The reverse dictionary explains “cheap action” as unkindly or insincerely using a situation to benefit oneself or to harm someone else. Popularity can simply be explained as acceptance, recognition or regard. Therefore, cheap popularity can be explained as using an insincere situation to gain recognition or harm others.
In our text, the early workers wanted their hours of work to be recognised forgetting about the terms of the master.
Every gift God has deposited in us is for the edification of the church. However, some gifted or talented believers misconceive this and use these gifts to seek for popularity. They tend to use every cheap way or means to become popular, but as believers, we should not forget that God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble, James 4:6.
If believers would diligently serve God with the various gifts He has blessed us with as well as the offices He has called us into, He will lift us up and make the world see the good fruit we have borne.