Navigating the Shift from Fame to Online Validation
It is undeniable that individuals are increasingly focused on self-preservation and pursuing their own interests. These days, people don’t seem to know who Bruce Willis or Leonardo DiCaprio is, despite them being some of the most famous actors of our time. Instead, people are more familiar with the most famous YouTuber or TikTok influencer. Everybody is on the internet, waiting for their 15 minutes of fame, their big break to become an overnight millionaire. Everyone is trying to sell themselves, basing their life happiness and validation on how many likes, comments, and possessions they have, as well as their looks and surface-level interests. This post aims to shed light on the reasons behind this phenomenon and explore the delicate balance between self-interest and altruism in our society.
The Rise of Individualism
One of the key factors contributing to the prevailing self-centered mindset is the rise of individualism. With the advent of technology and globalization, people have become more independent and self-reliant. The pursuit of personal success and happiness has taken precedence over communal well-being, leading to a shift in priorities. It seems that personal profiles have become an individual’s personal business.
Human beings are hardwired with survival instincts, which often manifest in self-preservation behaviors. In an increasingly competitive world, individuals may feel compelled to prioritize their own needs and interests to ensure their survival and success. This survival instinct can overshadow the inclination towards altruism and communal support. When we see people on the internet telling us how successful they are and showing off their boats and vacations, we go into a mode that tells us we are not enough if we don’t have what they have.
The pressures of modern society, such as financial instability, job insecurity, and the pursuit of material possessions, can also contribute to a more self-centered mindset. When individuals are constantly striving to meet their own needs and desires, it becomes challenging to prioritize the well-being of others. The cost of living is so high that some of us have to hustle or work three jobs to make enough for a roof over our heads and food.
Lack of Empathy
In a world where virtual interactions often replace face-to-face connections, empathy can sometimes take a backseat. The ability to understand and share the feelings of others is crucial for fostering a sense of community and altruism. However, the digital age has made it easier for individuals to detach themselves from the consequences of their actions, leading to a decline in empathy. You see a society going against all rules, doing immoral things, and then making public excuses for their behavior. We lose a sense of what is right, what is wrong, and what is real and what is made up.
The Importance of Balance
While it may seem that self-interest dominates our society, it is essential to recognize that humans are inherently social beings. Altruism and compassion are deeply ingrained in our nature. Striking a balance between self-preservation and altruism is crucial for the well-being of both individuals and communities. My advice is the 50/50 rule: spend as much time in person and in the community one-on-one as you do behind a computer at work and online socializing. We all need this healthy balance for our mental well-being.
Building a More Altruistic Society
To foster a more altruistic society, it is important to promote empathy and compassion from an early age. Education systems can play a vital role in teaching the value of community, cooperation, and the importance of helping others. Additionally, encouraging acts of kindness and volunteering can help individuals experience the joy of giving back. Bring the community back, support your local small businesses and charities, and see how different and full your life will become.
Living in what I call “The New World,” it is important to remember that humans possess the capacity for empathy and altruism. By recognizing the factors that contribute to a self-centered mindset and actively working towards a more balanced approach, we can create a society that values both individual success and communal well-being. Start connecting with your community today, try Spinnr.