We are all different, unique and all the other stuff that our parents and friends tell us to make us feel better about ourselves when we just don’t fit in, or we can’t find someone to share our hobbies and dislikes with. But there are things that make us so similar, it’s scary. Take social networks for instance. Most of us have at least one account, that we check at least on a weekly basis, no matter how busy we are. And besides this, when it comes to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other networks as such, we tend to follow the same people as well.
And here they are: at least 5 types of people that we follow on social networks.
As expected, the first people we add to our social network are friends. If Facebook, Twitter and the rest were made just so that you stay in touch with your friends, the number of people we follow would take a huge fall. But friends are the first people that we share the social network experience with. The ones that add us to their list before we even get to post a message or add a Profile picture. And the ones who will always be there for us when we post something, no matter if it’s a picture that nobody needs to see, or personal thoughts that shouldn’t be shared with anyone else but our closest friends.
The second group of people we follow are the ones with a 50/50 chance of becoming friends or just someone we used to know. These are our mates. And by mates, I mean all the people that we used to/still are sharing a common educational or professional background with. Whether it’s our 2nd grade mate that we haven’t talked to in over 10 years, or the guy you share your office with, we all have at least one mate listed on our social network. Because we want to revive an old friendship. Because that mate became somebody influential in the meantime. Because, this way, everybody will know where you are working, without you needing to brag about it. Or just out of the need to expand your social network.
A particularly funny category that we add to our social networks is the famous people category, aka celebrities. And I don’t say funny, because they are necessarily funny people. It’s because, down deep inside, we think that if we add Johnny Depp or Angelina Jolie to our list of friends, then maybe, just maybe, one day they will retweet or like one of our posts. Or, if we manage to not get so carried away, having a celebrity in our list of friends nourishes that need for gossip or, depending on the celebrity, the need for information. But still, wouldn’t it be fun if one day you’d find a private message from Steven Spielberg asking you to cast for one of the parts in his latest movie? Or send a copy of your book to turn it into a movie? You’d never get this message if you didn’t have him in your list, now, would you?
Besides celebrities, there’s other type of influential people that we follow. These are the people that work in companies that we dream of working in. People that know other people who might help us in our quest for the perfect job. Or just regular people who can turn our little novel written on our blogs, or our little movie posted on YouTube into the next big hit. All they have to do is read it or watch it. The more, the merrier. And that is how a star is born…in the Social Media Era.
5. Must Follow
Last, but not least, there are the must follow people. These are, usually, the people who already have hundreds of followers and friends. Not because they are famous. Not because they actually have so many friends. Hell, probably they don’t know half of the people that are following them. But they have that certain something that makes everybody want to read their posts. They are the people who always have something fun to say. Or something interesting. Something useful. Something that will make you smarter. Or something that will help you make a decision regarding what to eat, drink, watch, appreciate, buy, wear, create, use, learn today. Most of the times, they are complete strangers. But, man, how we’d wish to have come up with the idea that they’re selling, before they did.
Which one of these groups has the highest proportion in our lists, on a global scale? That, I don’t know. And if it wasn’t researched yet, I think it would make a really interesting research topic. But, in the meantime, you can take a look at your list and have your say: what type of people do you follow the most?