Monday, March 17, 2014

The four "A" words

It's no secret that I like social media.

I also hate it too.

I'm a writer, and a lifter.  So it's a launching pad for my writing and ridiculously overbearing opinions about lifting, life, relationships, and other shit we concern ourselves over.  We all get this little corner on Facebook or Instagram or whatever other outlet we have available to use in order to vent, brag, report news about our cats, dogs, and other such mindless drivel that we all consider important.

It's really not that important to the rest of the world, but we all like to consider ourselves relevant in those small spaces we log into each day.

With all of that, I see so much in the way of people whoring themselves out for the attention of others that it makes me both sad, and irritated.  I'm not sure if it's because I feel sad/irritated at the people who do it, or the people who follow it.

I try to keep my writing to things that are thought provoking, or things that are funny.  Writing is a huge outlet for me and my passion.  I wrote my first novel many years ago, never pushed to have it published, and have only let a few close friends read it.  Sort of like being a "lifer" in regards to lifting, I'd write even if no one ever else ever read it.  I do enjoy the debate it sometimes creates because I feel like discussing a topic from both sides of the fence is a great way to learn, and get some perspective on supporting and opposing views about issues.  The significance of those issues isn't always a primary concern really.  Just the enjoyment of dialog for the sake of learning.

So what I'm referring to is what I perceive as the devolution of us as "characters" online.  Mainly, I feel like (and this MY opinion) we value so many things for so many of the wrong reasons.  I see dudes and chicks with IG or Facebook with tens or even hundreds of thousands of followers, and I sometimes stop and read and there's so little in the way of depth as to what they are giving out that it becomes painfully obvious that their "following" is there nothing more than the sake of seeing them half naked.

I get that we are a society driven by beauty.  This does not escape me at all.  There's a reason why certain people are famous actors or actresses, and keep getting lead roles despite their shitty acting.  There's a reason why certain fitness competitors have an inordinate amount of followers despite the fact that they aren't really that great at their craft.  Shit, all you have to do is watch a season of American Idol (yes I've watched it, fuck you) and see how surprised the judges are when someone who looks like Steve Buscemi starts belting out some bad ass, top tier throating.  It's expected when a handsome dude or beautiful woman steps up and starts singing like angels.  We expect beautiful people to be beautiful at the things they do.  But the fact remains that having good parents doesn't, or shouldn't, mean that we see you as someone who is masterful at everything you do.

In fact, more times than not great looking people often get by on looks alone, and then fail to cultivate the many other parts of themselves that fill out that "whole person" kinda thing.

So for those people, looks it is.  And because of that, I see a lot of "shells" out there that are in constant need of the four "A" words.

Adoration - 

Love and respect are things that generally are to be earned and worked for.  However this is what a lot of people end up getting via social media complexes.  They believe that having a huge following equates to having respect.  However respecting someone for how they look seems awfully flawed to me on many levels.  I always thought that a persons words and actions spoke more about them than their outward appearance and that respect should be given to people who deserved it and earned it.

I read a while back from a female that said once she started posting more thoughts about her feelings related to things about life, and stopped posting half nakes selfies, she lost a lot of followers.

Fucking sad.

It was far more important, to what was obviously her male followers, to see her half naked than to actually take a moment to read who she really was, what she thought about her own struggles, and her take on trivial and non-trivial events in her life.  Isn't that who she REALLY is?  And not just some ass shot on social media?  But some people find that learning who is a person is to be far more boring than another oiled up shot of their ass or tits.  I suppose that's what it is, but that's conjecture on my part I guess.  She found it far more rewarding to keep the followers that respected who she was, than what she looked like.

But isn't that what we're supposed to be doing as "decent" people?

Throwing out respect to a "person" is different than throwing out respect to what they have accomplished.  There may be a fine line there to some people, but I believe it's a pretty wide chasm.

I can respect someone's body because of the effort it took to build it.  But that has nothing to do for my respect for them as a human being.  And it's my belief that the latter form is far more important than the former.  I can respect the work that may have gone into building a successful business, but the person who achieved that feat may indeed be a scumbag.  Respect the work, but not the worker I guess would be the theme here.

Respecting the work and respecting the person aren't remotely the same things.  And what I believe I see now, is far too many people wanting adoration for nothing more than what they look like, and they put very little stock into the way they carry themselves, or what kind of character they have.  Very little goes into what they give back.  You know, other than some half naked pics.

This isn't completely their fault.  They get the following..........

Affirmation 

....for doing this.  They get constant feedback at how awesome they are.  How great they look.  And this is what they need.  Because they may not have developed enough "other parts" in order to feel good about themselves often enough to put who they are "out there".  It's tougher to put those parts of yourself for everyone to see, because it makes you feel very vulnerable.  Far more exposed than a pic in a thong or whatever else you don't have on.

I pity a lot of these people because I see it daily.  The "likes" and the comments about how hot they are from all the White Knights wanes fairly quickly.  So what has to happen next?  Another pic.  Another status about "who wants to take me to get sushi?" that quickly gets flooded with a thousand responses with everything from "I would!" to "if I only lived closer" to "I'd plow that shit sideways so hard your neighbors dog would feel it."

Affirmation is needed because the "feeling" they get from being "needed" by others will always wane and lose it's potency.  It's like a drug.  The fix for it is often, and over time has to be in greater and greater quantity.  It is because the emotional support and feeling of being needed or wanted fills that empty space.  Do we all have such empty spaces?  Of course we do.  I am not exempt from this equation in the slightest.  But it should come from the people that truly care about you for who you are, what you bring to their life, and the mutual respect shared between you.  Not from strangers who have no idea who you really are, and care about nothing more than preying on that weak part of what envelopes you.  It's the.....

Attention 

....or lack of, that also drives these things.  And who doesn't want attention?  But why such a need for it on a constant basis?  Especially regarding nothing more than how you look.  I'm not saying I don't enjoy looking good, or being told I look jacked or huge, whatever.  But I get far more out of being told that something I wrote had a positive effect on someone's life than someone telling me my shit is all "swole".  For reals.

That's because offering something in the way of direction to someone is a lasting thing.  No different than the little dude in Subway offered me some positive direction in my own life.  He didn't do that for attention.  Hell, he wasn't aware he was doing it at all.  But the effect it had on me was tremendous, and made me rethink my own behavior and how I treat people.  THAT is worthy of attention.  That is something worth far more than attention based on superficial layering that will fade and worsen over time.

If it's attention you seek, ask yourself why.  There's nothing inherently wrong with wanting or needing attention.  After all, we are social creatures.  But just like affirmation, who are you needing attention from?  And why?

Acceptance 

Finally, the real issue at hand here.  We ALL want to be accepted in some way.  We cannot escape this.  Even if we just want to accept who we are, and truly don't give a shit about the rest of the outside world, it's a deep inner need to find acceptance about what makes us the person we are.  Our place in this world.  We are here for a reason.  That's what we tell ourselves.  And even if no one else accepts us, we desire to at least accept the parts of us we believe are to be lovable and good.  And we struggle with that.  Which is why we sometimes have to talk or brag about those good parts.

Because we do, at some level, desire the adoration we get from people.  We love the affirmation that comes from other people agreeing with us, or lining up in our camp.  We do appreciate the attention we get because of our works and deeds.  And we do desire acceptance from others, or even ourselves to some degree.

What I'm getting at here is, who are we giving these things to?  And why?  And second, who do we want them from, and why?

And the end of the day your time, love, energy, respect, adoration, and commitment to people should be to those who give it back, and deserve it from you.  And vice versa.

Call this self awareness week if you will.  I'm not preaching to you.  Preaching to the mirror is always more rewarding than trying to change someone else's mind.


3 comments:

  1. Regarding social media,ive always been instinctively wary of it.Ive never had an account on facebook or twitter etc as I knew from the outset what it would descend into,if you get my meaning.
    The above articles content is so thought provoking I feel like I should read it everyday before I venture out the house.

    ReplyDelete