Last week, I was greeted early one morning with the news that I was influential on Parenting. Klout sent an e-mail to congratulate me on this impressive accomplishment. I felt a bit caught off-guard to handle the news for two reasons. First, I have never tweeted nor written anything about parenting. Second, I am not nor have I ever been a parent. As I imagine in order to be influential on parenting those two things are important, I was very confused as to why, exactly, Klout has bestowed upon me this honor. This thought process led me from bewilderment, to mild annoyance, to acceptance, and, finally, to empowerment~or as I will call them The Four Stages of Unwarranted +K-ing.
(For those unfamiliar with Klout, it is an online tool that measures your influence on social media platforms. It also indicates topics that you have a degree of influence in the conversation.)
I understand why Klout declares that I have a minor influence in some areas. For instance, I agree with Klout that I am in influential about Mustaches (or as they call it, “Moustaches”).
In January, I lamented about the fact that my 200+ fake mustache’s I purchased in 2006 had dwindled down to 2 (which I store together in an envelope in hopes they procreate). I also discussed participating in Mustache March with a few colleagues as we had done the year prior (picture above). Mustaches, education, and technology are all things that I have posted about and understand why Klout would associate those topic with me.
Also, Zombies. I get why Klout believes that I am influential on Zombie matters (not Zombies, of course, as the only thing that can influence them is a nearby warm body that they can eat).
But parenting? Really? Where in my digital footprint could they have gotten that?
(It’s a brief period, really)
What about 80s, 90s, and 00s pop culture? So far in this blog, I have written about Scrubs, Captain Planet, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, The Magic Eye, Star Wars, The Muppets, and The West Wing. But instead of my cherished pop culture +K, I get parenting!?!
Is Klout trying to tell me something? Perhaps Klout (in cahoots with my mother?) is telling me that it’s time to think about becoming a parent? Would I be a good parent is the question that I have been pushed to ask myself. Klout not only thinks that I will be good, but I will be influential as a parent! I feel as if I have a +K in real world parenting from Klout.
As my focus moved from mild annoyance to acceptance, I started to peruse some parenting blogs and began to watch the OC not from Seth’s perspective (the smart aleck-y emo kid), but from Sandy Cohen’s (his father). I now believe that I can be a
good influential parent! I can live up the the expectations that Klout has set for me.
This episode made me think about expectations that I have for my students. Sometimes I am like Klout (in this scenario), telling my students that they can become skillful in an area if they are willing to work at it. For instance, today we delved into a variety of primary documents that students individually had to hypothesize why the documents were written and what the back story of the document was. This was not an easy task, but before we began I told them (truthfully) that this was a skill that they were going to develop.
And I guess that is what Klout was telling me that morning.* That if I were going to work at it, I will be a good parent. Now, I can’t wait to tell my wife that I got a +K on Parenting!
Please to leave a comment about your views of seemingly unwarranted expectations!