Storytelling: Popular is not Better

I am sitting at an auditorium watching kids perform classical Indian dance. One after the other group of kids are coming on the stage and performing. Then one group suddenly starts to get a lot of claps. Every 2 – 3 mins people would clap and I would too but not because I thought it was good but because everyone clapped, I clapped, almost unintentionally.

This experience left me puzzled and I asked myself, that group was not better but yes popular why? After thinking a lot about it, I drew a parallel of it comedy and talks shows where people insert canned laughter at strategic spots, inciting the audience to laugh along. Here the laughter was replaced with claps. Someone from the audience was strategically placed to start the claps and one person started other followed, social proof.

Social media has given social proof a stronger definition, we don’t really know who is good at what they do and who is not merely by their superficial presence on social media so we go with social proof, who has the most likes etc. Social media storytelling is designed for popularity which doesn’t guarantee good.

Keep in mind, popular is not better

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