When I was about 11, there was this really creepy game that most kids in my class played. I couldn’t ever figure out how they came up with such ideas at that age but well, I have done no thesis on overgrown kids either. The game was rating people on the scale of 1 to 10. I don’t know what the basis was exactly. Should be looks I guess because you can’t tell much about a person you know, so you can judge them on the basis of their looks at best. Anyway, while I was trying to get over my Goa hangover, I was reminded of this game. Maybe because of how everyone (including me) was suddenly changing their profilers on facebook and Whatsapp etc, basically uploading their Goa pictures. We went on a college trip to Goa, just a friendly reminder. So all the pretty pictures of the popular girls were getting showered with likes and comments, and it made me wonder, how important is it for us to actually get people to like us. We can tell ourselves multi million times that we don’t care what anyone thinks of us and all, but then that’s all plain white lies. You may not care occasionally because you’re not always up to the task of pleasing the world, but it is definitely important for all of us to be likeable, be it in terms of looks or talent or being generally very pleasant.
Not that we judge ourselves on the basis of how other people think of us, but it’s like we’re seeking approval for who we are and what we look like. We all crave for that attention. I, for a fact really do since I’ve been pampered by everyone left, right and centre ever since I can remember. I came to terms with this about myself very recently actually, but I’m really glad I did. I can lecture anyone about how it doesn’t matter who likes you and who doesn’t for hours, but I don’t think I can convince them because it’s not possible to be absolutely indifferent towards what anyone else thinks of you. There is a society around you which you function in, and even if it’s very minute you’re very likely to get affected by their views and opinions. Now the extent to which it affects you is the key here. As long as you can incorporate their views in your life to make it better, we’re all doing good. But there’s only so much you must listen and adhere to, and that’s where you need to learn to draw a line. Each time you allow someone to cross that line, you’re giving them more control over your life than they deserve. Attention is more like a drug, and I don’t think you can ever get enough of it. Excess of it and lack of it are equally destructive for a person. Someone who is used to a lot of attention starts placing himself/herself on a slightly higher level than where they belong. Success and attention give you a very disturbing kind of a high.
The only thing common in the alcoholic high and this high is how quickly your memory is cleared of things you don’t consider important enough. Only that the high that attention gives you is voluntary. You begin to see too many things revolving around you, so you are basically in a delusional state. You are not on the same grounds about yourself than you are with other people. But since all this attention paints such a pretty picture in your head, even if you know it’s all temporary you tend to go with it, hoping that it’ll all get fixed on its own in the end. Only problem is, solutions never fell out of the sky. We all tend to leave too much to time and fate, even the controllable factors of our lives, and allow our lives to slip right out of our hands. When a person who has been loaded with attention for most of their lives, has to part with that kind of attention, their world nearly comes crashing down, because everything that they’ve believed about themselves during that time slowly begins to get closer to the reality. Unfortunately there are no rehabs for this kind of addiction either. On the other hand when someone has been always been deprived of attention, they are very difficult to deal with in general because they are so low on confidence and have such a narrow perspective of things.
They focus all their energy to satisfy their craving for the attention they never got. That kind of a situation also takes a toll on a person. These people never begin to feel good about themselves, because you always need a kind of push from a external agent to develop some confidence of your own. Since that never happens with them, they often suffer from depression, prefer staying alone and feel uncomfortable in a crowd. Even the most rational human being is likely to consider someone’s opinion about them if not completely believe it. We do perceive ourselves slightly on the basis of how others see us no matter how much we deny it. We take compliments and criticism equally seriously. So yes, attention is important, attention is good, but it’s overrated. There are things more important than attention and popularity. So have more substance, be more, be better. Fame is temporary, there’s always going to be someone better than you at something so the attention’s going to keep shifting. But if you make yourself worthy enough, success will be permanent.