Monday, October 28, 2013

Why Klout Can't Sit With Me

A few months ago I made the mistake of signing up for Klout. I felt guilty about this, since apparently it's been around for a few years now and I rather like to be one of the first when any sort of new social interaction tool comes on the scene. I'm not one of those hipster luddites with a flip phone from the last century. I proudly downloaded iOS 7 as soon as it was available, and then shamelessly judged everyone on metro the next morning who weren't seeing their phones through the beautiful new Helvetica Neue font. I'm a Millennial and so I love Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. I'd be lost without them.

With this in mind, I downloaded Klout with the greatest of trepidation. I am my own harshest judge, so I don't really need anyone's complicated algorithms to help me think less of myself. But my roommate assured me it would be fun and just to download it and then check it every week or so and forget about its existence the rest of the time.

This advice was futile. The moment I downloaded it I lost control of my own online life. Every status, every tweet, every photo I posted was instantly suspect. Would it gain likes? Would people interact with it? What if everyone hates me and has blocked me from their newsfeeds? I became more active everywhere, tweeting and instagramming with reckless abandon.

The problem with Klout is that no one is exactly sure what kind of algorithm they use to determine your score. But everyone agrees that Klout was invented by the Devil himself. Klout is the mean girl at school who loves you one day and doesn't know your name the next. Yet somehow we're still all in high school, vying for the attention of an algorithm that lives in a complex of computers. I can be retweeted a dozen times, favorited ten, and be ridiculously popular on Facebook one day, and my Klout score will fall by two points. The next day I'll post with the greatest trepidation one solitary link which two people will like, and my score will be higher than it has ever been before. It makes no sense in the world, and continually is giving me grief. Add to this the fact that Klout is now refusing to recognize that my Facebook account exists, and you have the perfect storm for any girl's online breakdown.

But really, what's in a number. You know who your friends are, you'll always have your family, and at the end of the day your cat still thinks you're great enough to want under the covers with you. I'm done with caring about my Klout score, and that's enough for me.

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