Bad Influence?

“What would you have named after you if you could”?

The above is today’s WordPress prompt and today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt is influencer. Related concepts, for sure, and one that I find quite unhealthy in many cases.

Influencers, using one’s social media presence to essentially be an advertiser. It seems to play off the cult of celebrity, which appears based on appearance and illusion more that substance. Yes, I follow you tubers who manage to live a pretty interesting life with income from being influencers. Not all of them are caught up in the selling of things, and some have used it to break out of conventional lifestyles of jobs and mortgages, etc. But often, I see the problems as well.

Back in my therapist days, I had a young client who would get caught up in this, and every time he did, his mood would spiral down, and he would get stuck in the trap of contorting himself to get “likes” as opposed to being himself and letting the likes fall where they may. At the same time, he was longing for a serious relationship and his great sadness was when possible mates would not see him or accept him for who he is. The trap becomes clear. Who one actually is and the “carefully curated” (gag) media image are rarely the same. Someone who desires you for your media image is unlikely to be interested in the full messy human that each of us is. Not for me, thanks, and I see so many younger people stuck in that place of image over substance and then in great pain when it fails.

So what would I have named after me? My initial thought was nothing. However, in our local open spaces, there is a tradition of memorial benches being placed along trails or scenic overlook, often with a plaque naming the person being honored. I could go with that, using my presence or memory to provide a place to sit and enjoy the natural world.

To me, the point of living is to be truly ourselves, bringing that which is unique to us into the world. That may or may not lead to likes, but it may well lead to health and happiness.

I’ll close with a quote from the I-ching: Before a man can become great, he must look foolish to the crowd.

9 thoughts on “Bad Influence?

  1. When I was in 4th-8th grade, my best friend and I would play in a cemetery. We rarely got yelled at for playing on the gravestones. We had a couple of favorites that had smooth marble that we could slide down. We decided that we would like a junglegym or playground equipment for a grave marker. Wouldn’t that be a delight?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. One of the thing Garry said on the last podcast was that when he wanted to get Pres. Clinton to laugh, he figured he’d look like a fool. Then he realized he already WAS a fool anyway. I think being in the public eye — a lot or a little — requires some realization that you are probably going to look stupid and foolish to some people all of the time, all people some of the time, and to yourself, all of the time. If you an’t deal with looking foolish, you should not be IN the public eye.

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