Recently, Dr Carlo Strenger of Tel Aviv University warned that the phenomenon of young people yearning to become a celebrity pop star or a movie star is wreaking havoc with our self-image and undermining our sense of self-worth. Since 10 years ago, he has been focusing on an interdisciplinary project on such star dreams cherished by young people and found a surge of fear of losing identity permeates among our younger generation, compared with goals of becoming lawyers and doctors pursued by young people a generation ago. He pointed out that there is an unprecedented increase in levels of anxiety and depression. And he put the cause of such different phenomenon as the impact of global infotainment network on the individual.
It’s true we spend tons of hours surfing on Internet where we get more and more involved and obsessed with online stuffs, especially with entertainment. Though we feel happy and love enjoying entertain ourselves with others online in ways of sharing news about celebrities, we are gradually be further away from our identity because we get little time to think over what on earth we want to be and what we want to cherish. We even have no idea of what our worldview is. This is all about our distribution of time. Pitifully, we are defined by our intimate connection to the global infotainment network, which had turned ranking and rating people on scales of wealth and celebrity into an obsession. More and more young people aspire to be men of great significance which has been viewed by themselves as the level of wealth and celebrity. However, only little lucky dogs stood out and will stand out under such tremendously high social pressure. Then an overwhelming majority suffers from anxiety and depression which make the world tense and not pretty.
Dr Carlo Strenger presented a remedy for the fear of insignificance, which he calls ‘active self-acceptance’ through a sustained quest for self-knowledge through life. We need to search and maintain our strong individual and cultural identity over and above measurable achievement. It will be painful and pitiful if we constantly measure our achievement through cultural fantasies of riches and celebrities, which cannot lead to fulfillment.
Being a person, we have our unique characteristics that should not be measured against some certain rare standards like wealth, celebrity, career and so on. We were born to be proud of ourselves and enjoy our identity development through life. And we are also abundant in love for our loved ones and life. So why not embrace our own identity from the right minute?