This post (and potential follow ups) are inspired by Emma Gannon. After reading her ctrl alt delete book and becoming obsessed with the podcast series I’ve had a whirl of thoughts in my head that I feel the need to put out there. So here we are, delving into the brain of Laura – good luck guys.
If you didn’t guess from the title I’m going to be focussing on hero’s but mainly the distinct shift in who we are looking up to these days and the potential impact of that. (This is all sounding very English essay!)
When I was younger I looked up to the Spice Girls (of course I was always baby spice). Now I might have had the blonde hair but I could not hold a tune and without such shows as the X Factor promising a quick fix to stardom I was pretty certain I was never going to actually become baby spice. She was an idol to me – someone to luck up to – but that’s where it stopped.
Nowadays hero’s for our millennial generation are way more attainable! Let’s take the obvious Zoella as an example. Just a young girl in her room talking to her camera – blown into the depths of fame and multi millions for just doing what she loved. Now I’m not diminishing YouTube as a viable career ’cause it definitely is and having dabbled in having my own channel I know that it not an easy thing to do well BUT it is something that most people can do. It’s easy to set up your own channel and if you have a camera and an internet connection you are pretty much set. As a result we have lost that comfort blanket of unattainability.
Our young people (I’m going to include myself in this category too) are now faced with guys and gals of a similar age who are doing amazing things. So if you have a mediocre social media following, if nobody reads or blog or watches your YouTube videos you can be left with crippling self doubt – Why are they better than me? What are they doing that I’m not?
The same can be said for reality stars, I spent a lot of my youth getting trollied at the weekends however because it wasn’t filmed for a TV show I am not now releasing a fitness dvd (LOL definitely not at the moment) or writing a memoir or being asked to join loose women.
We used to see celebs in the magazines and think DAMN I WISH but we saw them more like fictional creatures we could never become. Now we have social media / reality stars showing us their “real” selves and to STILL suffer by comparison does bad things to the ole confidence. There’s no wonder more kids are being diagnosed with anxiety issues.
However on the other hand, having more down to earth “real life” role models can also be a blessing. We now know that those pictures are edited, we now have people who show us their downs as well as their ups, we now have people speaking about issues and using their platforms in amazing ways that was never available before. To have your voice heard back in the day you would have to be featured in some print journalism or be seen on TV. The power of social media nowadays is un real! You can send a singular tweet with your daily musing and it could be seen by thousands of people. Hashtags are bringing like minded individuals together to make amazing things happen. The online presence and strength of social media I’m sure, is beyond the imagination of the creators. I mean the fact that you can now directly contact your idols and there’s a chance they might reply absolutely blows the mind of a #fangirl like myself. Can you imagine popping Elvis a tweet or tagging frank Sinatra in a selfie!
Social media jobs are in such high demand these days. Everyone and their aunt is now a blogger or a vlogger. Becoming successful in this field is a lot more difficult and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about it. People crave new exciting content and if you aren’t producing then bye bye baby! Also the reality’s of being self employed are not all that glamorous and I take my hat off to the full timers. I don’t think I would have the balls to give up my secure monthly salary, benefit scheme and yearly bonus to wing it in the internet world. Filing your own tax returns, wondering if you will have enough sponsored content to pay your bills, struggling to prove you are eligible for a mortgage. But how I envy their lifestyle – having your own business, putting all you passion and efforts into something that is yours and building a brand for yourself. It’s an exciting if not absolutely terrifying position to be in.
Knowing that there are 12 year olds out there making more money than me purely on their social media accounts COULD send me into turmoil but why should it?! Good on them! They work hard and they deserve that. You have to think about YOUR goals, what YOU want from life and not suffer by comparison.
Sure, have role models! But regardless of whether they are attainable, do not let your SELF be dictated by what they’re doing. You do you boo!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, I could literally go on and on!
Peace and Love xoxo