As we play a popular hit by Charlie Puth – ‘Attention’, one might argue that attention is something that has a negative connotation about it. There are various examples out there that indicate that attention –seeking behaviour is not desirable, not taken in good light and people who exhibit such behaviour need to mend their ways. However it’s easier said than done. There are plethora of attention seekers around us in some way or other. We are social creatures, we can’t eliminate the attention element from our world just like that.
Even I while writing this piece is crying out loud to garner the attention of my readers via my thoughts.
I just out of curiosity wanted to delve a bit into how everyday people feel the urge to impress, to get praised, to get approved and let others have a go at their lives.
Honest compliments are rare like the whales in the seas these days and if one is confident about their life, personality and work they might just get a lot of it. But there is a large chunk of insecurities that creep into minds that make individuals desperate for or rather fish for compliments from their loved ones or any random stranger on social media. It might not be a sign of low dignity but if it happens regularly, it becomes a pain as you need to hear nice words about you constantly thus lowering self-confidence and one becomes too harsh on themselves leading them to suicidal thoughts as well.
One way to gather attention is to do something that gets lots of it – art, politics, crime, journalism maybe – but that seems to have another purpose to it. If the purpose is twisted and not on the right track otherwise critics will scorn you as someone who hogs the limelight because you craved for it.
At the same time, one can pretend or feign inability when they are sufficiently gifted to do it. Friends might help us out by focusing their attention on them thus satisfying their thirst.
The humongous world of social media has turned us all into attention seekers to a greater or lesser extent. It has cultivated a trend in our youth who are privileged to instant gratification or validations thus making creating impatient souls who don’t want to work hard or wait. One might like to be social about where they traveled, what they ate, whom they met and so on. As the saying goes, too much of everything causes a mess and portrays an individual as one who only wishes to get reactions and boost their fragile ego. Anything you do that’s driven primarily by the recognition or appreciation you’ll receive for doing so takes you nowhere, rather than you genuinely want to do it or because it will have a positive effect on your life or the lives of others.
Childhood trauma both the extreme and meager can potentially turn people into seekers. One might have had a lonely childhood as their parents either did not care for them particularly well or were abandoned while the other set of people have been entitled to luxury and pampered so much that they can’t deal with crisis situations when they crop up.
And then there is peer pressure inadvertently playing on our minds almost all the time – Some of our friends are doing great in life, earning more, tempting lifestyles or their exotic travel diaries or even their long awaited dreams turning true one by one. We tend to get envious beyond our control and expect the same level of attention as our peers which makes us more addicted in the end.
We can always look around for good examples as well, there are numerous celebrities who made the news in fields not typically theirs for philanthropy or some humanitarian purpose. We can always look up to our parents who want our attention in their old age and they deserve every bit of it.
Attention is something we can’t live without at least In this modern era. It would be a lie if someone from this generation claim that they are free of all hunger for attention. The least we can do is to channelize it, to put it to good use and not scare away or lose our loved ones who give us that care or exclusive time. It is a trait that is deep-rooted in our psyche and we can’t possibly get rid of it, we can only switch it on and off based on the circumstances.
A great practice to start would be listening more than speaking when in a conversation.
I personally lack a lot in this and need to master this art more precisely in the future.
Additionally, being confident about your self-esteem or worth is extremely crucial.
It is a pity that we allow opinions about us to break and doubt us when we so easily write off praise received as flattering from the same set of people.
Positive attention is always a great gesture and negative attention can also help you establish yourself for once but can make your lonely and manipulative later on.
I specifically wrote this article in the wake of the Coronavirus lock down we are in right now. No friends, no family, no fast food, no travel and no office has made many of us desperate and hopeless and we are in dire requirement of attention.We are trembling with boredom and gasping for some agenda and action. It is probably the best time for to talk to friends, work on our flaws, learn something creative or productive, caress and pamper ourselves in solitude and work out which breed of attention seekers we belong to – Positive or Negative !