Source:The New Democrat
“Joseph Gordon-Levitt has gotten more than his fair share of attention from his acting career. But as social media exploded over the past decade, he got addicted like the rest of us — trying to gain followers and likes only to be left feeling inadequate and less creative. In a refreshingly honest talk, he explores how the attention-driven model of big tech companies impacts our creativity — and shares a more powerful feeling than getting attention: paying attention.”
Joseph G. Levitt speaking at a TED
“Everyone needs attention. When they don’t get the attention they deserve, such as being neglected, abandoned, abused, or left feeling unworthy or unloved, they will subconsciously make up for that by seeking attention and sympathy to fill that void. Attention seeking can also be a subconscious cry for help. But, there are ways of recognizing the behavior and getting control of it.”
What actor Jospeh Gordon Levitt is talking about here sounds like a book that British author Caitlin Moran wrote about people who try to be famous just to be famous. Who do and say outrageous things just to be famous. The literal title of her book is: “How to be Famous.” Not saying that Joe Levitt read Caitlin Moran’s book and decided to give a speech about this, but they’re basically talking about the same thing: people who are addicted to fame, especially people who aren’t already famous. Which s an issue that we’ve always had in this country ever since the creation of Hollywood, but has exploded in the last 10-20 years thanks to the internet. As well as the rise in popularity of tabloid news shows .and what’s called reality TV.
I wrote a piece for this blog about Caitlin Moran’s book which you can see in the BookTV section of this blog. And the argument that I made 14 months ago, is the same argument that I’m going to make here: people need to know who they are and what they’re good at. And if they’re lucky or just very skillful and intelligent, perhaps they’re not addicted to their phone or coffee or what’s called reality TV and celebrity culture, they’ll find something that they both love doing and are really good at, because they have the talent for it and they love what they do for a living. Whether it’s writing, acting, teaching, law enforcement, whatever it might be that they’re good at in life, that supports their lifestyles, and they love doing.
My next point is about positive creativity versus negative creativity
There are cooks who are very creative in how they prepare their meals that a lot of people love. There are doctors who are very creative in how they deliver quality, affordable, health care. There are great teachers who are very creative in how they teach their students. And I could go on indefinitely to the point that insomniacs might finally get their first sleep in weeks, months or years.
And then there are serial murders who are very creative in how they murder their victims: Ted Bundy, John Gacy, and unfortunately I could go on there as well. And then we have reality TV and celebrity addicts, who aren’t as dangerous ( even with their smartphones and computers ) but in too many cases aren’t as smart either, whose only goal in life is to be famous and become the next OMG awesome celebrity or whatever.
People who want to be the next Paris Hilton ( or whoever the most popular Real Housewives star is ) who are famous for simply being famous and doing and saying outrageous things. And the more outrageous they are and the more trouble that they get in, the more popular they are, the more followers they have on Twitter and Instagram, or whatever their social media network of choice happens to be. How many times have Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan been arrested and then also look at how popular they are.
My next to last point goes back to one of my first points and hopefully you don’t get any whiplash here: if your sole purpose in life is to be famous and popular, you’re going to end up doing and saying a lot of stupid things in life. And that new celebrity might say: “I might be doing 10 years in prison, but I could get out in 5. And besides, look at all of the new followers that I’ll have when I get out. And I”lll even get a new book deal out of it.” Which would be another example of negative creativity, which would be people who don’t care about getting in trouble, just as long as it comes from fame and they can make a lot of money off of it.
Or your goal in life could be just to be very successful, even to the point you never spend a single day in jail. Which might sound way too hard to believe for too many people and you decide that you’re going to be the best that you can be at whatever you do ( just as long as it’s legal, or then jail time will definitely be involved ) and then let the fame and money take care of it themselves, based on how talented, intelligent, and successful you are. Which would be my approach.