It seems like everywhere you turn, there is someone looking down at their phone, refusing to interact with the people around them.
It’s important to say that not everybody is like this. But every single day, I see more of the same type of behaviour that is becoming prevalent in today’s youth.
A sense of entitlement, low self-worth, little drive to achieve anything in life.
Perhaps that is a stretch, but it’s not far from the truth. Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram – you name it, there is someone around you on those platforms trying to prove to the world how “great” their life is.
Right now, there are probably thousands of people taking pictures of their food in a nice restaurant. There are people at a social gathering that are on a social app, instead of socialising with the people around them. There are also people who have few friends in real life but have thousands of “followers” on Instagram.
In short, there are a growing number of people who pretend to be something they are not.
What’s the point of all that?
Has society really pushed us to believe that our “self-worth” depends on the number of friends and “likes” we have on Facebook?
Recently, I watched a series called “Black Mirror”. There is an episode where things are fast forwarded 20-30 years into the future. In this “future” world, everyone gets rated out of 5 stars… the high-status people are usually above 4.7, the “middle class” are around 3.8, and those lower than that are usually considered cretins.
During the episode, everyone is trying to be extremely nice to each other (so others will rate them 4-5 stars so they can keep their social status up). Infractions, like messing up an order at a restaurant, accidentally bumping into someone, or making a minor mistake could get you rated 3 stars. People are walking on eggshells, afraid to make mistakes, give the “wrong” image to others, or do anything which could be considered negative.
And although everyone is extremely “nice” to each other, there is an underlying feeling of people using each other to gain a higher social status. It’s like everyone is so afraid to be themselves because they’re afraid of being judged.
As I watched this episode, it made me feel extremely uncomfortable. Because I can see the same type of behaviour becoming more obvious by the day. People who post only the most attractive photos of themselves. People who buy expensive clothes but live at home with their parents. People who take photos in luxury apartments they simply don’t have the money for.
People trying to be someone they are not.
Over the last few years, I’ve noticed this in the dating world too.
You’ve probably seen videos on Facebook where people post cute relationship videos and think being in a relationship is a 24/7 fairy tale.
We’ve all been in failed relationships. Things don’t always happen the way we want them to, and most of us later come to understand that relationships end for a reason – whether it’s to be taught a (sometimes) painful lesson or to learn something deeply important about yourself, people, and life.
That’s why it’s completely unrealistic to expect things to be “smooth sailing” the entire life of a relationship – whether it’s a month, year, decade… or forever.
But these days, the impatience of people has become such an issue that people seem to run at the first sign of any trouble. Personally, I’m the kind of person that is willing to work out just about anything, no matter how “rough” it gets. My father was a military man, and he taught me the value of discipline and dedication. Sadly, many of today’s youth only care about themselves and their image.
I recently took it upon myself to read about some the “relationship advice” on the Internet and came across some atrocious forums and websites dedicated to “pickup artists” or PUA as they call themselves. There are men out there that actually memorise canned lines, fake stories, and other strategies in order to convince women to sleep with them.
I couldn’t believe what I was reading!
Some of the lines seemed so robotic, and what was even more shocking is that I remembered certain guys using these kinds of strategies and felt that something was… “weird” about them. Like they were reading right out of a book, instead of just trying to have an actual conversation.
For example, one of the popular “openers” as they call them, is making a negative comment about you in order for them to try and make you see yourself as a lower value person, and see them as a higher value person. He commented on my painted fingernails, which was bizarre, but it just made me feel creeped out rather than intrigued.
As I went deeper down the rabbit hole, I realised I was getting lost in a world of extremely deceiving things. Perhaps not as bad the “pickup artist” community – but stuff like pheromones, subliminal hypnosis, fake military patches (valour thieving) and other stuff which was designed to impress women.
I’m sure some of it works a very small percentage of the time. But if you are reading this article, please, do all us a favour… please be yourself! We see right through tricks and gimmicks, and the only reason any of that stuff ever works is because the person already likes you – not because you said a certain thing, a fake story, or negative comment or whatever.