Every week I'll get these little emails in my inbox from Klout rating my influence. They'll give me a number, a number that never remains steady, and will give me a plus/minus ranking for my influence over the past couple weeks. They'll judge me off of key words, or retweets and determine what I have influence over. Coffee, motherhood, gluten free, and other things seem to make that list. Every week this computer algorithm is basing me, and my influence, off of what it sees of my online activity. If you're on Klout, you probably get the same.
That's not my real klout.
Well, it is in the social media world. And then I'm sure we could discuss how it's skewed and distorted and impartial and not really a great indicator of true influence. And we could debate how real influence can't simply be based off of a formula and that the relationships matter more.
I don't want to live relying on a social media algorithm for a measure of influence. My measurement tool? My family. My life. Is it balanced? Rightly-ordered? Am I doing the real important?
When I came back from vacation several weeks ago, I came back to a social media world that moves at a frenzied and out of breath pace and I feel behind. The emails are piled up, there is a twitter feed bursting with tweets to respond to, the fb pages that have sat dusty. All good stuff, mind you, and I am grateful for each mention, email, tweet, pin, stumble, thought and more. But, here I am sitting on my front deck watching this flurry of activity racing by and I'm feeling hesitant to step fully into the race.
Do I spend my time chasing after klout numbers?
I think not.
My real influence? It's now. It's in relationships. It's in being a mother - in being there for those blessings that call me mom. It's in getting breakfast for them in the morning, and greeting them as they come down the stairs. It's in learning to shut the netbook and learning to laugh more. It's in the tangible around me and in the relationships that are formed and cultivated.
My motherhood klout? It would be found in staying up rocking a two year old and then letting him sleep next to you after he has a bad dream even though he's the form of a human clock that rotates throughout the night. It would be in scraping together a lunch from a kitchen that has nothing and then having the kids exclaim that lunch was amazing. It's found in getting up every morning, slapping the hair in a pony tail, walking down the stairs, starting the coffee, and doing the same thing, making the same breakfast, all again and doing it with a smile. It's in getting on your knees in prayer. Driving everywhere. Sitting and chatting with your fourteen year old and not caring that dinner will be late.
It takes strength to not care that the living room that you cleaned up perfectly last night that was destroyed with legos by 8:14 in the morning and to announce that the creation that caused a mess was absolutely amazing and to still smile after you step on two of the legos with bare feet.
So the social media frenzy can keep moving. I'll jump on here and there and share a quote and chat and be wise with my time. And in it all, I want to remember that my real klout, my motherhood klout with which I'm only given a limited amount of time to embrace, comes from the seven kids in my home and not an algorithm on the screen.
Motherhood Klout: No sleep survivor. Spilled Milk Cleaner. Creative Chef. Coffee Drinker. Laundry Guru. Cheerleader. Homework master. Chaser after new biker. Constant Cleaner. Baby Rocker. Listener. Bandage Applier. Swimming instructor. Swing pusher. Diaper Changer. Activity Driver. Shoulder to lean on. Perfecter of patience. Giver of unconditional love.
That's real influence.
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