From Astute Adults to Gushing Groupies

One thing I’m noticing more and more on social networks like Facebook is the tendency it has to turn rational, intelligent adults into gushing, fawning groupies.

And I’m not just talking about how being contacted with a friend request from an old high school crush can cause many people to dredge up those awkward old feelings, as pointed out in a blog post by Kristen Nicole more than 18 months ago.

“In part due to the fact that anyone could join, and in part due to the fact that Facebook really is a good way to reconnect with and stay connected to friends, Facebook has become the dominant social network of the times. But does Facebook just make us all act like silly teenagers?” she asks.

No, what I’m seeing is a tendency for people to post comments on the profiles and pages of relatively well-known professionals (think authors, speakers, marketers, bloggers, and others who have some sort of online presence) in a way that makes the commenter seem almost brainless…

Here are a few actual comments I’ve seen pop up in my feed just in the past few days:

“OMG, you rule!”, “You’re a god!”, “You’re so awesome!”, “Everything you write is absolutely amazing!”, “Wow, that’s SO true!!!”, “Remarkably impressive!” and “Love it, love it, LOVE IT!!! Where’s the ‘love’ button?” (Note the liberal use of exclamation marks!)

These comments are sometimes based on original content or thoughts, but almost as often due to somebody simply sharing a quote or a link to somebody else’s content.

And they come from people who presumably do not pepper their everyday conversations with words like “OMG,” “you rule,” “you’re so incredible,” or anything to that effect (which would make most recipients of the comments scowl at the insincerity or back away from the intensity).

So I find myself wondering why they feel it’s appropriate to spew out such over-the-top adoration publicly online.

And do they forget that, due to the nature of Facebook, everybody from their aunt to that aforementioned high school crush is quite likely to see the gushing?

Hey, obviously it’s great to give someone a compliment. It’s wonderful to give positive feedback and support. But wrapping it in thought-provoking commentary is a lot more powerful than simply blurting out squeals like a teeny-bopper.

The truth is, we’re all equals as humans.

We all have the same capacity for brilliance and stupidity, and putting someone on a pedestal (and then shining a golden light on them as you turn on a gushing shower of sticky-sweet praise) is the equivalent of giving your power away.

I suppose it’s an attempt to be noticed and admired back by the person being admired — to create a mutual admiration society, so to speak — and elevate self esteem as a result.

But my thought is that sharing a thought in a… well, thoughtful way… is the best way to garner respect from those who are also adept at sharing profound thoughts. Thoughts on that? 🙂

Sure, feelings are great to share too. But let’s keep it mature so we can all add value to conversations and the lives of others.

Go ahead and leave your non-gushy comments below…

Keep Unwrapping the Mysteries of Life!

One Comment

on “From Astute Adults to Gushing Groupies
One Comment on “From Astute Adults to Gushing Groupies
  1. “Remarkably impressive!” lol
    The thing I have noticed about Facebook is that is there tends to be like a High School a Cool Crowd!!(within which ever niche your in) and anything they post or share gets massive Likes , shares and the comments you get above !! I work the Personal Fitness area

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