Social Value: Friendship or Fame?

“I am not really supposed to say this, since I promised John I wouldn’t tell anyone, but do you know what he told me? I will tell you if you promise – absolutely promise – that you won’t tell anyone, okay?”

Secrets and insecurity mix like candy and children: those who have got it, think they have got something valuable, something that others might want to have. Something that makes them being appreciated by others. After all, who doesn’t want to hear a big fat rumor about that chick on college that “allegedly” has some kind of affair with the crippled teacher? That’s awesome to know, right? Because, now you know it, you have increased your value, you have increased the number of likes on your Facebook-page, you have got a check that you can cash at any time you want. And why would it even matter that you promised someone that you wouldn’t tell anyone about his or her little secret? I mean: the people you tell the secret to aren’t going to spread it, right? Of course not. Not if they just shut their mouths and stick to their promises. Just like you almost managed to do.

Choices, choices. Considerations, considerations. Friendship or popularity, comfort or fame. Considerations, considerations. What would you do? Would you hear the confession and leave it with that? Or would you use this precious little inside information for increasing your very own social value? Difficult, difficult. A stock broker would cash his inside information, right? Exploit it to the fullest. And so should you, right?

Friendship without trust is like shitting on a broken toilet: it just gets messy. And after a while, you decide to take your shit elsewhere, away from the leaky toilet. Betraying your friends’ confidence is like the buying of derivatives in reverse: instead of you distributing the risk among the many happy buyers, thereby decreasing your own risk, the more happy buyers that buy your pretty little rumors, the bigger the risk you carry will get. And although high risks go hand in hand with high pay-offs, you should have balls of steel in order to cope with it. Because if someone snitches, the pyramid of conspiracy collapses, and it will all come back to the source: the leaky insecure source that is you. The source whose longing for social value was higher than the loyalty to his friends. And now, as the crisis has taken off, you have lost all of your value. You are bankrupt. You not only lost the respect of the periphery of your social circle, whose hypocrisy resides in the fact that they like to spread tasty rumors on the one hand, just to increase their own social value, but – when they get caught – scream that loyalty is the biggest virtue of mankind. No, you lost something far more valuable. You lost the core, the fire that was there to warm your hands and absorb your confessions. Your friend, your trust, your dignity. It’s gone. It’s all gone.

So what do you do? Love your friends or enjoy the fame? Get a steady pay-off or go for the highest of profits? It’s up to you.

What do you think?

Written by Rob Graumans

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