Am I the only one?

Warning: An Ashley Rant

Am I the only one who is seriously disturbed by Klout? Klout very proudly boasts that it “is the Standard of Influence”. To be a successful technology-savvy individual, you, of course, must have a high Klout score. Businesses should only want to hire people with substantial Klout scores, lest they be hiring a * gasp * nobody.

This grates on my personal sensibilities. Let me reveal my bias. Many people already try to IMPRESS others with unattainable-somewhere-up-in-the-cosmos beliefs of the norm. Let’s focus on females, for a second (since it’s what I know up close and personal). It’s so easy to look at another woman whether she is a celebrity or the flirtatious diner four tables away and say to yourself, “If only I were a little more like her”. And stupid magazines with their “plus-size” models that just so happen to weigh less than a majority of teenage-girls, let alone the entire female population. A year ago statistic found that the average model weighed 23% less than the average woman. 50% of American women wear a larger size than size 14, but that’s usually the cut-off for both plus-size models and many clothes outlets.

ImageKatya Zharkvoka: Size 12

ImageJoan Smalls: Size 4

I’m partly (definitely not completely) sorry about the mini-rant within a rant. I just feel very strongly about this.

Let’s bring in Teddy Roosevelt’s perspective on this: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” But humans have a deep need for comparison and measuring, or maybe that’s just me attributing my opinions to the entire human race. Who knows?

The thing about this is that it makes logical sense to me. I can prove it enough to convince myself, at least. If we take a look at society (and ignore Klout), proof of comparison is everywhere. Many times it’s how we improve and make advances in any field. I’m not saying that comparison is all bad. It’s just how many people have become turned to social media to affirm that they are WORTH SOMETHING? People have been known to seek approval of themselves through Internet strangers; they can’t see their own value.

Testing. I’m the first to admit that I love taking those online quizzes about literally everything. I’ve taken personality quizzes, favorite food quizzes, appropriate nickname quizzes, foible quizzes, etc. It’s a slightly embarrassing pastime, but it’s me. It’s the hot thing in our educational system. We measure student learning through these standardized tests that compare them to the rest of the school, the district, the state, the nation, and other nations! Yet, even with all of this preoccupation with testing we still are fairly low in the educational ranking. Especially, when you consider the de-emphasis that Finland puts on testing, and quite honestly, their educational system is to this day outstanding. I need to stop with this line of thinking before I go on another mini-rant about education.

Klout could easily be detrimental to society because people could get so wrapped up in boosting their Klout score that they neglect real-life. How is improving your internet presence helping you, if you send all of your time sitting in front of your computer screen figuring out how to be more influential? Honestly, does this only disturb me? Are you disturbed when you realize you kind-of want to know your Klout score? Well, if it doesn’t, it sufficiently disturbs me for the both of us.


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