The answer: mobile phones. Since the internet, people have lost interest from waiting. For anything. Maybe it’s the exposure to everything instant: instant messaging, instant posts, instant comments, likes, follows, music releases… everything. Everything tangible we buy, we can probably get digitally on our mobile phones. For instance, Netflix: a glorious source of entertainment to have at a time like this. Instant-movie binging. We are no longer the generation of waiting until a certain time to watch just ONE episode of our favourite tv show, or to even buy the CD because CDs are no longer selling in the market. Same goes for music; before our generation, when an artist released a new song, people would have to tune into the radio and wait to hear it or buy it at the CD store before it sold out. Maybe it’s that rush of excitement to run to the mall before other people do. The fact that not everyone would get to own that CD just made it 10 times more special and valuable. Or maybe it’s that anticipation while waiting for the radio to play. Miss it and you’d have to wait for the next air. People didn’t have comment sections, likes, or follows to worry about.
Because before, people weren’t constantly exposed to everyone else’s business, it didn’t feel important. Instead, they were busy with their own lives, investing in themselves. “Too much of anything isn’t good for anyone,” said Ray Bradbury, the American author. True. We gorge on instant social media, then we instantly become obsessed. I mean, if the trend now is to be public with our everyday life, maybe it is just an instinct to be as perfect as possible.
This society here is the great responsibility. People can feel more powerful behind a screen. So powerful, that speaking their mind carelessly is not deemed unorthodox. Freedom of speech on the internet is what makes it great, but people tend to confuse constructive criticism to just plain hateful comments. Why do people feel so powerful on the internet? It is because they are not directly held responsible? They have enough time to just change their username and remain anonymous? No matter how ‘perfect’ someone can be, people will always find flaws to pick on. And it’s no wonder we crave perfection. It may be easy to criticise others and say things that don’t seem a big deal to us, but hate comments can actually destroy self-esteem. It might be that we are behind a screen, but behind that screen is still a human. We have feelings and insecurities.
It seems so much to measure up to, but at the same time, not really. Michael Jackson was famous for being the King of Pop, Whitney Houston for her outstanding vocal abilities. Music in the past was really something to live up to, something I, as a teenage girl can only dream to one day become. But today, hopes of my dream coming true is not a mere fantasy. It is no-one’s fantasy. Just a funny meme on Instagram or a TikTok dance is enough to get me on NBA All-Star Weekend or Tonight’s Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Short-lived, but still considered, fame. What a time to be alive! It’s safe to say that everyone has an equal chance at fame now.