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The Psychology Behind Our Obsession With 15-minutes of Fame

In the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes. — Andy Warhol

Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat — the modern and digital version of the axis of evil. In 1968, Andy Warhol was talking about the future. Well, the future is now. It’s the closest thing to a prophecy coming true. When social media proliferated, they were heralded as the penultimate innovation in communicating and social interactions. Everyone can be famous, and that’s not figuratively, albeit for a short span of time. This trio of platforms embodies our propensity of short attention span that is even shorter now.

After satisfying your bloodlust after a century of the dark age — of no digital lifestyle, it proliferated into an anarchic obsession with fame, to be an influencer. Discretely tucked away from the herd then overlaid into the frontlines. Like wildflowers in the air and floating pollens, the quest for popularity is everywhere and transient. People don’t just lick the liberty belt or hang-out with fine women, they try to achieve fame by altering their lives in a 360-degree turn.

Our penchant to snap a photo of the delicately-prepared, time-conscious decadent meal before taking a bite of its flavourful aura — the steady drumbeat of your follower’s likes and hearts, then it is all blandness and uninitiated. The world is begging for a personal story and everyone obliged. unafraid to tackle a challenge at the mercy of people’s applause. In a clock’s tick-tock, every blogger became influencers and it has cost us the most. Anxiety has proliferated and suicide rates increase as the hellish quest for the younglings to keep up rages on. The 90’s were the practical times, an era where you actually do things, physically and in real life. The millennia intensified the digital outburst as everyone tinkers and finger-bomb their devices.

All of a sudden we’re living in a multi-verse, technicolor world — filtered superficially and lost in the soul. Today, it’s harder to find yourself more than ever, amidst a jungle of charlatans in epic proportions. Life is good and we made it complicated — interference, bored, and sloppiness. Where is the lost art of humility? the human race is not at a crossroad, it is way past that, there’s been a lot of grey areas and we need to find a way to reveal the subtlety and beauty of this phenomena.

Vanity drives people nowadays and what is critical is transforming 15-minutes of fame into something worthy and reasonable. We all stare at a lens, sometimes it is still worth it to stare at a mirror and harness that narcissism to tell a story worth telling. The concept of 15-minutes of fame can be a world-changing event. The elemental notion from the medieval times that speaks to attention and the greed for power has transcended to contemporary times in the form of followers and likes count.

When people worship the cathedral of stardom it tends to fall into a hellish nightmare. What should be preached is for people to be raw when everything else is filtered. I would like to challenge the education system to stop overusing the word “innovation” and to actually learn what it means and start doing it. Not everyone wants to be a doctor or an engineer, but almost all kids do not know that because society caved them into specific roles, it’s a monumental blunder and it is outright selfish of adults to impose these limits. Grasping for fame is akin to hanging for your dear life with a rope made out of fine thread, it is not sustainable.

Let’s be honest. Let’s be really, painfully frank. The Internet is designed to purge our attention span into digital euphoria and we fall for it, every time.

It’s the machine and us the humans, should be capable of cognitive, decision making right? We should be able to have the malignant capacity to say “no” to a lifeless entity. But the attention no matter how futile is deceptively captivating. Nowadays, it is relatively easy to feel general exhaustion out of extremely mundane tasks. It’s more arduous to consciously be social in the actual world. Having a digital life has become a primal necessity in the modern era. There’s no solution from a technical perspective when everything can be hacked and manipulated, it’s about culture, morality, and personal determination. The triumvirate of these ideals mold in everyone’s fabric is critical and yet atypical.


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