BY SOFO ARCHON
Over the past few decades, more and more people desire to become famous. In earlier times, only a handful of people could become famous and those were usually considered to be the elite of society. Nowadays, with the existence of the mass media, and especially with the popularization of the internet, it has become easier than ever before in the history of humanity for anyone to become famous, and there are many those who are striving to achieve fame during their lifetime.
Such people think that in order to be fulfilled, they first need to become famous. They are obsessed with celebrities who always look shiny, beautiful and happy, and all they want is to be just like them. As they are, they feel empty — they feel a hole in their soul, and try to fill it in by seeking fame, believing that by attracting the attention of others on them, they’ll start feeling good about themselves.
In our age, where people have become alienated from community, they feel unable to form intimate relationships with their fellow human beings, and hence can’t genuinely communicate with one another. But as every psychologist knows, humans are social beings who need and desire to connect and bond with others, and most importantly to feel that they are being listened to, taken care of, and loved by others. When, however, these emotional needs are not met at a young age by their family and wider environment, then for their entire life they’ll be seeking the attention of people, which is merely a substitute for what in their eyes is perceived as love and affection.
They feel sad, lonely, unworthy and insecure, and they try to escape from their unfortunate condition by trying to live like their favorite TV personas and internet celebrities. Instead of making an effort to form genuine friendships with people close to them, all they do is trying to create an artificial image of themselves and spread it as far and wide as they can, for the sole purpose of attracting the attention of others. If they don’t manage to achieve that, they feel like a complete failure and to them life ceases to have meaning and purpose. What they don’t know, however, is that even if they were to achieve fame, this wouldn’t make things any better. In fact, it would most likely make things worse, and that’s for plenty of reasons.
If you’re seeking fame, you might succeed in attracting people’s attention, but what you deep down need is love, and attention doesn’t necessarily mean loving attention. Even an enemy can pay attention to you, but does this mean that he loves or cares for you? Of course not. If you are hungry for fame, then what you truly long for is the sincere loving attention of another human being — and fame cannot provide that, hence it will always let you down.
Another reason why fame negatively affects most people who manage to achieve it, is that they are not in an emotional condition that allows them to bear the psychological burden that comes with fame. Usually, they suddenly find out that their whole life is being taken away from their hands. They feel compelled to do everything they can to satisfy others, as if they are merely puppets, wearing a mask that is likable by others but doesn’t reflect their inner world. Not surprisingly, they feel miserable, because when you do things that you don’t like, how can you be happy? How can you celebrate life, if you are not living the way you want but according to how others would like you to live?
Moreover, even if you somehow manage to make the majority of people like you, there are still going to be some who will criticize you, talk in a negative way about you, be against you, dislike you or even hate you. Criticism is unavoidable when you’re under the spotlight, but when you feel unloved and insecure, it can be soul-crashing. Those who are seeking fame are very vulnerable and sensitive, and since they don’t deep down accept themselves the way they are, they are trying to derive joy from the positive opinions of others about them. To them, others function as mirrors, providing a reflection of themselves, and since they don’t feel well with who they are, and value themselves based on what others think of them, they can easily get emotionally hurt, because the criticism they receive is deeply affecting them, and in the long run is creating psychological traumas that will be extremely difficult to get rid of.
Now, fame isn’t bad in itself. If you happen to be famous because you have contributed something important to society and the world has embraced you because of that, then that’s totally fine. But don’t try to achieve fame thinking that it will bring love and happiness into your life, because it won’t.
Fame is desired by those who are lost in life, and even when they acquire it, they can’t use it how they want – instead, fame is using them and takes them to scary places they never wished to go. Only those who feel good as they are, and don’t seek external validation, can use fame wisely, for the benefit of themselves and the world, without being entrapped or blinded by it.