Millennials are obsessed with fame.
This may sound like a massive stereotype of my generation, but I know it’s true. We all in some capacity desire to be in the spotlight.
I understand that this comes in all forms and in all arenas of life. Some of us dream of giving big speeches in front of large crowds. Some of us want to make it big in music, selling out stadiums with everyone singing along to our songs. Some of us simply want recognition for the work we do on a regular basis at work or at home.
Is there a problem with this? No. There’s no problem with us dreaming big and imagining impacting large amounts of people. Unfortunately, this really isn’t our final goal. My first sentence is so true; many of us are obsessed. Think of that word for a minute. Obsessed. It means “a domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image desire, etc.” Therefore, if we’re obsessed with fame, it has dominated our thoughts and feelings, which ultimately carry over to our actions. If we’re obsessed with fame, then we do everything out of a desire to make a name for ourselves.
Millennials may struggle with this obsession more than the generations before us and the struggle may be even greater for the generations that follow. But for now, we know that millennials are actively in pursuit of things that will make our names known. With access to the internet in our generation, we have seen the obsession grow. We make mediocre YouTube profiles and videos hoping to rack up views. We post pictures of our food and coffee on our Instagram pages. We display moment-by-moment updates of the party we thought would be “so cool,” on Snapchat. And now, we can “go live” on Facebook to record that one time we sat down with friends for dinner. We even like our own posts in order to get that one extra like which boosts our “numbers.”
But what is this doing to us? Well, it’s making us more narcissistic to start. If you listen to anyone from outside our generation talk about millennials, it’s not full of positive remarks. Rather, what I hear is about how selfish we are. They think we’re out for ourselves. They think we’re looking to do not what is best for the collective, but what will benefit us the most. In many ways, they’re not far off from the truth. If I sit back and ponder why I do what I do, I conclude that much of it’s for me. The collective good seems to disappear behind my desires, my wants, and my needs. Social media and the pursuit of fame have only created in us a greater desire to love ourselves rather than other people. It has created in us tenacity for stepping on top of those who get in our way. It has created hearts and minds seeking their own attention rather than giving the glory elsewhere. We’ve become glory hoarders. So what do we do about it?
I’m not proposing we stop using social media, nor am I trying to say I’m anti-platform. Social media can be good if used correctly. What I’m calling for is some self-awareness. We need to look within ourselves and ask why we’re seeking fame. Is it for our personal benefit? Are we selfishly hoping to build our platform around ourselves without looking to aid others? Are we manipulating the gifts and talents of others in order to reach our goals? Are we forgetting or denying who we truly are in the process of gaining glory and fame? All of these questions are worth asking ourselves. And perhaps we’ll come to realize that the daily grind to attain fame really isn’t worth it at all.