The Validation Machine

Our society is crumbling under a new epidemic,

This is not a sickness that comes and goes, like the flu,

Or one that will have its time in the spotlight before it’s overcome, like Ebola,

We are dealing with a disease that will mutate and become the black plague of this generation,

A renaissance will not follow the plague this time,

This disease will bring us out of our renaissance and into the dark ages,

The disease has many forms and is known by many names,

There are many ways for it to be transmitted, but there is one that I want to target,

The disease is narcissism and the instrument of transmission is social media,

 

Blaming social media is too simplistic though,

The disease starts before we are even old enough to use it,

We have parents who tell their kids that they are great at everything,

That every terrible piece of art they present is astounding,

That every participation ribbon they receive is the mark of a champion,

These children grow into teens, who aren’t ready for the real world,

The real world doesn’t coddle them the same way their parents did,

They face failure, rejection and disappointment,

With these experiences, the disgruntled teen faces two options

1) Embrace the challenges and become a better person for doing so, letting these experiences become lessons

2)   Or they can let these experiences crush their confidence, leading to a path of insecurity and overcompensation

 

Most people opt for the second option

All hail social media,

 

Likes, comments= validation,

The teen in still insecure,

They have not truly accomplished anything that gives them real confidence,

Titles like “model” are hollow,

They don’t work with an agency,

All their pictures and ‘profound’ thoughts aren’t part of a wider effort to promote work they have created or a brand they are developing,

Their bodies, their vapid minds are the totality of their brand,

I do not want to focus on women either,

Men are guilty of this attention seeking as well, either through posting pictures or pining for women in other pictures,

 

Men desperately seek their own validation: attention from the opposite sex, maybe even the same sex

Yet these same men will be taken aback when people they talk to are stuck up and rude,

Don’t spend your free time inflating someone’s ego with likes and comments, and then be surprised when they develop a superiority complex,

You may not talk to all the same people you follow and like on social media,

But you must realize that most people you speak to are on the quest for validation,

They will have their own horde of adoring men and women who make things worse for you,

This horde gives them the ego needed to disregard the people they speak to in real life,

We are all part of the cycle of insecurity, validation and narcissism,

When society crumbles this time,

It won’t be due to a great war,

It will be an insidious disease that slowly stripped away the foundations of hard work, civility and resilience,

 

 

 

The World We Live In

I remember hearing a spoken word poet say that he hates girls who think being pretty is an occupation,

That was about ten years ago,

He must hate the world we live in now,

Instagram and Facebook have given birth to a new horde of girls pining for attention from horny friends and strangers on the Internet,

It is truly a bold new era for “models” or cats,

While some girls seek adoration for their bodies,

There’s also a new generation that seeks love, without any idea of what the word really means,

I’d like to blame chick lit and YA crap like Twilight for conditioning teen girls to think a healthy relationship involves latching onto their boyfriend like a lamprey,

However, I think Twilight would just be a scapegoat,

 

In the great Western world, we either have less important issues to worry about,

Or we ignore them with sedatives like reality TV and social media,

Even if we use social media to acknowledge the issues around us,

We usually just give a like or a share to show how involved, intelligent and compassionate we are,

Then it’s back to our daily cycle of pointless, unfulfilling, mind-numbing media

The Devolution of Man

I heard a joke by a preacher today,
He said you never see a hearse followed by a U-Haul,
Meaning that all of the possessions we work so hard for in life don’t follow us when we die,

The lesson?
Yet another one attacking materialism,
Coming from a man who probably pockets a decent portion of the church offerings,
Maybe he has a point though?
It is true that when we are dead, our valued possessions can no longer bring us comfort,
It is also true that money does not bring happiness,
How many adored celebrities have committed suicide?

We all know these lessons,
We read books, we watch movies that criticize our materialistic lifestyle,
Yet we never internalize their messages and make attempts to truly change our outlook,
We may have evolved over time, but we are still a species driven by competition,
Many of us are fortunate enough not to have to fight or compete for food, water, shelter,
So what do we do?
We compete for more frivolous things,
The newest phone, the latest shoes, the latest console,
We compete for more attention, more likes, retweets,
This is our struggle, these are our resources