www.whyville.net Sep 7, 2008 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

The Truth About Popularity

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I, like all of you, have desired to be popular. I'm just a normal person, living a normal life. It's just natural that I feel inclined to be popular.

I joined Whyville about this time of year, four years ago. Almost everything was different: the face parts, the trends, the chat rooms, beauty contests, etc, but one thing that hasn't changed? Popularity. Everyone wanted to be it, they'd go to extraordinary efforts to become someone everyone liked. Much of it hasn't changed, they wore special face parts, as they do today. They hung out at certain chat rooms, like they do today. There were unique habits, some made you a Newbie while other made you a Vet. Just about everything, we can still see today if we look for.

But why? Why hasn't it changed? I'm not in a mad dash to be the big man on campus, so why is everyone else? Well, that question can't be answered until we figure out why people want popularity in the first place. Let's think about this; with popularity comes respect. Friends, admirers, and acquaintances. We could come up with plenty of reasons for why we WANT to be popular, but what I'm interested in is why we feel the NEED to be popular. After all, this is the Internet. Most of the people you meet here you will never meet in person. You will forget most of these people even existed, in real life, you can't just "quit." Becoming the most envied character of a children's website isn't exactly the most noble position, in the real world. So what's the point?

I don't think there IS a point. You see, aside from the real world reasons, I'm struggling to find virtual reasons, for why one would want such popularity. From my four years here, I haven't seen "respect, friends, and admirers," I've seen enemies, rivalries, disgust, and hate. People do not like people who are popular, they envy them. Envy is not a good thing, it's right up there with lust and coveting. Instead of admiring those who have gone so far and done so well, people want to go further, and outdo them. Instead of wishing the best for those who have made friends and become rich, people just want to be better, richer, more popular. It's selfish. No one seems to care about the well-being of others these days, instead, it's all about ME ME ME!

Anyone can see this is a problem. No one is out to be hated, whether the admit it or not. People want friends, real friends, and people they can trust. No one wants to live a fake life on the Internet that is seemingly better than their real life. Why is this a problem? What can we do?

Well, it's hard to say. Why do we want to be popular? It seems that if we had no desire to be loved and lusted after, we wouldn't be threatened with the potential problems it creates. Let's do something about it, instead of trying to be the most famous Whyvillian of all time, why not be humble? Be someone who people TRULY respect, trust, and remember for the rest of their lives. It IS possible, people like this do exist, they're all over the place, and they're just as famous as anyone.

I try to be this type of person, which is really hard for me. It's like an oxymoron, I am NOT humble, I'm not always nice, I'm not always well adjusted, and I don't always have the best intentions in mind when I say something. But I try, I really do. I realize that I can't be one person in one place and a different person out in the open, and that's what I'm working on. So I'll wear my unpopular signs and voice my unusual ideals. For now, I hope I can be somewhat an example. I think it would be good for everyone to know, I don't care what face parts you have. I don't care how rich you are, how many medals you have, or how many people you know. None of that is important to me, so ask yourself, is it important to you?


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