Why Large Online Followers Don’t Really Make Us Leaders.

onlineleaders

 

There’s something someone said to me not too long ago that I wanted to highlight. They said,

“I feel a lot of people feel its necessary to check their profiles in order to up-keep an identity that they’ve created online and to their friends and so they feel that its necessary to always be on to maintain this identity that they’ve posted online.”

 

I’ll just let that sink in for a second…

 

Social Media gives people a voice.

Anyone a voice, might I add. It’s like giving a multitude of people a bunch of mics and letting them all stand on stage at once to fervently express their opinions, my own included. That is the lovely picture of our virtual reality today. When someone happens to like what you have to say and it makes sense to them, they follow you. It gives virtually anyone a platform no matter what direction they’re going in. Does having this voice automatically make us a leader?

In a sense it does, a leader can be anyone who is a guiding source of direction, even if its in the wrong direction. But when I think of a true leader I think of a person of integrity, not just what’s displayed on the shallow waters of online impressions.

 

Lets talk about integrity.

I believe every true leader, every real leader, leads from a place of integrity. Integrity shows a person of good character when no ones watching. Now I’m not perfect and have learned from mistakes that were beneath me but I love my Father. Every day I just genuinely want to please my God, to honor Him in every choice big or teeny tiny- from the dedication of small unseen tasks in my home to how I treat people who I may never see again. This personal “unseen” life means everything to me. After all, personal integrity is who I really am. So it is under constant reflection and self-accountability whether I have a voice or not. If I can lead a thousand people but can’t help lead my own family in first priority, what kind of leader am I really? If I can be kind on the presence on Facebook but act nasty with people in my personal life, what kind of person am I really? It’s not rocket science! Leadership is a personal thing long before it’s a public thing.

The problem with social media is that it’s a public stage, not a private accountability. I hope for the goodwill of all our social media hits out there but the truth is that we’ve seen how a large following and instant fandom can easily entrap people into believing that “we made it”.

 

God is a crockpot God, not a microwave.

There’s so much building that God wants to do with our character. Character simply isn’t built online. And a true leader has to be a leader of character. It takes the experience of time, trials, and real life encounters. Things that take place offline and can’t be learned behind a screen.

A ka-trillion followers can make us think we’ve reached what it means to be a leader figure based on the measurement of our numbers rather than the measurement of our character. Yet it’s not in what we tweet, but in the personal decisions we make everyday.

So yes, I think that social media can bring light to a leader and expand the influence of good leaders but I don’t believe these numbers could possibly make us leaders at the core.

Hey, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Is social media creating a culture of premature leaders?

-Brittney Moses

photo credit: Jason A. Howie via photopin cc

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Hi friend, Im Brittney and Im so glad youre here! Im a Los Angeles-based author, content creator, podcast host, wife to Jason and mama to Austin. And Ive been blogging here for the past 10 years! As a graduate of psychology and research at UCLA, I help to reduce stigma and assist with helpful information at the intersection of mental health and faith, with some fun lifestyle tips along the way. So lets dive in!

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4 Comments

  1. Hi Brittney
    Having a large following doesn’t make you a leader. I agree…..On the other hand it does! There is the first kind of person who does all he can to get the numbers. He reads up on techniques and clever ways of attracting followers. That is not a leader. What is the definition of a true leader anyway?
    A true leader is someone who doesn’t have the most amount of followers but is someone who can replicate himself! A leader is someone who has people in his life who have been motivated by him and are striving to be like him!
    Jesus was an amazing leader. When He left Earth He had 11 men who were like Him. Men who turned the world upside down like Jesus!
    I have to admit it’s hard to see if you have made that kind of impact online.

    The other thing to ask yourself is, why are you online? Are you being obedient to God calling you to start writing online or are you driven by the prospect of getting popular? A true leader is totally consumed with the purpose God has for him so every time he is online he wants to make an impact, he wants to make a difference and nothing else will satisfy!
    That’s my take on the topic!
    Rolain

    Posted 12.28.14 Reply
    • Thank you for sharing this Rolain!
      I absolutely agree with everything you’ve said. Motives are everything. God bless you!

      Posted 12.28.14 Reply
  2. CassShirl wrote:

    Great comments Rolain and Brittney. I worry about the many Christian leaders online. I wonder whether or not they are who they claim to be online. What I realized, however, is that, there isn’t anything I can do about that. I have decided to take the good counsels, to do as they encourage others to do, as long as it is Bible-based, and leave the rest to God.

    Great topic. Thanks

    Posted 3.7.15 Reply
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