Thursday, July 30, 2009

Respect vs. Popularity

I know what you're going to say...not because I can read your mind (mind you) but because people are pretty predictable. When I ask you the question, what is more important: Respect or Popularity, your first reaction is going to be "Respect, Respect, R-E-S-P-E-C-T (a la Aretha Franklin)." The reality, however (for many) is that being KNOWN, being SEEN, and being ADMIRED often trumps being respected. Can't you feel the drive for popularity? Oh no ladies and gents, the rat race to be the best did not end in high school. It continues as women, as business owners, as bloggers, as individuals. I love my blog reading, but I get kind of bewildered when I read statements about being popular (i.e. "now that I'm getting popular...", "in an effort to get popular...") partially because I sucked at high school and I tend to emotionally regress when I see the "P" word, but mostly because popularity is really overrated...or am I wrong?
Here's the bottom line for me- I yearn to be respected, for my intergrity, for my discernment, for my resourcefulness and for my dedication. What do you want be respected for?
Here are some pictures from my weekend...
The Niece
If you've never had a "Low Country Boil", you're missing out. Come down South and we'll take care of you.
The Nephew (and yes, those are clip-ons)
My brother-in-law's "cocktail." Pretty much the biggest drink you've ever seen.
Deserving the little one's respect might be the best thing I'll ever do.
I don't think wanting to be popular is in and of itself a bad thing. I think NOT doing, being, or acting for fear of unpopularity is the biggest problem.
So what'll it be, dearest readers? How do we, as bloggers, maintain a sense of self when it seems that numbers are the biggest priority? What's more important, respect or popularity?

44 comments:

My Passport to Style said...

Hi speaking as someone with a relatively small following, its tough when your in the minority geographicaly(uk blogger) I would say as a Style Coach, your sense of self has to be important, if you loose that then your lost.Of course we all want to be popular, but we have to start with ourselves.I always say be your own best friend.xx

Iva said...

respect. respect. respect. always. I am so confused by this whole 'popularity' thing. Staying true to who we are as individuals is always the best we can do. Maintaining integrity, being honest, and being genuine. This is such a beautiful post, and I completely agree with what you are saying....you are a wonderful writer....also respect in the eyes of the little one, for me as well, will always be the best.

PS~Erin said...

What a great post... Seriously, some awesome thoughts and questions. Thanks.

I've come to the conclusion that being popular is not necessarily a good thing. I realized this just recently when it dawned on me that I'd really rather my daughter not fall into the "in"/popular crowd in HS. Things would most likely be simpler for her (and me) if she found her niche elsewhere and for other things.

Now with that being said, how do you teach not wanting/longing to be popular? I don't know, but I'm working on it.

Have an awesome day! Your niece and nephew are adorable!!

Kotori said...

Such adorable pics of your niece & nephew!

And your post is very thought provoking... a discussion my sweet husband and I have been having. I think when you start getting concerned about your numbers and checking your Google analytics daily you start loosing touch with the real reason you started a blog. My husband always says as long as you care about what you write it doesn't matter if 2000 or 2 people are reading it; as long as YOU are getting something out of it too. As soon as you start writing for the masses that's when you lose who you are.

I hate it when he's right.

Jess said...

I agree - as a blogger, there is sometimes a balance between remaining true to yourself, and writing/publishing what people want to see/read.

I have never been worried about being 'popular' in the real world - as a kid, for instance, as I always saw that as pretty hollow. But for us trying to make some sort of a living from our blogging in the long-term, we need to be popular in our field - it's the only way to get where we want to go!

So, I guess both are important - but I'd never do anything that contradicted my sense of self - or something that I think would lose people's respect - just in the name of being 'popular'.

Kate Gabrielle said...

oh goodness, I was pitiful at high school too. I'm now five years removed from the "experience" and still say good riddance. But you're totally right that it doesn't end in high school. My mom is 53 years old and suffers from being unpopular at work. All of her coworkers have more money, better clothes, more of a social life outside of work. And they all rub it in to make her feel bad. As much as this hurts, she doesn't strive to be like them, she just wishes they'd be nice her and accept her for who she is -- respect instead of popularity.

What a great, insightful post!

erin said...

sing it sister. respect.

LENORENEVERMORE said...

adorable faces!
I'm greedy, can't I have both...
Ok, now I have Aretha Franklin's RESPECT in my head for the whole day ~hee*
Beautiful Day Christina darling!

xo*

captivate me. said...

Completely agree. I've always felt that if you're true to who you are and respect yourself, then everything else will fall into place. Once you lose sight of that part, who cares if you're popular?? Great post, my dear!

Kristen Sara said...

Your niece and nephew are beautiful!! And I have never had a low country boil... put it on the list! I love this post. As for blogging, I just do it for fun, because it makes me happy. Don't get me wrong; when people follow my blog or leave comments, it makes my day. But not because I feel like I've gained popular, but because I appreciate that someone else out there cared enough about my little world to stop by and let me know. I would much rather be respected- for being a good friend, for having a generous heart, for standing up for what's right even when it's the tough thing to do, for having integrity and for being considerate and respectful of others.

off switch said...

i was always different from my peers growing up. only a small handful of friends over a period of about oh say... my whole life. i was always the kid who hung out with her mom and talked to the gym teacher during recess (and no, not about sports!). anyway, the point is that i think i tend to have always "communicated" with adults better then most of my peers. all of the crap of being popular was just annoying.

i do want to be liked (in the blog world and in day-to-day life), and there's nothing wrong with that. but i also want to be myself. i want people to have a darn good reason to like me and i want my actions to come from the heart. i want respect. i'm not saying i'm great at all of this, but i'm working on it. and i think with time, if my blog is meant to grow it will, and it won't be because i changed it, it will be because people who were meant to find it have.

and as a friend recently told me, "50% of the people you meet will like you and 50% won't" - the point? don't try to be someone your not because in the end people are people and they will make up their own minds about you despite anything you do to change it. be you.

off switch said...

oops, that was long wasn't it? boy do i babble... :)

Jana Marie said...

I think part of being popular is being respected in a way. It's definately not like that in high school (I would know), but I think as one gets older, the more respected and well liked they are, the more "popular" they are. I could be wrong though...just my thoughts.

FabBlab said...

I agree and disagree with Jana Marie. I do think that in some ways being popular is being respected. In other ways, it's not.
I'm a high school sophomore. I'm not the most popular kid in school but I've never had low self-esteem issues. I am not trying to sound immodest here, but I've been popular. And here's what I think:
I think that as far as you're not conforming to what's "hot", etc, being yourself and being liked while you're at it, there's nothing wrong with being popular. Plus, it gives you a great big boost of confidence. Everyone loves being looked at and admired, right?
However,I think we shouldn't get absurdly carried away, become an uber bitch and sell our souls for high school popularity.
I could ramble on and on but I'll spare you.
PS- your niece is adorable!

live a colorful life said...

What a great thought-provoking post. I agree with Jana Marie. Having never been popular in high school or college, at that time I would have chosen popularity. Now I know myself better and am actually a lot different as a person than in those days, so I greatly value respect. From a blogging perspective, I started my blog to journal my love of quilting and also to get the word out on our fused glass business. I feel inferior a lot in my blog reading because there are so many really great writers out there. But I can only write in my style, about my stuff. So it is what it is.

Having said that, I'm writing a post on my blog, telling my readers to come on over here and read this. That should increase your Google analytics....by about five.

naphtali said...

I want Respect! No question about it!

pranksygang said...

RESPECT!! no doubt in that !

you niece is adorable

Gabbi said...

I'm with you Christina, respect first and popularity among those who you respect would be nice too. But big popularity to me has always been a little scary, I'm too shy for it. I prefer flying under the radar whenever possible.

Gabbi said...

Forgot also, I love your photographs. Your niece and nephew are adorable and apparently I have to visit the South soon... 'Low Country Boil' sounds delicious! They had me at 'Seafood'.

TERI REES WANG said...

Those who are true to what the do and who they are and what they know, in the end get both!

Be well.
Do good.
All ways.
All days.
Stay true.


I expect both.

meohmyoh said...

Your niece is adorable :]

And about the issue, if you strive for respect, then you will gain popularity with the kind of people who would respect you. Aka, the kind of people who are worth loving. Be yourself. 100%. That is the only way to be surrounded with people that both respect AND love you. The ones that fall away when you strive for respect instead of popularity aren't worth being around anyways, and you'll hate your life trying to impress them.

ruth allen said...

i have a friend who says: instead of "either/or" why not "and/both"! i LOVE it! how about being respected AND popular, which to me you totally are both, i guess the important thing is really how you feel on the inside though....

Waxy said...

Great post - I struggle with that as well - I want readers but I want to continue being me and holding true to my beliefs and express my own point of view and voice. I don't want to fall into pleasing everyone just to be popular...so respect wins for me, but it is hard when you see numbers drop or don't get a lot of comments and just see the huge # of blogs out there with more readers than you can ever dream of...like yours!!! :-)
So you are popular and respected in my mind... :-)

Hanako66 said...

they are the cutest!

I think that with respect comes popularity! I would never compromise myself in order to gain popularity....we all (or at least I do), crave respect.

I agree with a few comments above, you are both!

carly said...

we do it for fun.
we do it for ourselves and our friends and if other people want to read and become our friends- the better.
numbers are just numbers.
you gotta have respect for yourself and just keep doing what you're doing for your own benefit.

eco-stylista said...

Great post and very cute pictures!

As for your question, I think that everybody likes to be popular because in order to do something really well you need some positive feedback. What I learnt from blogging is that you have to be honest, you have to follow your instincts and you have to have fun? You can not be successful by pretending you are someone else!

Simply Mel said...

Your family is so adorable! And look at your pretty little self with that cute yellow dress!

Respect is the only way to live a happy life. Why is it so important to be popular? I have never understood this...
Living my life for me and my family is all that matters, and I only earn respect by giving and being the best person I can possibly be.

My hope is that my little girl respects me for being a strong person who loves the Earth, believes in good/clean living, and hopes that there will one day be a world full of peace. And I want my husband to respect that I will always be a dreamer, and I'll never stop chasing them.

Southern Aspirations said...

First, your niece is adorable. I love having nieces and nephews.
Secondly, your post is fantastic and quite timely. I think I'd answer- of course respect. But, I still think there is a little part of me wanting the popularity... I know that while I get excited about my growing (???) readership, at my core, I know I DON'T want to sacrifice/alter who I am or what I want to write about. Important to remember that though.

drollgirl said...

YOU ARE SO GORGEOUS! and your niece is adorable!

and the respect/popularity thing is an interesting question. in some ways i am confused by blogging. i hope those that come to my blog do it because they actually LIKE it. if they don't like it, they shouldn't bother!

so i think i'm looking for respect, and only popularity if BASED on respect. if that makes any sense at all!

OceanDreams said...

I couldn't agree more and I think it is easy to get caught up in the "highschool" mentality and want to increase your readership, but really is it worth it? To me, I am such a perfectionist that sometimes I lost site of my blog because I feel like I need to read everyone elses too. Now...it is important to keep up and have fun on your own, but with the word RESPECT in mind. Thank you for reminding of this. It really means a lot.

Sam said...

Awesome post Christina! After a bit of a think I've decided neither! For me the most important thing is respecting myself. At the end of the day it's you alone who has to live with yourself, right? The other two are the cherries on the cake.

Sam said...

Oh! I forgot to say how lovely those photos are with your little relatives! Your niece is gonna be a big heartbreaker for sure! :)

Felicia|DaLipstickBandit said...

I ask myself that all the time as I started commenting on all these blogs I wasn't remotely interested in just to get readers. I eventually stopped and now I comment on the things I care about...its better that way.

Diana said...

Respect, along with the mass votes. Popularity does come with respect in the long run, but overall, I noticed when saying something that is right and just, does not make you popular.

(BTW, you have no idea how much you've "kept it real" in the blogging community)

St├ęphanie Kilgast said...

From a seller's point of view, being popular is vital. You can't do well without being known.

Of course, respect is ethical and far more important in the real world.
But as a blogger I NEVER talk about certain 'taboo' themes, like religion, politics and (well for US mainly) abortion or death penalty.
Because I personally really dislike it when I stumble across a shop I like and the person only talks about his/hers religion views. (saying that I've told already too much :P)
I sometimes comment on other blogs my point of view regarding these themes, though. (depends on the blog, if the person seems open minded, and I try to be very very very diplomatic)

This doesn't mean I don't stay true to myself in my blog, it's just that I don't tell everything about me.
But in the real world you don't tell to a whole stranger everything about you either, so I don't think a blog is a perfect place to unveil all you thoughts, desires and craziness.

So in this end I would choose a balance of both, popularity AND respect.
Don't tell everything about you to achieve popularity, but never tell something wrong to stay true.

Who said you really had to choose? Life isn't black or white there are tons of grays in between :)

p.s.: just in case I made some errors, don't forget English is only my 3rd language :P

The Cottage Cheese said...

Respect is definitely more important! These are such cute pictures of you. And yes, everyone should try a low country boil. Sooo gooood! Sorry I haven't been around much lately. Trying to catch up on life since the wedding. Just seems to be a lot going on with friends, family, etc. Hope you're doing well, girlie!

christina said...

What a great post! I have to say, my initial response was Respect, of course! But then I think of all the times I give in as a mom...just for the ease of not having to fight. And sometimes I wonder if I care too much whether or not H likes me. But when it comes right down to it, I do want to be respected more than I want to be liked. I want to be respected for being honest, for knowing who I am, and for having integrity.

Also, a while back I was feeling sorry for myself because my blog was sucking bigtime. I kept thinking, why does nobody like my blog, etc. And I felt crappy because it was turning into a popularity thing for me...and I have the same high-school revulsion of the "p" word. So after I finally became comfortable with myself again (it's a constant battle) I started having fun with my blog again.

Oh, and you look gorgeous in the photos. Love the clip ons. And sorry for my novel of a comment. yikes!

Sylvia said...

So beautiful! Love the photos.

projecttransparence said...

Do these things always have to be mutually exclusive of each other? Can't you be respected and popular inside the community of your choosing. Does popularity always mean a frivilous indulgence in the shallow? there are many people and artists that I respect and who are popular... Ginsberg, Arcade Fire, Sylvia Plath, Julie Taymor.

I might say that their popularity is because they are unshamefully themselves and never played by the made-up rules of anyone else. They are popular and respected for the same qualities.

That, I guess, is what I would like to acheive. I don't want to be a stoic, respectable person who can't live with or inspire real people.

thanks for posting such a great topic... oh, and your family is ADORABLE. :)

Sophie said...

Blah, I hated high school for the same reasons! :) I'd like to be respected for... being me :D.

Clarity said...

Wow, a truly needed to be written post. A good introduction to me of what your blog is.. along with stylish :)

I must admit I stopped caring completely at around the age of 21. I realised that respecting myself was the main thing, followed by close family members' respect. The rest of the world can take you as you are. If they don't take to you, their loss, wish them well and move on.

Clarity said...

By the way your family is ADORABLE, bless.

Diana said...

i came back to this post to see what the other bloggers answers were (just curious since it's controversial in the blog world) but i can't believe i didn't comment on your neice and nephew! so cute! and your yellow shirt!! you look like a hot mom out of mad men or something!

Charlie said...

Christina, I am only now catching up on the posts that I missed while I was gone and wow I missed this one! It is such an interesting subject and a very honest and wonderful post. It was wonderful to read so many different points of view. R-E-S-P-E-C-T always.

Now may I say that you have a lovely family! Too cute:-)

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