Do you need to be “mean” to be “popular”?

I was reading an Article in Wired Magazine this week and was struck by the observation that online, being mean pays bigger dividends. The author noticed more retweets when he was snarky than when upbeat so he went to the researchers and found evidence that we as humans actually think people that are “mean” or “hypercritical” as they call it are smarter and more intelligent.

One study cited Teresa M. Amabile from Harvard another Bryan Gibson from Central Michigan University.

Is this really what we want to be known for? Will this get you more business, more friends or more influence? I don’t think so. I do believe it will make you look or appear smarter for the short term But did you ever like the “know it all” when you were in school? No!

People like to do business with, hang out with and trust people they like. I can think you are smart but I don’t believe that is enough to do business with you. In fact if you are compelled to show me how smart you are; I am probably going to be turned off.

So while the author may have gotten more tweets on his negative comments I don’t believe those are true connections. My experience online and in life is that when I am generous, when I share insights, and upbeat messages; I build maybe not so many connections but I build deeper connections.

So am actually calling BS on this article (Am I being hyper critical? Maybe) but if I don’t trust you, then you can’t be popular with me. I don’t trust mean people and I don’t know many people who do. What I have found is that I follow and “trust” the influence of people that are sharing information that is good for us, that is for the development of people and or that is just plain interesting. People that are mean, hyper critical or otherwise not contributing to the good, soon get deleted from my “feeds” and my life.

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