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Think Tank

Don't Be a Fame Monster. Set Realistic Goals.

What's the the Big Idea?

Generation-bashing is a popular meme these days. The Boomer generation is selfish and entitled, and so are Millennials. We simply express our scorn for both groups in different ways. 

Here are two examples:

Young people today all expect to become billionaires overnight, like Mark Zuckerberg. Therefore, Millennials are not willing to do it the old-fashioned way and work hard. They crave and expect instant gratification. 

Celebrity syndrome is a term popularized on the Twittersphere, which Twittonary, the online dictionary of Twitter terms defines as follows:

"A condition where a non-celebrity on Twitter refuses to follow a large number of tweeple because they think they're a celebrity."

If you are one of these people, it's obviously time for an ego check. Sorry, recent graduate, you're not Lady Gaga and you should not expect to have 27 million+ followers, at least not until you accomplish something. The average Twitter user has slightly over 100 followers, so it would be wise to set fairly less lofty goals for yourself. Moreover, while we might care about every waking minute of Lady Gaga's existence, we mere mortals need to offer useful information in our own Tweets if we expect people to care. 

I'll use one of my recent Tweets as a humbling example. 

No one cares.

What's the Significance?

While social media might provide the perfect outlet for our exhibitionism, our self-indulgent expressions also must follow a code. The problem with so-called celebrity syndrome is that it betrays the quid pro quo ethic of Twitter, which applies to all of us who are not celebrities. Which is most of us. 

That kind of basic humility is precisely the advice of critically-acclaimed writer Walter Mosley when Big Think asked him how recent graduates should approach their careers. According to Mosley, the desire to be famous is more pronounced in young people today because of the way the media portrays success.

However, this creates completely unrealistic expectations and if you really truly are a fame monster, it's not a recipe for happiness. When Mosley started out as a writer, he said his attitude was this: "Listen, if I can make enough money to pay my rent, eat and get laid, I’m happy."

Watch the video here:

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Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan

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