I can usually operate under the illusion that I am pleasant, well-liked and destined for career success.
Last week was an exception.
No, I'm not talking about the social stigma of being unmarried on Valentine's Day. In fact, the emotional sting didn't even come directly from a human relationship, or lack thereof.
It came from LinkedIn.
For the uninitiated, LinkedIn is a social network for work professionals. You might use it to post your resume, network with connections and sometimes even find a new job.
Oh yeah, the website is also a great way to enter a deep pit of despair. The sensation surfaced when I saw the following updates in my Twitter feed.
"I have one of the top 10 percent most-viewed LinkedIn profiles for 2012."
"I have one of the top 5 percent most-viewed LinkedIn profiles for 2012."
"I have one of the top 1 percent most-viewed LinkedIn profiles for 2012."
Anxiously, I searched my inbox, hoping to find similar bragging rights. Nothing. Like any naive technology addict, I savored a temporary belief that the good news simply disappeared into a hidden spam folder.
But the belief only offered so much hope. In the absence of an official email, I was denied entry into the digital cool kids' club.
So I retreated to my junior high days and spent a night listening to Ace of Base and fantasizing about befriending the "Beverly Hills, 90210" crew. After that, I took action.
I hit the Internet and researched the campaign's validity.
The first article I found gave me some smug satisfaction. It came from PRNewser and was headlined, "Sorry, LinkedIn users: You're not all that special."
Since LinkedIn says it has 200 million members, 20 million people occupy the "top 10 percent" club. Still, LinkedIn encouraged recipients of its congratulatory messages to share the good news on other social media sites.
Apparently, it was a success.
The website TechCrunch wrote about the campaign with an article that included this headline: "Appealing to our egos worked -- over 80,000 people bragged on Twitter about having one of the most-viewed profiles on LinkedIn."
It proves the thrill of popularity doesn't escape in adulthood. So if you run a business, don't forget to make your audience feel special.
On a personal note, I suppose the digital rejection taught me some lessons, too. I learned life goes on once your inflated view of digital influence is shattered. The campaign wasn't a complete indicator of real-life popularity, but I humbly accepted the fact that some people carry remarkable influence on LinkedIn.
Then, I prayed their bragging would come back to bite them.
Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-571-8516. Visit ledger-enquirer.com/sonya to read her columns.