Today I had to respond to a writing prompt for my ethics class. After responding, I felt as if this would be an interesting topic to share. So, here is my response to the prompt. What is your opinion on the subject?
*Side note: I was listening to Wonderwall on youtube and a few songs later youtube was playing this! Seemed only fitting…*
Prompt: Is our society any more vain or narcissistic than previous societies?
I do not think our society is more vain or narcissistic than previous societies. Instead, I think our present society is self-conscious and feels pressured to appear a certain way. I think most people are trying to fit standards set by the internet and the people they see and interact with on there. For example, most of the pictures people post on Instagram are of a beautiful place that they are in, of a fun night out, or a picture of their significant other. These pictures make it look as though the person is having the time of their life, is always happy, and has the perfect relationship. No one actually knows the truth, however. Sure, this person’s Instagram account could be a very accurate representation of their life, but it could also be staged to look as though that person is meeting society’s expectations.
From where I stand, I see people who simply want to fit in and be accepted. I see people who crave approval and need to be reassured that they are living their life right. I don’t see people who just want to be the center of attention and who want to show off. Of course, some people fit this description, but I believe most people just want to prove that they are having just as good of a time as everyone else. The problem is we never see the bad days, the bad feelings, or the unsuccessful attempts in other people’s lives. We only see what others choose to show us.
It is hard to make yourself be something other people only pretend to be. In fact, it is pointless to try to live your life like celebrities and people you encounter on the internet. I have seen variations of this quote many times: every day you see your own highlight reel as well as your bloopers and all of the behind-the-scenes hard work you had to do to get there. When it comes to others, however, you are only seeing their highlight reel. You don’t see their bloopers or their behind-the-scenes! Try to remember this the next time you compare your bloopers to someone else’s highlight reel. Better yet, stop comparing yourself to others and try to only compare yourself to who you were yesterday.
“Always seems to me, you only see what people want you to see.”