Living in LA, scratch that, the world today, is like living in a fish bowl; people stare at you just for breathing. You get looked up and down, from head to toe, constantly, and not just by people who are actually checking you out, that I could live with, I mean common, even us married types like the good ego boost that a quality check out can give. This form of evaluation is purely narcissistic, it is the “does she/he look better than me?” “is he/she famous or at least significant?” or the dreaded stare down, then laugh as if they are thinking “OMG Can you believe her?!”. You are sized up from the moment you step out your door to the moment you return home (and even then you aren’t safe, self evaluation is far worse than the evaluation of strangers).
This leads me to wonder why we (as human beings) are so fascinated by other people and feeling the pressure to live up to the fictitious ideas we build in our minds of how they perceive us. We dress for it, style our homes around it, read certain things because of it, see the latest movie, and read the latest blogs to keep up with “trending” topics. We are obsessed with social media, Facebook, TMZ, E-News, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Jersey Shore, and The Real Housewives; we can’t get enough. Is it because we are so bored by our own lives that we need to be enveloped by the drama of reality television and People magazine? Or is it what culture has turned us into? Media obsessed, self involved, reality critiquing zombies, who parade about spouting off the latest this, that or the other thing so that those around us will think we are “in the know” (when in reality we know just enough about each major subject to get by).
I am just as guilty for playing my part in the “grand bazar”, Drew can attest to this. We haven’t had a full length mirror since the move and he has become somewhat responsible for making sure I look presentable, nay fashionable, to face the LA gawkers. This has turned relatively simple things like getting dressed into mini fiascos, given the fact I can’t see how each piece works together and rely on his (occasionally challenged) fashion sense, I tend to second guess absolutely everything I put on… the poor thing, he just hates it. This is besides the point, the point is, I love people watching (it is one of my favorite past times), I am obsessed with the latest blogs and magazines, not to mention I spend far too much time on twitter and instagram every day (though not today because my phone may or may not have sunk to its watery grave) so I am just as bad as the next guy.
What draws you to scroll through the instagram and facebook posts of strangers for hours? Why do you check out others as they walk down the street? What is the driving force behind your obsession with reality TV and the drama it provokes?
I only ask because this form of pressure wasn’t always this extreme. As time moves on this feeling has become magnified. The generations that came before seem to be less distracted, less involved with all of the outlets that fight for our time. “Back in the day” the world was (or at least seemed to be) a far bigger place and your secrets had a fighting chance to remain secrets. Now, if you aren’t up to speed on social media, the fact that Justin and Selina broke up will shock and awe you, but everyone around you will look at you with the, “God! Get with it! That was so five minutes ago” expression on their face. So do we give up? Do we give in? Do we retreat with our tails between our legs? Or do we simply say… it is what it is. Have at it world, check me out, judge me, question my motives, run my self esteem into the ground, you are not my validation. I will get back up, get on twitter and tell every one that, “I am back! Totally ready to “crush it” and start the process all over again.