Rachel Alexander

The onslaught of reality shows reflects how far the narcissism trend has gone. People are willing to put up with intolerable conditions just for 15 minutes of fame. Others who have done ridiculous things such as sex tapes achieve fame when the sex tapes go public, like Kim Kardashian. The upside is occasionally some real talent, that would not otherwise be discovered, rises to the top. Sean Duffy and Rachel Campos from MTV’s Real World got married and went on to become active in politics; Duffy as a Congressman from Wisconsin and Campos as a political commentator. Elisabeth Hasselbeck from Survivor went on to star on The View for several years, where she frequently put her feminist co-hosts in their place.

YouTube is exploding with self-created videos of wannabe stars.There are millions of videos by teenagers and young people devoid of skills or talent, but desperate to shake their hips, attempt to sing, and cake on makeup. Once in awhile someone with real talent will rise to the top through its more than 200 million videos, like Colion Noir. Noir, a black self-described “urban gun enthusiast,” started creating witty YouTube videos about guns a couple of years ago. He was so funny and clever the NRA snapped him up earlier this year and hired him as a video news host.

Facebook and Twitter reflect some of this narcissism. There is a fine line between entertaining your friends and annoying them by barraging them with self-promotion lacking in talent. Many have succumbed to the addiction of spending all day posting photos and engaging in clever debates, instead of working full time. Do not be lured into long debates with the unemployed, because they have all day long to win.

This trend has come about due to parents over the past couple of generations constantly praising their children for well, nothing. The most common phrase teenagers say nowadays is “I’m awesome.” Instead of parents - as well as teachers and programming on television - giving children praise when they’ve earned it, today’s society tells kids they’re smart and wonderful all the time. It is all being done under the guise of improving self-esteem, but the reason children have low self-esteem is likely due to parents letting the television babysit their kids.

This developed out of an effort by the left not to offend anyone. Since rewarding kids for real achievements would make the other kids “feel bad,” instead everyone must be praised. It is also part of a decrease in discipline, mainly caused by lazy parenting. Instead of being consistent with discipline, parents praise their children when they’re upset in order to get them to calm down. The left doesn’t want to judge anyone - except those on the right and their values - so lazy parenting now gets a free pass. The left has also contributed to this problem by expanding welfare so much that almost half the population is on some kind of government assistance. They’ve made it easy to obtain and removed much of the stigma.

Trying to promote yourself when you have no discernible talent is no better than the Kardashian’s. Actually worse, considering they’ve at least figured out how to make millions from showcasing their lack of talent.

So, “awesome people,” instead of taking photos of yourself all glammed up for social media today with nowhere to go, here’s a simple suggestion: why not volunteer at a veterans’ center, ask your church where there is a need to serve, or assist a handicapped person in some way? They may not be able to take photos of themselves. If you don’t have a regular job and are an able-bodied adult, pound the pavement. We have a lot of people in the country who don’t produce anything anymore. If you’re not able to convince people to promote you enough in order to make a real living from modeling or prancing around on social media, keep your day job. Truly awesome people support themselves and help others. Otherwise we will all end up mindlessly watching each others’ YouTube videos all day long.

Rachel Alexander

Rachel Alexander is the editor of the Intellectual Conservative. She also serves as senior editor of The Stream.