Popularity essentially refers to the quality of being popular. It entails the quality of being loved and admired by others in a social setup like a school, church, estate, community or in a society. Popularity has effects on the lives of the popular persons. The effects are both positive and negative. Some of the effects include: social stability and success, security, economic gains and ability to peer influence.
Popularity avails to the person the ability to influence his peers. This refers to the ability to drive an agenda among a group of people. Usually popularity would come with persuasive ability and charisma. These compliments blend well into the rare ability of influencing others into one’s agenda. Influence over others could be exploited either positively or negatively. One could employ his popularity to persuade others into acting responsibly. He could use his position in society to champion and advocate for the ethical right. This is usually typical of world celebrities and political classes in society. The leaders of the day would use their popularity to influence other into doing the right thing. On the other hand, there are cases where influence occurs in a negative manner. For instance, the spread of alcohol, drug and substance abuse can be attributed to the peer influence from popular personalities.
Another effect of popularity is emotional security. Popularity had the effect of making one feel secure and at ease. In fact, a recent research showed that the people who thought they were popular were secure about themselves. As such, they were suitable and appropriate company. These people listened more to others compared to the people who thought themselves less popular. In addition, these people valued the contributions, ideas and feelings of their colleagues compared to their unpopular counterparts. At times the security that comes with popularity overlaps into arrogance and contempt for others. As such, it has been observed that some popular personalities would be contemptuous and arrogant towards other people. This can be explained by the human nature of self importance. At times, popularity makes these people feel self important about themselves to the complete oblivion of the surrounding environment.
Popularity has an impact on the social skills and performance of persons. It has been noted that popular people generally fair above board in social performance. They have the ability to easily interact with others, make friends. They also have the rare ability to connect with people from across the social classes. It remains debatable whether the social skills are acquired prior or after attaining popularity. However, studies show that popularity comes first. Once one becomes popular, he acquired the social performance skills naturally. It begins with a boost in his self esteem. The boosted self esteem leads to progressive behavior and demeanor towards other people. Studies conducted to find out the correlation between popularity and economic success in life has reported a positive correlation. According to scholars, popular persons tended to be successful economically. The popularity was translated into the social networking and ability to lure others into their business deals. These people, therefore, became successful because of their established rapport with their contacts, clients and customers.
In conclusion, it should be appreciated that popularity has a number of effects which are either positive or negative. The effects, however, fall within the control of the human beings. It, therefore, remains upon the popular personalities to decide what effects their popularity would have on society. It ought to be noted that while popularity is not at the discretion of the person, the effects remain under his discretion.
Cillessen, Antonius H, David Schwartz and Lara Mayeux. Popularity in the Peer System. New York: Guilford Press, 2011.