If money can’t buy happiness, what can it buy?
Studies have shown that money can’t buy happiness. But can it buy popularity? Can it buy influence? These are questions I’m attempting to answer in an experiment I’m running.
So … it turns out you can buy Twitter followers. It’s actually pretty easy. Now, there are a lot of “professional” Twitter follower buying services out there, but I’m opting to lash out on the $5 online marketplace, Fiverr. I chose to use Fiverr for a few reasons:
- Its sellers offered the best value for money, in terms of new followers per dollar (providing they actually deliver on their promise).
- Using an online marketplace means I don’t have to hand over my personal details to some shady website. Let’s face it, the websites selling these kinds of services are not the ones you want to be giving your email address and payment details!
I currently have 284 followers on Twitter.
As a reference point, as of today—Thursday, 16 August 2012, at 11:04 PM in Melbourne, Australia (UTC +10 hours)—I have 284 followers on Twitter. That’s the base number we’ll use before making any purchases.
I tried to find the most legitimate sellers I could. I plan to purchase 3 different “gigs” on Fiver, which promise to deliver:
- “more then [sic] 25,500+ real twitter followers”;
- “16000+ real looking TWITTER followers”; and
- “21500 real looks [sic] twitter followers”.
I’ll purchase these gigs in a staggered fashion over a few days to ensure the service providers don’t get confused with each other—I’d hate to short-change myself!
In that same study I mentioned earlier, researchers found that whilst money doesn’t lead to happiness, social status does. In particular, respect and admiration from your peers has more to do with your well-being than how much money you make.
Let’s be clear, this is far from a scientific study with proper control variables and statistically significant measurement mechanisms. What it will test, though, is whether you can buy “popularity” (using that term loosely, considering these new followers are almost guaranteed to be bots).
Will my new-found popularity impact my real life? Will people take me more seriously because I’m influential? Maybe I’ll get free kickbacks and faster customer support than before. Maybe I’ll get that dream job I’m looking for in advertising!
Or maybe it’ll mean nothing. Probably that.
Update (17/08/12 at 10:05 AM): My Klout score is currently 57.62. It will be interesting to see whether this changes over the course of the experiment, too.