I can still dodge things pretty well at my age.
For example, I juked my way out of never watching a single second the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial/dumpster fire. Didn’t read a story about it either. While the world of what passes for pop culture these days was inflamed like a maddening rash by the courtroom drama, I went ahead with my life.
And I feel like I was and am the better for it.
Same thing with the Kardashians. I can’t name them, although I am an avid news reader. I skip stuff about vapid attention seekers. I have never seen the show and don’t feel like my life is really missing anything because of that.
It seems to me that pop culture has become even dumber and more temporary than ever in a world dominated by social media “influencers” and fame seekers who will do anything to land a fashion line or go “viral” for one ridiculous reason or another.
Like in the world of politics these days, reality means nothing in the world of pop culture. It is all about what you appear to be, not what you really are. People present themselves as perfect, but it is hard to hide the stench of insincerity and greed from those of us with a strong sense of what is simply, well, b.s.
Today, it is not about what you do. It is about who you appear to be.
Back to influencers. An influencer, if you don’t know, is someone who promotes a product or lifestyle or pretty much anything on social media and influences others to do the same.
It is generally pretty people who make money from companies for promoting things on twitter and Instagram and TikTok and even that old grandad known as Facebook. Seriously, Facebook is quickly just becoming something where rock bands promote local shows, uncles post their weird conspiracy theories to remind the rest of the family that they are insane, and people post pictures of the animals and grandkids. Keep the animal pics coming, but save the kid ones for a group chat, OK?
It seems to me that the goal of many young people today is twofold: Become famous and do so without really working.
Not working is something we hear a lot about when it comes to young people these days. Well, many young people work very hard and they will certainly be successful in life.
But it is also true that many just don’t appear to have that hard-working bug, and they do whatever they can do avoid breaking a sweat. So, they try to become professional gamers or start a Podcast about a topic they really don’t understand that well but hope it catches on like their idol Joe Rogan (who is pretty kooky, if you ask me), or they try to become an influencer.
Money and fame will follow, right? Well, not usually.
These influencers have really risen in the public consciousness the past few years because they make a lot of money – sometimes millions of dollars – for doing very little. And also because – surprise! – they end up making the news for doing incredibly stupid things.
Many have been exposed for changing their appearance to make themselves more attractive than they really are, or coming up with a fake history, or for just outright scamming people.
Is anyone surprised that young people are scamming others on social media? No, we are not.
But it certainly says something about our false, disposable society. We gravitate to people who tell us what we want to hear, not what we need to hear. We hold up false prophets so we can hopefully land real profits. In short, our society is very gullible and shallow.
I do pay attention to this stuff overall because I like to know where society is headed (spoiler alert – right down the toilet). But I will continue to dodge the fake, the ridiculous and the braindead as long as I can still move.