I hear this a lot from people. They say “I don’t want to be popular” or “I don’t care if I have friends” and so forth. Almost to a tee these statements come from people that want more friends, but just don’t know how to get them. I am not trying to be mean, but a lot of people utter these phrases to convince themselves that the basic human desire to be loved and admired is bunk. Such a phrase is likely a lie because it goes against basic human nature.
I think the better solution would be to learn the skills that make a person popular, rather than swearing off popularity altogether. Teaching kids how to be popular in school, for example, would be more effective than having kids cram down their desires for friends and dates while their feelings of isolation grow.
Unfortunately, popularity has gotten a bad rap, and a lot of “popular” people are really just feared. The bullies and jerks appear popular, but are really secretly hated. Fortunately, reality often catches up, and these losers often fail at life after high school. Some succeed and end up bullying people in the workplace. Again, they are more feared and hated, than popular.
Also, people think to be popular they have to sacrifice their values. That is not true either. Some of the most popular people (like Martin Luther King Jr, Ghandi, and Jesus) are admired and loved because they stuck to their values. These individuals knew how to stick to their values without being obnoxious about it, something people of all faiths, political positions, etc, should learn.
So, yes, I do care if I am popular. I do like having friends. I do like the benefits of popularity.