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  • christopherrk7

Don't seek a platform

Updated: Jun 7

Attention, rather than respect, is our new currency. Our value, we now believe, comes from being noticed and as such we will stop at nothing to get more followers on social media, more attention from strangers and, if we are really lucky, more airtime on TV.

As such, we will do and say anything to grab the world’s attention, even if it has no benefit to our reputation. There is no such thing as bad publicity, after all. It matters not what we say as long as everyone hears it. So, we fight to be the loudest person in an already overcrowded and noisy room.

We will say the most controversial thing, straying to the far right or far left, doing whatever it takes to avoid that boring, unfollowed middle. Our comments will be ridiculous and so clearly wrong. Who cares, just as long as it gets those 10,000 retweets! Better that, we say than making an intelligent comment nobody reacts to.

Don’t call us ‘sensible’, ‘logical’ or ‘reliable’. What terrible insults! Such people don’t get noticed; how little they must matter.

It is better to be a Katie Hopkins than a Hannah More (who is that you ask? And that’s the point I am making). So, we use clever phrases to insult people in authority, we tear down people’s character without ever meeting them, we substitute depth and meaning for re-tweetable soundbites and we rewrite history in order to grab a piece of it for ourselves. We will say more whilst wearing less; just notice us… please.

For a moment we feel good. We matter. We can sleep easily knowing that the world heard us. Except it was never really ‘us’ at all. With each Tweet or Post, the boundaries of ‘us’ get blurred until the man they notice is not who we really are at all.

So, what is there to do?

Let’s start by caring less about what strangers think and focus more on how we view ourselves. Let’s stop trying to get noticed by millions for the wrong reasons and be content with being recognised by a close few for the right ones. Let’s not live for the bright lights and fanfare of thousands but instead work diligently to master our crafts in a work setting where nobody is watching.

The great irony is, the men and women who made countless generations stand up and notice them, did just this.

This article, written by Christopher Kerr, was originally published by Sorted Men's Magazine.

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