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Call It What It Is: Clout chasing isn't a personality trait

It’s a common feeling to want to be up in the nitty gritty details of a big event. The want for knowledge might be overwhelming, but is everyone looking for knowledge?

Clout is a relatively new term. Clout essentially refers to the power or social influence a person holds. Those who actively seek clout, even if it negatively impacts other people, are deemed clout chasers.

Some of the most notable celebrities have built their fame off of controversy — maybe even some of your favorites. The Kardashian and Jenner fortune has been booming recently as each member of the family seems to have a solid hold in one major industry or another. That success didn’t just happen, though. They have Robert Kardashian to thank for the initial spotlight on the family. Kim, Kourtney and Khloe’s father was the attorney for perhaps the most important trial of the 20th century, involving O.J. Simpson. That was just their first taste of fame. In 2007, Kim Kardashian had a scandalous video leak and the family ran with it, and thus, an empire of clout chasing was born.

If you proudly wear the title, go for it. It’s 100% within your rights, as it could be seen as a form of speech or expression. Engage with these social interactions as much as you’d like, but remember that there might be repercussions to your actions. 

You risk your professional brand or title when you actively seek out controversial situations as your values could be called into question. If the message of the event goes against that of your employer, it not only puts a bad image on the company, but other employees. 

Clout chasing is a very public act and is either attractive to other people with your same intentions or a deterrent for people who want nothing out of that interaction. The comedic value you see in a controversial interaction can wait, and the bragging rights you have a slim chance in getting only go so far.

The effects of clout chasing can also be present in politics. If you attend a controversial event that you know nothing about except the fact that you’ll get likes, reposts and followers, there will likely be people you’re putting at a disadvantage, even if you don’t interact with them directly. 

This message isn’t just for the younger generation, because members outside of the Millennial and Gen-Z populations take part in it too. It’s not strictly contained to one form of social media used by each generation. 

If you enjoy spreading inflammatory information, both true and false, you only want a reaction from readers. Not only do you enjoy watching people get heated, you likely get plenty of responses based on what you post and you feel really good about doing it. That feeling isn’t “justice being served” or validation from others, it’s dopamine, and your brain has started associating social media with releasing it as a reward.

For those who are interested in releasing this fun chemical without putting others down, activities such as regular exercise, eating healthy and even getting more sleep can help.

Jack Hiltner is a freshman studying strategic communication at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of columnists do not represent those of The Post. Want to talk to Jack? Tweet him @HiltnerJack. 

Jack Hiltner

Digital Director

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