Last updated on May 18th, 2021 at 10:26 am
Thirsty. That’s the word I’d use to describe some of the social medialites I’ve come across in Toronto: “thirsty”. There’re more than enough people out there who’d love to piggyback off of the fame and reputation of those who “made it” to make a name for themselves. But, when it comes to how long the fame will last from who you’re associated with, it takes real talent to get you to a point where you’ll matter — it’s just like the difference between a candle and a sparkler.
“You can see that my city found me then put me on stages
To me that’s amazing
To you that’s a quick check with all disrespect let me say this”
— Kendrick Lamar, “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe”, good kid, m.A.A.d. city
Humanity’s been drawn to flames ever since we started walking upright. That flicker in the night that gets noticed, bring hopes and unless it spirals out of control, benefits everyone around it with its warmth, heat to prepare sustenance and light.
Fame’s a lot like that. There’re certain people we’re automatically drawn to, who just seem to glow and stand out in a crowd. You don’t quite know what it is, but there’s something about them that just makes them different. Maybe they’re really good at telling jokes. Maybe people gravitate to them because they make them feel safe. Whatever it is, that’s stuff you can’t fake.
Someone who has your best interests at heart—that’s part of who they are. How they operate. It’s coded into their DNA! To me, these people burn like candles, their glow lasting a long time, and might eventually burn out (especially if they overextend themselves—a candle can only illuminate so much of a room, after all), but the glow—albeit dull—lasts far longer than their contemporary: the sparkler.
The first time I’d gotten a birthday cake with a sparkler on it, I remember that my eyes grew wide in wonder at the sheer brightness I was seeing. The glow overwhelmed everything around it , and no matter where you were in the room, you knew it was there to get noticed!
But after a minute or so, the sparkler died out, and I was left with a charred stick and a bunch of smoke.
Thirsty for that Fame
Thirsty social medialites may have an endgame in mind, but more often they’re after fame for the sake of fame. They want to be seen. For the world to know that they exist. They want a quick way to reach the top of the lists and recognized for being amazing.
Which is exactly how a fad works.
Sure, you might be popular for a moment and have people flocking to you because your name’s on the tip of everyone’s tongues, but if you’re not giving anything back to the world you live in, it’s only so long before you don’t matter anymore. You can only take from the world without giving back for so long before people tire of you. Before they abandon you. Be parasitic long enough, and the same people who once had your back will be feeding you to the wolves.
You’ll never quench that thirst with what you’re drinking. Find better water.
So what’s the lesson? The lesson here is to be as valuable as possible. Say nice things. Offer your seat on the subway. See how you can help others before you help yourself. Be generous. Let someone go ahead of you in traffic. Stand for something. Think before you speak. Genuinely care about the welfare of others. Help those who can’t help themselves. Make the world you want to live in. If you can live a life focused on giving positivity to the world, it’ll be contagious and you’ll be one of the candles, helping to keep the world bright, warm and hopeful.
However, if you read this post and thought that I’m too naïve, too optimistic and don’t have the chops I need to deal with the real world; if you read this and immediately thought that only the strong survive and that stomping on others is all in the name of the game; if taking care of numero uno is the only thing that matters to you, I only have two words for you:
21 replies on “Stay Thirsty”
Is it ironic if I comment,
Love it! This is so true. Karma is not reserved for Buddhists and other spiritual types. Positivity and kindness are overlooked a lot these days – especially with dem Millenials, Gen Y and Xers.
BE NICE YOU TURDS.
There’s some moderate irony there, but I almost feel as if it were implicit in the post itself, so it’s all good 🙂
Yeah, it’s time for far too many people to smarten up so we can ALL advance.
Its sad that being nice is the exception, not the rule these days. I’ve found that a kind word can do wonders for people, and help create lasting relationships.
That’s exactly it — I wish “nice” was the default state of being for more people, but it seems like that’s asking too much from the calibre of our population these days.
It’s all about valuing your relationships and being self-aware, knowing what ramifications your actions and attitude can have.
Thanks for stopping by, Marissa 🙂
I absolutely love your perspective on this, especially the take-away on making yourself as valuable as possible.
I think that’s such a key message. Too many people view being thirsty as desiring things to come to you, but if you do things for other people, it flips the equation. Instead of taking a bigger slice of the pie, you make the entire pie bigger for everyone and get a much bigger slice just as a byproduct of it (side note: now I crave pie).
Well written Casey.
THAT’S EXACTLY IT, Alex! The entire idea of there not being enough resources to go around is flawed — it’s BECAUSE we hold back that we don’t generate enough wealth to go around! If we were all a little smarter with our time and found better ways to contribute to our environment, everything, in turn, would improve!
Oversimplified, yes, but the stratagem is a GOOD one.
I hope you get your pie 🙂
Quality will always outrank quantity in the long run. I am not sure I really see a lot of people trying to be “famous” in the social media circles though. Can you elaborate a bit more on that?
I do like your idea that putting others first is very important but I used to do this so much that it became somewhat of a fault and held me back from achieving a lot of my own personal goals. I still do my best to put others first but know there are certain situations when I need to be a little selfish. I think there is a good balance to this kind of approach.
Thanks for commenting, Graham 🙂
To cover your second point first, that’s why I put the caveat about overextending oneself — you don’t want to be “that guy”. You need to have enough energy to do the things you want to do and accomplish, or else you’ll just grow tired and bitter. You’re right in that there’s a delicate balance that has to be achieved to make sure you’re helping yourself AND others simultaneously, but through that everyone wins. Just need more people willing to make the effort to do so.
To the FIRST point, what definition of “fame” are you working with? I refer more to the compulsion of some to be seen at every event, with every popular blogger, with every celebrity, be in every photo, etc. I refer to anyone who doesn’t necessarily stand for anything, but more wants to be seen on the town, like a socialite… but with less wealth. Hence the term “social medialite”. I suppose I’ve seen too many people just doing things for the sake of doing them and not having any message we can attribute to their actions. Yup.
What “fame” are you referring to?
Ahh, now I totally get it! Maybe it is the case of them going just for a free meal and to get drunk on someone else’s tab. But, I do know there are others that would rather go to some event they care nothing about just for the sake of looking “popular” by being at an event.
Regardless, I think if someone’s goal in life is to appear popular rather than have genuine interactions then it is unfortunate for them but they will eventually figure that out.
I guess. I’ve heard the stories about people who try to look like they have a million dollars, but need to go to events all the time because they don’t have a cent to their name, but they could just be urban legends.
I look forward to a day where society celebrates people who help others more than its celebrities, but I know that day won’t be here anytime soon.
Not specific to the blog world but life in general – I always believed this in my heart. But, as I’ve gotten older, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m slightly jaded after seeing the contrary to be true time and time again.
It’s sad that I have to agree to some level — but something within me keeps me fighting to work at cultivating a culture where those strong bonds people form win out in the end.
There’ll always be someone trying to manipulate systems or people in order to meet their ends, but what I hope is that people can find communities and networks that support them in order to make that kind of behaviour obsolete. It won’t happen today, it won’t happen tomorrow, but I hope it does eventually 🙂
Another great post Casey. Differentiating between sustainability and a fad is a “forest through the trees” thing for some people and it takes time to develop.
There are people who are happy to help and carry each other through things. Those people are ones most of us like to keep around as friends. Then there are people who view everything as a ladder and they want to climb to the top, but they find it’s lonely up there and if no one is holding up the ladder they’re only a stiff breeze from a free-fall too.
Thanks for another one of your insights, Mark 🙂
The ladder analogy made me think of how I’ve always approached my jobs. I’ve never wanted to shoot up a ladder — I prefer to learn as much as I can in a job so I can do the best I possibly can in a role by knowing all the info. When I get to that point, that’s when I’m ready to advance.
Similar to social media, it’s not a race. It’s about growth. If you continue to grow, you’ll do better at the message you’re trying to convey. You learn about tools that’ll help and eventually get exactly where you need to be.
I rather have my family and friends with me when I get to where I want to be rather than have quashed every relationship that means anything to me to get there 🙂
This post is spot on! great job Casey!
Thanks, Ria 🙂 This one was a post that was percolating deep within, and I just didn’t know it. I’m happy that I got it out, and think that there’s a couple of follow-ups that’re likely to happen afterward!
Appreciate the support!
This post is all that is right with the world. I love that Alex hit the nail on the head with the Key Message – Add Value.
I think I’ve beaten this point to death IRL.
Just want to say, you’re an awesome friend Case, and I love when you put up a post like this.
Thanks as always for your support, Christine — there’s actually more to be said on this topic, but that’s coming up in another post in the near future. I think it’s time to dissect the world we’ve been living in and see what we can do to fix it.
I love fixing stuff.
Another great post. I’ve always said to just be human: be kind, help others, ask how you can be of help, and thus offering value to your friends, family, and strangers. There are a ton of “Me first, what’s in it for me, what have you done for me” types out there. We can’t let those folks dim our lights (see what I did there?).
I may not have all the money in the world to donate to each friend that has a charity event, but I will share the event with interested folks. I may not have eactly what you need, but I may be able to put you in touch wiht a friend who does. I think if we start acting more as a community, then we can all put our candles together and burn brighter and longer.
That’s part of what we’re missing (and something I’ll be touching on soon in a future post) — a sense of COMMUNITY. We live in a society that focuses so much on the individual that we fill the voids in our existence with more stuff and more things that have less meaning.
I’ve always wondered what it would be like if we lived in true communities — where a neighbourhood could share, say, a tool box, or groceries, or bikes. If you pooled everyone’s resources together to meet the needs of EVERYONE in the community and not just each individual family. That kind of thinking is a little radical in this day and age, but I think it’s precisely the way things should be going if we want EVERYONE to succeed in this world.
It’s like Alex alluded to up above — there’s more than enough of everything to go around if we put the time and energy in to produce an abundance of resources to work with.
Thanks for stopping by, Karl — I really appreciate the comment!