talking about personal accounts.
Food for thought about followers.
Your followers could disappear tomorrow. If they did, I promise you that you’d be ok.
Who would you be without followers? Think. Hard.
Who you are with followers should be who you are without followers. Neither should make you different.
Try your best not to look for approval, and chill on trying to gain followers.
Finding your true self is more important than finding phony followers.
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Photo: Flickr/Gaëtan Zarforoushan