the force that attracts a body toward the center of the earth, or toward any other physical body having mass. For most purposes Newton’s laws of gravity apply, with minor modifications to take the general theory of relativity into account; the degree of intensity of this, measured by acceleration.
I know, pretty geeky. But we all have a certain gravity, a certain influence over those around us — both physically and digitally. In the definition above it talks about two distinct kinds of gravity.
The first is the one that keeps us on the ground — effectively keeping us down. You know those people in your life. Anytime you have a brilliant idea or even a good day, they throw the proverbial wet blanket on your party. Online these people are affectionately called “trolls”. They troll around blogs and social media looking to inflict their gravity on others. Their gravity pulls us down. Complainers fall into this category. Someone once painted this word picture of a complainer to me. They said imagine a hot air balloon, floating along…and when someone complains, the hot air balloon drops a bit.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my bad days, where I bitch and moan about crap that doesn’t really matter and I’m thankful the only other person in my office loves me even at my worst. (I work from a home office and my wife tolerates me when I brat out).
The second kind of gravity is when something or someone is drawn towards another object or person.
I call this influence. When you contribute for the sake of contributing — that is attractive and people are drawn to it. I’m not talking about the next piece of bling Apple or Samsung throw out there that people are attracted to — that type of gravity while real is fleeting. I am refering to why millions read Seth Godin’s blog or why Guy Kawasaki has 10 million followers on social media. Their gravity pull people towards them because they give openly, honestly, and freely. The other things that has a certain gravity is being authentic — it is so attractive that a hole in the wall food joint will beat the crap out of a bright and shiny chain restaurant. Why — its food is authentic.
Set me free, leave me be. I don’t want to fall another moment into your gravity. Here I am and I stand so tall, just the way I’m supposed to be.
But you’re on to me and all over me. — Sara Bareilles
So think about what kind of gravity you are having on those around you and online. Do you attract people to you by your generosity and authencity? Or do you bring people down with snarky comments and complaining? Be intentional about your influence and you may be surprised who ends up close to you.