The HR Juggler

Social Vanity

Posted on: July 27, 2011

Vanity…that’s something that we all have a bit of really, isn’t it? Although it has to be said that we don’t like talking about it much. Would I carry on blogging if no-one ever read it, gave me feedback or commented? Probably not. Whilst I don’t blog for others per se and I genuinely gain a lot from it, it would also be disingenuous to claim that I write entirely for myself…if that were the case then why would I publish anything? Surely a private log would be just as effective in terms of articulating my thoughts.

Social media has a plethora of opportunities for individuals to feed their vanity…klout scores, follower numbers, blog subscribers, page views…all of which we make our personal decisions about, in terms of which, if any of them, are important to us. 

I have been pondering the vanity question for a while and whether it matters that there is undoubtedly an element of this to most social media interaction. For me, provided I am aware of this aspect of it and honest with myself about it, then that’s fine. At the end of the day, humans respond to recognition and praise, feedback and interaction and always have done, regardless of what form it takes.

So for now, with some caution and self-awareness and in small doses, I am embracing my social vanity…how about you?

7 Responses to "Social Vanity"

Good stuff, I’m sure I recall @TheHRD writing about this in ye bygone days…

Coincidentally I’ve just written a piece about the numbers behind the blog. Primarily as a way of sharing my learning about running a blog embedded into the company website. Something we’ve both observed is the gain, the learning we get from people’s comments, hear hear to that.

Thanks Doug. You’re right that it may have been said before – its been part of my self–reflection for a while :).

Good for you for sharing the numbers – its a really interesting insight and again not always talked about as much as it could be. Check out for the link.

I’m not meaning to finger point at all (except partially at myself!) and as you say there are many benefits in the learning, feedback, encouragement and comments you get from blogging, which I greatly value.

[…] Social Vanity ( […]

You’ve just prompted me to look at Klout and PeerIndex again.

I was going to disagree with you, but obviously vanity plays at least some part in my tweeting, if not blogging…

Ooops – sorry Patrick! Thanks for stopping by to comment 🙂

Thanks for writing about this Alison – it’s been bouncing around my mind too…

Thinking of Klout etc. I’ve struggled to find anything similar in the offline world… It’s a bit like expecting to measure the number of people who look at you as you walk down the street… If you could measure it, it might feed our vanity but we don’t and for most of us it would be meaningless anyway…

Sure if you are trying to attract as many shoppers as possible then put a board on your back, walk up and down the street and see how many more people come to your shop. But if you’re not selling golf clubs or cheap trainers then why bother? Personal recommendation and great engagement count for so much more.

So for me there is a false vanity out there which unless you are in that market it doesn’t pay to be concerned about, and never excessively. I’m not finger pointing but this is the lesson I’ve learnt – I recognise my occasional vanity but know it for what it is!

Hello Alison,

An interesting blog.

My take on the subject of vanity is that I do things for myself, I love to look nice, put makeup on, brush my hair etc but for myself first and foremost, just because I value myself.
How others perceive me is beside the point, of course I like people to like me and praise me but I don’t need them to.
If I write a blog then it because I just enjoy writing and if anyone cares to read it and I connect with someone then that is a bonus.

Just my opinion xx

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