It's been ten years since those glorious angst-ridden days, and looking back I can't even remember who the cool kids were, but I can assure you, I was not one of them.
This didn't bother me because 1.) I was too clueless to realize how totally uncool I was and 2.) I had an awesome group of really great friends, many of whom I'm still really close with.
When I graduated, I was under some delusion that high school was actually over. All the petty bullshit is finished, I (naively) thought. For the first four post-high school years aka college, this was true. Or maybe it wasn't. I lived in such a
And then I entered the real world, got a job, and Oh. Mah. Gah. You aren't seriously telling me adults act this way! The cattiness, the backstabbing, the gossiping, the drama.
For the most part, I stay out if because I am
But as much as the workplace is just like high school with its cool kids and cliques, it is nothing, I repeat, NOTHING compared to twitter.
Just like in high school, I managed to find my crowd. I've made some really great friends who I think are all pretty kick-ass. I have no idea if we're the popular crowd or not, and I don't really care because we all think we're pretty awesome and we have THE BEST time together.
Although I am clueless about where I fall on the popularity scale, I still know the cool kids exist. And those cool kids reign supreme. Or rather, one kid. One giant robot cool kid that reigns from the clouds and shouts down at us, telling us how (un)meaningful, (ir)relevant and (un)important we really are.
That kid is Klout.
Those of you on twitter know exactly who I'm talking about. Those of you who don't are probably all, huh, who the hell is Klout?
And my answer to you is:
Exactly. Who, or rather what the hell is Klout? And more importantly, where the hell does Klout get off, thinking it can tell us what topics we have "influence" about?
Klout will tell you there is an order, a system, a reason, for the manner in which they dole out the topics they deem you influential about, but DO NOT BE FOOLED.
Klout reels you in, making you think you're pretty and popular and way cooler than you really are by telling you you are influential about topics that are deeply meaningful to you. Like bacon. And sausage.
You spend a few weeks walking on air. You take extra time getting ready in the morning, carefully selecting your outfit, doing your hair, plucking your unibrow and lining your lips in the perfect shade of rasberry razzle dazzle lip gloss. You must look perfect - you're a part of the In Crowd now!
Then, one day out of the blue Klout tells you you're influential about Hootsuite. And you're all, "Huh? I don't even know what Hootsuite is, yet Klout has declared I influence others to take action about, think about, dress like, look like, wanna be like Hootsuite? Um...okay!"
You know better than to question Klout for long, lest you fall from its good graces. And besides, you're getting more popular by the day!
The next thing you know Klout is telling you you're influential about children and you're like, "what a minute. children? i don't even have children and the only thing I know about them is that they usually annoy me on airplanes."
You're starting to suspect Klout is screwing with you. Making you believe you're pretty and popular, getting you all excited about prom. But then you show up and they dump pig's blood on you.
You really want to tell Klout to take a long walk on a short pier, but it tells you you're influential about unicorns, and well OMG UNICORNS! I LOVE UNICORNS! AND NOW THE WHOLE WORLD WILL TOO BECAUSE I AM INFLUENTIAL!
You're so excited you could posivitely pee! In fact, you do! All over yourself. But who cares! UNICORNS!
Klout's talons are really in deep now. You don't know your head from a hole in the ground, so high are you on unicorn love. You don't realize it, but you are weak, vulnerable, proudly wearing your heart on your sleeve just waiting for someone to come by, rip it off and stomp all over it.
It's not long before that someone comes, and that someone...is Klout. In the blink of an eye, it takes your unicorn influence away. And your bacon influence. And sausage. In fact, it takes all your influence about super awesome things away and leaves you influence in used dental floss or dust mites, or bed bugs, or something equally lame and disgusting.
You are stripped of your cool kids status and sent straight to loserville.
I see it happen every day. To good people. To funny people. To awesome people. People like me and you.
How does one recover from something like this? How do you pick up the pieces, and the used floss, and move on with your life?
I don't know the answer to that. I probably never will. But what I do know is that I'm sick of seeing decent people being used and tossed aside like yesterday's garbage. So sick, in fact, that I'm going to do something about it, and I hope you all will join me.
I'm going to de-join Klout and never utter its name in another tweet, blog or real life conversation - not that I actually talk about them in real life now, cuz that would just be weird or...lame or something.
It may seem like a small inconsequential thing, but if we ALL do it, if we all refuse to acknowledge Klout's existence it will have no choice but to slink away, with its head hung low, never to be seen or heard from again until we all forget it even existed.
Or... we could just make fun of it, say bad stuff about it on twitter and write it letters like the one I wrote below about my good friend @carribrown being stripped of her unicorn klout.
I don't know what kind of honky-tonk crackhead outfit you're running over there, but clearly you are out of your effing mind. Recently you stripped my vodka loving friend @carribrown of her influence in unicorns.
Are you kidding me? Are you f*cking kidding me!
@carribrown influences me every day, EVERY DAY, about unicorns. In fact, until Ms. Brown, I doubted the very existence of unicorns. But thanks to her magnificent influence I not only believe they exist, I am on a quest to find one.
That's right. I've quit my job, sold all my possessions and have embarked on the greatest journey of my life. I have absolutely no idea where or how one goes about locating a unicorn, but I assure you, I will find one.
The road traveled will not be an easy one. In fact, my feet are already killing me. In hindsight, it wasn't the best idea selling my tennis shoes with great arch support. But honestly, who knew walking 327 miles in heels would be so painful.
I probably should have kept my car too, but I didn't want to scare the unicorn away when I found it. Unicorns are very serene animals. They don't appreciate loud noises, but do love skittles, have an affinity for pretty colors and bop to the happy beat of Jack Johnson.
How do I know all this?
@carribrown that's how!
Thanks to @carribrown, I've not only set off on my quest to meet one of these majestic creatures, I've also started a foundation United for Unicorns that raises awareness about unicorns in the efforts to dispel all the terrible rumors about them. You see, some people think that because unicorns are magical, they are evil. But as @carribrown will tell you, they only use their magic for good.
Unlike you, Klout, who does not have magic, but is most definitely evil.
I'd like to think this was a mistake. A gross oversight of the HR department. Perhaps you were thinking of @carriebrown, as in Carrie with an E. I don't know who she is, and she very well may not be influential about unicorns - only a very select few are - but Carrie with an E's influence should have no bearing on Carri without an E's influence on unicorns.
I'd like to believe you will recognize this injustice and restore unicorn influence to @carribrown, but I have seen how carelessly you distribute and take back your topics of influence and therefore, I have little faith you will do the right thing.
But just remember this, Klout. What goes around, comes around. One day, when you least expect it, you will be stripped of that which you hold most dear. I'm not really sure what that is, but when I find out...watch out. Seriously. WATCH. OUT.
Linking up with lovelinks! Woot!