It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things. Henry David Thoreau Unquote
In last week’s show I presented you with an anti-procrastination method called the Pomodoro Technique. It’s a popular system that really works and in effect it is also entirely free so if you are struggling with procrastination and are desperately clutching for a new way to get passed it then I suggest you go back, LISTEN TO THAT SHOW and start using the method outlined there. It could instantly change your life and work for the better.
We are now halfway through this is mini season and today I want to highlight something a little bit different that I see creeping more and more into social media and it’s a dangerous habit to get into. If you rely on social media in any business sense or if you use it off and on to do any form of promotion then getting into this way of thinking will only mark you as an amateur, as desperate and much of the time simply as an asshole. It’s also very bad for your mental health. You may not be familiar with the term, but I think you’ll recognise the sort of person that today’s topic defines pretty quickly.
Clout chasing is an expression that came out of the American rap music industry and in simple terms a Clout Chaser is someone who does and says things simply for the purpose of becoming more popular. In my day these people would be referred to as attention seekers, but clout chasers take it to the extreme. It is an identifier primarily used in reference to people on social media that are desperate to gain attention, fame and followers. You may also encounter the phrases clout chasing and chasing clout in regard to it. Originally being called a clout chaser had a negative connotation but these people are so fickle that many unabashed clout chasers will call themselves out for their own stupidity, carelessness or crimes just for the sake of gaining even more attention.
At one end of the clout chasing scale we have a bunch of internet fame hungry youths doing dim-witted things like supergluing costume vampire fangs to their teeth just so they can get a few more likes, a few more followers or the attention of someone more influential. This trend actually happened and needless to say Dentists advised against the practice, citing the fact that the glue “is poisonous and won’t come off.” These people don’t care though. They believe that they are chasing social influence and power, and have lost touch with reality because they have lost themselves in social media. They measure their success by online engagement and doing stupid things to them is just an easy way to get attention. To gain more clout. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not saying that success cannot be farmed from online engagement, but doing genuinely dimwitted things just to get the dopamine hit from seeing a few likes or retweets on your timeline in order to make you feel better about the state your life or the state your business to me is just a waste of time and energy and it can have some collateral damage along the way.
In a similar vein you may have seen recently that a bunch of clout chasing idiots decided to remodel their teeth with nail files. This tiktok challenge involved various numbskulls attempting to fix their uneven smiles by using a nail file to sand their teeth down to size. Dr. Chad Evans, co-founder of Texas-based Smile Magic Family Dental, said of this practice. “You’re doing irreparable damage and destruction to your teeth,” but a clout chaser won’t care about the backlash necessarily. To them someone calling out their stupidity just brings all the more clout to their actions.
Another ludicrous fad worthy of a mention may be The #peeyourpantschallenge hashtag which quickly racked up 3.9 million views on TikTok and yes, it is EXACTLY WHAT YOU THINK IT IS.
At the other end of this scale would be the more insane and believe it or not POPULAR “passout challenge” where participants are dared to choke themselves until they passed out for several seconds. A 10-year-old girl in Italy tied a belt around her neck and accidentally asphyxiated herself doing it last January.
Sadly that’s not the end of these crazy behaviours as any quick search on Google will throw up plenty of references to clout chasers discharging firearms and shooting themselves or others while they make videos in the hope of gaining some notoriety. One girl staged a fake kidnapping for her tiktok following and ended up getting shot in the head. Many clout chasers will actually go out and film themselves breaking the law just to gain a little more online street cred. Needless to say these Darwin award winning fatheads inevitably get what’s coming to them, but not until after they’ve inflicted injury or even committed murder during their crime sprees.
After rapper Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed by a clout chaser in his neighbourhood Youtuber Doit Jack said this on today’s topic -
Clout Chasers will bypass all morality, all logic, know what I’m saying? Any type of loyalty just to get some type of attention and these motherfuckers are dangerous… to them clout is more important than money itself, it’s more important than love… these are the ones that you want to stay far far away from you know. I mean you need to watch out, you need to watch out, you need to watch out… unquote
Now I’m not highlighting these more outrageous instances because I think this sort of clout chasing is a big problem with professionals working in the creative industries, these examples are merely to highlight the point that some people will do anything for fame or attention, but I do see lesser forms of clout chasing in the posts of some who are desperate for success. I see it and I think that it’s incredibly sad and worrying.
I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you. Friedrich Nietzsche unquote
I’ve seen people I know fabricate straight up lies about their business or about their success to try and gain influence, popularity or likes on social media. They are posting about projects that don’t exist and relationships with influential people that they have never spoken to. For all the wrong reasons these attention seekers gain the attention of those of us in the industry that are genuine, and we know what is going on and what is frankly ridiculous. I’ve seen people photoshop themselves into an image and talk about travelling to work in other countries using a FAKE MY GEOLOCATION app while they lie low and hideout in the UK. All of this to trick followers, potential backers and possible employers, into believing that they are working on important international projects. The trouble with this sort of behaviour I find though, is that they muddy the pool, and when eventually people discover what they are up to, their lies start to backfire. For a short time they may gain attention, financial gain and influence but sooner or later they will fall on their own swords.
All liars ... lie to protect themselves, to shield their egos from the raw pain of truth. Aminatta Forna Unquote
As I have mentioned before, I totally accept the fake it till you make it promotional stance that some people take but when people start to realise that they have been lied to, that is when this tactic can backfire and you’ll have to work 100 times harder in future before people will start to trust them again.
I have also seen clout chasers hijacking social media chat threads and it’s really quite annoying. I posted a thing a few days ago asking people to name actors that deserve more recognition. One guy hijacked the thread when he tagged in a lot of younger actors who he knew would feedback with thank yous and reposts. I had to sit through all this nonsense and eventually muted his account. People that do this sort of thing on social media will also ask questions they could easily Google just to get replies and interaction. To me it’s just an elevated form of time wasting and I’ve already done an episode on that.
I raise this kinda strange topic on the show today as something a little bit different, and as I want to make you aware of it. The people that are chasing clout may not be immediately obvious to you but they are time wasters and time scammers. They can also trick others into parting with money to support their hairbrained and outrageous lies.
If you are sliding this way yourself, check what you are doing and think about the probable damage it is doing to your reputation. I can name the clout chasers I see on social media, and on many occasions I’ve heard others say bad things about them too. Genuine people, genuine employers or creative professionals can spot the bullshitters a mile off. If you are doing this in the hope of catching the eye of someone influential and important, I can almost guarantee you that as time rolls on your actions will be having the opposite effect and you will not gain what you seek. You don’t want to be thought of in this way - it will do nothing for your life and career.
For those of you who have not been aware of this strange trend, which goes beyond what I’d call regular self-promotion, I urge you to be extremely cautious about what you read on the internet. Don’t invest time, money or energy in anyone who talks about how wonderful or connected they are without actually seeing some proof. Clout chasers will go to incredible lengths to make their lies believable but it’s all smoke and mirrors so don’t believe the hype. Avoid those people who only ever talk about doing things but who don’t ever seem to complete and investigate their claims if they are trying to draw you into something, part with cash or attempt to associate themselves with your good standing and reputation. You could live to regret it if you don’t.
Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them. Henry David Thoreau
I think it’s fair to say that this has been a rather oblique topic for film pro productivity and success but I wanted to discuss it as I believe that desperation is starting to make people say and do some really bizarre things. Whilst they are chasing fame or profile in this oblique way the chances are they are having little or no impression on the things that actually matter.
If you are feeling desperate and struggling to make a mark with what you are doing then I’d suggest that you try and harness your desperation in a different way. William S. Burroughs described
Desperation as the raw material of drastic change.
Benjamin Disraeli said that
Desperation is sometimes as powerful an inspirer as genius.
I think these statements are true but let’s not let desperation lead us to chasing social media likes just to make us feel better. It won’t further your work and it will damage your reputation. Rather than letting desperate feelings lead us down the path of the clout chaser, let’s use that energy in a more focused way. To make plans, to follow inspired strategies and to take positive action. Don’t get distracted by clout chasing. Just focus down on what you want to get and take action to get it.
Call to action:
Today’s call to action is to have a good look at those you follow on social media but who you suspect may not be all they seem. Decide whether or not they are worth your time and energy. If they are a toxic clout chaser you may want to think about distancing yourself from them.
On next week’s show I’m going to turn the spotlight on a subject that is particularly nasty but which is very prevalent at the moment. I’ll be talking about victim mentality.
End quote: I’ll end now though with a quote which I find particularly relevant to today’s topic. It’s by Woody Allen, who said
Who's the bigger idiot, the idiot or the idiot who gets fooled by the idiot?
Now take control of your own destiny and of your own time, keep on shootin’ and join me next time on FILM PRO PRODUCTIVITY AND SUCCESS!
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