The generation of instant fame

I have publicly expressed contempt against ‘a certain social media app’ and its vast user base a number of times and people have retaliated with ‘what do you have against it anyways?’ Many users of this app believe that it is an open platform for creative expression, and all forms of creative expression are good. Let me get that out of the way first – I have nothing against how the app is making way for people to creatively express themselves. A lot of users do produce appealing, funny and entertaining content; all of which I have nothing against. A few of my closest friends are consistent users of the app and I have often complimented their work on it. My personal prejudice against this app is based on a simple understanding that I have of it – most users are not worthy of the recognition that the app is bringing them. This undue credit is leading to the creation of a generation which is mediocre, narcissistic and despicably shallow.

For any talent to be recognized and awarded, it takes years of practice and excellence. The foundation built by such practice and perseverance enables a person who gains slow popularity and recognition to grow into a role model who can lead the next generation based on experience and expertise. That is true for every field starting from entertainment to science. When an individual is successful based on years’ of hard work, the foundation of self-assurance backs him against any hurdles, failures and criticism. Should a failure come his way, he falls back on the foundation he has built through the years and rebuilds on it.

However, the generation named after this app is rapidly gaining popularity based on a filter enhanced face supplemented by a pre-made script or music, imitating a formerly popularized scenario. The only talent displayed by the maker of a video on the app is a mild amount of acting talent, which most likely wouldn’t even be a speck of dust against actors who train day and night in theatre arts and acting schools. Although, such talented actors hardly have recognition while the filter-enhanced pretty ones on the app have followers in 5-6 digits. I do not need to elaborate on the consequences of success and recognition that comes without a foundation. Without a foundation, castles in air crumble into voids of depression and anxiety.

Again, I do not generalize; there sure are people who can make the best use of the app to display some real talent. But most of them aren’t such talents. The digital world is quick to recognize beauty over real talent, and quick to replace a prettier face over meaningful content. This has led to a lot of ‘talents’ on the app to feel incredible about themselves. The momentary gratification which comes from complimentary responses and not from hard trained talent, results in narcissism and not long lasting self-assurance. Same applies to any kind of fame that comes from circumstantial actions as opposed to persistence. This trend, when elongated, results in the younger generation becoming addicted to mediocrity and instant fame, which, needless to say, is mental health on a suicidal mission.

This judgement is definitely personal. This post does not aim to circulate prejudice. If you are someone who believes that the app is indeed a creative platform that the younger generation must intently pursue, I can respect that opinion but I wouldn’t want to be recognized as one of your associates.

[Article based on personal opinion. No targets or name calling involved. Kindly do not come at me.]

Featured image taken via Google

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