>Social circles and esteem have been the most important factor for success since before we walked on two legs, and social media is just making the hierarchy very transparent.
Yes, people have always used social connections to succeed, and to employ themselves. But today, their importance is too big. Mainly because half of jobs in West are being taken away by automation and globalization so that YOU NEED to use your social circles to proceed, be them in the real life or in the internet, being unable to do that without any social circles. Also, like I described, the existence of social media and the employers checking their applicants' accounts means that it is extremely difficult for anyone with no friends and the right kind of life and the following coming as a result of that, to get hired by anyone. It is a new form of DISCRIMINATION that did not exist before. Before, it mattered what kind of resume, what kind of education and work experience you had. As a result of that, it had NO SIGNIFICANCE to anyone how your private life was, how many and what kind of friends you had, or how did you lead your life otherwise. Those things were NEVER asked and they could not be checked anywhere.
>You can be a total recluse and make something of your life, you just won't get hired into large firms.
Yes, if you choose to be a freak in the internet, getting followers and attention for that. In that case there is no need to prove that you are socially accepted person in the real life. The other choice is to be a GENIUS, so that you get attention for that, and maybe even work offers from the traditional route, but only one in a million is a genius.
>Employ yourself, do something worthwhile, write a book.
It is NOT ENOUGH these days, to do something worthwhile to employ yourself, you also need to have that social media following to be able to employ yourself. If you have an enterprise, you need to advertise it via social networks. And no one really pays attention to an enterprise the social media pages of which do not have big enough a following. And that you can have only if you are interesting enough as a person, having a life interesting enough, with friends and parities or a spouse, children and luxurious vacations. You may barely survive as an entrepreneur without social media following, if your products are good enough, but it won't last long. And yeah, if you write a book, it WON'T SELL unless you have a needed number of followers on your social media page. People are not that interested in reading anymore, so you have to be highly interesting as a person to get some readers. People do not read books for the sake of their story anymore, but for the sake of the writer.