It’s probably safe to assume that everyone wants to feel special at some point in their lifetime. It’s good to feel special. It’s warm and fuzzy. We probably all remember a time when we felt special, whether it be for an achievement, a birthday, or that one day in elementary school that we got to be the line leader . . . and if you ever got to be on television or got your picture in the newspaper, you felt really, really special. Unfortunately, in today’s media getting that feeling is no longer possible.
It used to be that you only saw celebrities or pro-athletes on television, and you had to do something heroic (or criminal) to be in the news. Now, with reality TV, internet news, YouTube, blogs, and social media, you do not have to do anything special to be in the media. Everyone is in the media.
It’s no longer a big deal to be “in the public eye” because there are eyes everywhere. No one cares if you have your picture in the paper, appear on television or have a news or magazine article written about you. Now it is just commonplace, because everything is news. Gone are the days of being able to have our fifteen minutes of fame. Social media has all but eliminated the limelight and our ability to feel really, really special.
Even celebrities who never used to have this problem, don’t feel special anymore by just being celebrities. It’s not enough to be in a blockbuster movie, have public adoration and appear on the cover of every magazine. Now you have to have the most followers, likes, retweets, or products on the market to be “really, really special.” It has gotten ridiculous.
I miss the days when the pee wee team got their picture on the front page of the local paper after a big win and it actually meant something. When Moms would buy ten copies and mail them out to all their relatives. When you’d call all your friends to tell them to run to the tv and turn on Channel Seven to get a glimpse of you as you walked behind a news reporter on camera. Publicity used to be cool.
Now people are divided on whether or not the lack of media“fame” is a good or a bad thing. On the one hand, it’s great that everyone has a chance to put themselves out there and be “known.” On the other hand, when everything is a story, the public can be confused and manipulated. For example, the story of a real achievement may be overshadowed by a flurry of meaningless ones. The honesty and integrity of the media is compromised as well. A business can flood the media with false positive reviews to try to promote their product. A person or organization can easily be misrepresented. The public loses the ability to distinguish between what matters and what doesn’t.
Honestly, no matter how good it feels, it really is kind of shallow to feel really, really specialjust because people see your picture or read about your achievement. It’s a fleeting feeling that does not change who you are. You should know that you are special regardless of who else knows who you are or what you have accomplished. Therefore, as much as I do miss the old days when being in the media was a really big deal, I’d have to agree that maybe today it’s ok that it’s not-so-special.