Thursday, October 14, 2010

We are the World

When Michael Jackson wrote this feel-good song in 1985, the intent was to evoke a sense of empathy amongst the international community. Fast forward to 2010 and the  phrase "We are the World" has taken on a new meaning.  These days  people think they really ARE the world ...and the biggest trending topic?


Websites such as Facebook and Twitter have enabled us to talk about ourselves all day all the time, and are even formatted in a way that promotes constant self-expression.  Well now you have to ask the question, which came first the proverbial chicken or the egg?  Is it that people have changed and become more self-obsessed in light of this new social-networking phenomenon, or have we always had narcissistic tendencies, but no means to properly express them?

There also seems to be a bigger issue at bay that not only involves Facebook but has permeated every aspect of our culture, including music, art, fashion and even politics.  The notion of "regular" people is now being redefined, and people who have no talent, no style, and no political knowledge, are now "singers", "cover models", and "politicians".  People who agree to have a camera follow them 24/7 and show off their regular lives become quasi celebrities and get featured on shows such as Dancing with the Stars, and even go on to sell  ghostwritten books.  Nowadays, some autotune and a hot beat, suddenly you're a singer.   People can now be somebody without actually having the characteristics that it takes to BE that somebody. 

For instance, the Tea Party movement came out of nowhere and now has infiltrated REAL politics, with people such as Christine O'donnell and Carl Paladino having a real shot at winning the midterm elections.  Many people say "no, there's no way they will elect someone who thinks evolution is a myth" or, "who will elect a guy who condones racism?" However, the allure of these people is that there are many ordinary folk who think just like them.  The attitude seems to be: why have someone who is Harvard educated, or a career politician? I'd rather have the person who represents me have the same knowledge about politics as I do.

As a people, we are sending the overwhelming message that hierarchies no longer exist--that the ordinary people are just the same as the so-called outstanding people, and we all have an equal opportunity to be whoever we choose to.  Its like Democracy on crack!

The question is, is this good for us?


  1. I don't think this is a new phenomenon. I think that people have always had narcisstic tendencies and intentions but social networking has manifested them on a whole new level. Social networking has truly opened up a new can of worms...

    On the flip side, social network has become a platform for those whose opinion wouldn't have been otherwise heard in normal circumstances.

    I think it just goes to show that people have a need to express their opinions and themselves...but then when is it too much?

  2. I believe being narcissistic is nothing new and it is something that we learn about at a young age from the people we were around. People say things like "you do you and I'll do me" saying I should really only worry about myself which creates egos that grows out of control at an exponential rate.

    Social networks have also helped to show how people think about themselves in a more public domain. Also because everyone feels they are different I feel we try hard to distinguish ourselves from others to prove it to people. So in that sense people talk about themselves more to differ themselves. But they are doing the same as the others who are crazy in love with themselves which makes us more narcissistic.

    But I feel that being narcissistic is not much of a problem because it is social norm from what I see in 2010. But I feel that these people with no talent who are making it big is because we as the people make them who they are. So we cant be mad at them for taking a chance at something and being mediocre and they blow up because we as the people control who is it hot and who is not.