We have always been a socially conditioned society but now, even though we’re aware of it, the rise of the internet and social media means the majority of our children are influenced by pop culture, more than their education, or upbringing. Growing up watching reality tv shows like X Factor, The Voice, Big Brother and The Kardashians has injected a certain belief about success upon an audience of young impressionable minds. Fame and fortune isn’t just accessible to the talented celebrities who have studied their craft and worked tirelessly to get to where they want to be, total unknowns can now launch themselves through social media platforms by attracting enough followers to catch the attention of companies that want to sponsor them. Its about numbers, its about followers, its about reaching a wider audience through any means and, rather than doing something effective with their time, people will now do almost anything for attention.
Young teens are posting sexually exploitative photos and videos, objectifying themselves, and undoing the respect and gender equality we’ve been fighting hard to achieve. As a general rule of thumb, you should probably expect people to treat you the same way you treat yourself, which should preferably be with respect. But school girls are wearing less and less clothing, faces full of make-up, walking around town in denim shorts with their bum cheeks showing, before verbally attacking the men that stare by shouting ‘paedophile’ in their direction (true story).
Since when was instagram/youtube/facebook fame a lucrative career choice? Will they be teaching this stuff in schools soon, alongside business management, pr and marketing? We’re turning into walking talking adverts, fed a script of cliche words and phrases that please our so-called fans. Standing in the street filming ourselves for our daily feed of stories has replaced taking selfies. We’re filling our time with thoughtless behaviour in the hope that someone takes notice, then checking the amount of likes, shares, comments, subscribers, as if this is more important than achieving something. It seems to be the most popular lifestyle choice for far too many of the next generation.
There is a time and a place for everything, and building a wide-reaching online platform would be wonderful for someone with an actual message. It’s such a shame that people are more interested in looking good online, instead of using their voice to do something worthwhile and making a difference in their lifetime. There is so much to be done, and so many of us who naturally know how marketing and self-promotion works. We could use this knowledge to communicate with huge audiences about subjects that matter, we could be making the world a better place instead of a prettier, sexier, shop of curiosities.