Sunday, June 28, 2009

Attention Part 2

I see fame as a major way of seeking attention on the mental, psychological physical, and emotional level. From my personal experience when I performed on stage I watched the world stop and zoom in on me. Although I performed because I loved to dance maybe there was a more subconscious reason which was the search for glory and attention. The fact that everybody was hanging off my every move was breathtaking and enticing. It is quite an addictive feeling that consumes you once you are on that stage!

I want to explore a concept that I mentioned earlier. I think the root for that attention could also be low self esteem or insecurity. Why do we have to be acknowledged for the things we do, is it because we have the need to be valued and told that we are important? There are two possible outcomes that can occur as a result of other people's perceptions of us. One of the outcomes is that you can thrive off other people's positive perceptions. Another outcome is that you can wither off of other people's negative perceptions. Ultimately our self esteem is affected by the comments that other people direct towards us and how people view us. If people give us attention and view us in a positive light we feel good about ourselves. If people view us in a negative light then we do not feel so good about ourselves.

Any attention that we can get is a psychological signal telling us that people like us and that we are significant figures in society. If we receive awards and trophies for athletic and scholastic achievement society perceives us as prominent people. These are all forms of attention. But why do we need it? Ultimately I believe we need it for the sake of superficially building our self esteem, filling some type of void, and covering up any insecurities. Attention temporarily heals any wounds from our past. But attention seeking is ubiquitous and it cannot be escaped. It can only go so far in making ourselves feel better about ourselves. In the end it is who we are inside and how we realistically feel about ourselves despite the negative perceptions, ridicule and name-calling that will help us grow. This genuinely autonomous feeling of being important will carry us to a higher state of inner being and higher plateau of self esteem! I am going to leave you with words from one the greatest artists of the century, Hector Lavoe.

Yo, soy el cantante
muy popular donde quiera;
pero cuando el show se acaba
soy otro humano cualquiera.

Y sigo mi vida
con risas y penas
con ratos amargos
y con cosas buena

Translation: I am the singer, very popular wherever I go
but when the show is over I am just a regular guy.

And I still live my life with cries and laughs
Through the good times and the bad

Clearly Hector Lavoe got the attention he wanted and the one that everybody else craved. As the lyrics depicted, he realized that he was a regular guy but his inner state wasn't stable and he wasn't happy. Attention at the most extreme level does not make you happy. Attention is essentially unnecessary. You have to be in control of your emotions and have an inner sense of value and self esteem in order to know you are special!


  1. Looking glass self, attention is something that tells us what we're doing is dope or valued

  2. Charles Hoorton Cooley was a symbolic interactionist that developed the theory "looking glass self" which basically as Jason stated tries to explain how we develop our self-image in 3 different steps. First, we imagine how we appear to others. Then, we interpret their reactions to our appearence. Lastly, we develope a self-image by internalizing. It is a fascinating theory