When Did Photography Become a Popularity Contest?

How many times have you seen or heard on a social media site the following phrase "I have xxxx amount of people that "like" my page"?

While I am well aware in today's society how important the outreach of social media is and the amount of business it has the potential of generating. Do you ever really sit there and wonder why it is that people actually "like" your photography page? Is it because they are friends helping to support you or is it that you have thousands of people that really like the work that you post. 

As a photographer, I want people to like my work based on the fact that the work that I do is excellent work. I am well aware of the fact that I don't have tens of thousands of followers on social media, but yet I feel like I am a well respected photographer and that I excel at my craft. Does that mean that everyone will "like" my work? Absolutely not. What it means is those that do I hope are liking it for the right reasons. 

Being a professional photographer should not to me be a popularity contest. I have seen photographers on social media with tens of thousands of followers and their work (in my opinion) is subpar at best. So are they so popular because of their body of work or because they are just better at networking than I am? Either way, to me I don't have to be the most popular kid on the block. I just strive to put out great bodies of work and if that is happening and people still aren't following then it's because one of two things is happening...either my body of work isn't as great as I thought it was or I don't network said body of work properly. 

So when you sit back and look at your body of work as a photographer and look at the amount of "likes" that you have, take a moment to think about what that really means in the grand scale of your self worth as a photographer. He/She with the most likes doesn't always equate to the best body of work.