Cyber Status

Cyber Status = position in the internet hierarchy. It is a type of ranking in the acceptance and reverence that is attached to a person by the community.

We have all heard of social status. A person’s heritage, wealth, beauty, popularity, intelligence and qualities as such defined a person’s social status and command of influence in society. Some people will do anything to gain a higher status in society in a bid to be respected, benefit from its power and privileges. Today, is social status still as powerful and influential as before?

Communication has evolved. When previously, information is transmitted by word of mouth, then letters and newsletters and then television, today’s information is also transmitted by the internet. In effect, internet has taken over to be the leading source and channel of information exchange. And thus, the power and influence wield by traditional sources of communication. The cyber world is also borderless and links communities globally.

Have you visited a person’s facebook page that says he or she has over 500 or even a thousand friends? Or what about the person who has a million twitter followers? If you were like many, the typical reaction will be one of “wow”. I wonder at times. Come to think of it, there are so many ways you can attain cyber status. There are thousands of internet games where you can be a top gamer, facebook, twitter, linkedIn, blogs, myspace etc. The existence of accessibility to internet connection meant that you can acquire a status so much quicker than tradition means and definitions of social status. Today, if you have lots of “friends” on facebook or “followers” on twitter or myspace, high “page rank” on your blog, products companies may approach you for endorsement or advertisement of their products because they respect your influence.

The one thing that has not changed: the desire to climb the ladder towards higher status. I’ve known of people chasing that status, spending their life in front of the screen, updating their statuses. Can we say that privacy is the sacrifice and transparency is the currency of status? I don’t know.

I suppose if you were the kind who values status, then cyber status is a replacement. I suppose if you value popularity and crave admiration and following, the path is wider and more accessible. Sometimes, I also think it must feel less lonely to know that there are people who are reading and following their lives.

I think there is a certain admirable confidence in the publicity of a person’s thoughts and lives on the cyber world. I still admire and awe at the people who has friends and followers on facebook, twitter, blogs etc. Although, I wonder how that has governed a person’s choice of activities and individualism in the race for status. And I wonder if you can have deep relationships with everyone on the list or is that also ultimately unnecessary and it didn’t matter if our attention span is 3 seconds long. When I step down from the critical chair of today’s trends, my unresolved question is, does a collector of friends dispose people more or a hoarder of deep relationships? And who am I who has about 100 friends on facebook and 2 followers on twitter and a page rank of 0 on my blog? To that last question, I think my answer will still be, Je suis comme je suis. (Jacques Prévert)

The poem by Jacques Prévert – Je suis comme je suis

Je suis comme je suis

Je suis faite comme ça

Quand j’ai envie de rire

Oui je ris aux éclats

J’aime celui qui m’aime

Est-ce ma faute à moi

Si ce n’est pas le même

Que j’aime à chaque fois

Je suis comme je suis

Je suis faite comme ça

Que voulez-vous de plus

Que voulez-vous de moi

Je suis faite pour plaire

Et n’y puis rien changer

Mes talons sont trop hauts

Ma taille trop cambrée

Mes seins beaucoup trop durs

Et mes yeux trop cernés

Et puis après

Qu’est-ce que ça peut vous faire

Je suis comme je suis

Je plais à qui je plais

Qu’est-ce que ça peut vous faire

Ce qui m’est arrivé

Oui j’ai aimé quelqu’un

Oui quelqu’un m’a aimée

Comme les enfants qui s’aiment

Simplement savent aimer

Aimer aimer…

Pourquoi me questionner

Je suis là pour vous plaire

Et n’y puis rien changer.

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