Want to be popular? Easy! Go with the crowd — follow whatever they think, feel and do, feed whatever they wish, and be part of them.
Popularity comes when you make the crowd feel you’re one of them and cater to their needs. They’ll love you for it. And it’s very human. Humans generally feel more comfortable with and being among their own kind. Similarities and familiarities bind people together. Kinships, fraternities, sororities, tribes, nations are formed because the members share a set of common things — whether real or imaginary — among themselves. The more things they share, the closer the ties are, and the stronger the group’s solidarity is. Recognition — the basis for one’s popularity — is given and is mutually shared among people who belong to the same group.
Popularity is good. But like any other good things, there is always a price tag to it. Sometimes this price tag is too high to ignore because not everyone can afford it. And even if everyone can at one time or another, nobody can sustain it for a long time without being drained of their resources, without experiencing any deterioration or exhaustion of any kinds. We, and the world we live in, are simply not designed to remain unchanging at all times, at any cost, and in any situation — no matter how good the thing that we want to keep is.
We evolve, the world around us evolves, and situations change, all the time! And it is because of these changes, somewhere, sometime, somebody (or a relatively small group of people) will see the need to change, to adapt, to introduce something new. This person (or group people) introducing the invention or innovation may at first be considered to be a heretic. They will be resisted, despised, condemned, and be considered an outcast because they disturb the existing conformity, harmony, and the comfort zone embraced by the whole flock. In the long run, however, this person (or group of people) may turn out to be a hero who saves everyone else from deterioration and destruction.
Visionary and courageous people like them — people who dare to put their heads above the rest with the risk of being cut off by the blade of conformity — are outstanding people, pioneers, wheel-turners and history mover; people who are not afraid to be themselves; people who are not afraid to believe in what they believe to be right, who are not afraid to act on that belief, no matter how risky it is to their own safety and acceptance by their group members.
Popularity, in its emphasis on and adherence to conformity, can be a mass destroyer because it stops or attempts to stop the unstoppable motion of the universe. Unpopularity — a burden borne by courageous souls offering new ideas, adventure to the uncharted territories — can, on the other hand, be a life-saver, even if at first it feels like a disaster or a calamity.
Therefore, it is healthy and necessary to always turn an eye to the unpopular and be skeptical of the popular, no matter how comforting the later is.