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Editorial: Success overrated

There was a time when success tasted sweeter. Today, success is just a PR gimmick that nestles in social media blitzkrieg creating a stint of momentary fame that is as shallow as most of the so-called successes these days. With the advent of new technology that offers a couch-platform to people to relay and shine a flashlight on themselves, we are fast becoming a bunch of people who promote, see and back mediocrity warped in a colourful veil of emoticons, hashtags, shares, likes, and comments. For instance, what is the big deal if a certain teenager cracked a certain exam, or a certain doctor did a certain surgery, or a certain NGO did a certain work? Aren’t they all supposed to do it? Isn’t it expected of a student to do well in an exam? Isn’t a doctor expected to excel in his field? Isn’t an NGO meant to help more and more people in better ways? Then why is it necessary to portray one’s basic achievements in the virtual world? And why, as media creators and consumers, do we endorse such ego-massage on a grand scale? The shallowness of most of these ‘successes’, in turn, belittles the real achievements. When everyone is a “topper”, everyone is “world famous”, and everyone is a “celebrity”, aren’t we doing injustice to those who are meant to be noticed but are muffled by the cloud of those who, unjustifiably, get the attention that someone more deserving should have. There are those who will justify this behaviour by saying that encouragement, at any level, is good. They will argue that any achievement, however small it may be, should be highlighted so that more and more people are “inspired” by it. However, this argument has some basic flaws. One, from whom and how should one find inspiration? And do these social media celebrities really inspire? Or is it a fancy mirror that shows you what you want it to show? A mirror that portrays a picture of momentary stardom that fizzes out as soon as the user slides to the next post. Most of the celebrities people follow and idolise on social media handles did not become famous because they had talent or they actually are beautiful in reality. People follow them because we wish to be like them. It is wishful thinking. We may be envious and be jealous about them unconsciously, but we still think they look awesome and believe that how they live their life is the standard of awesomeness or success. What’s on social media is all about influencing. Just like no shampoo product will ever claim that their shampoo is number 2 in the world. All will claim that their shampoo is number 1 in the world. The principle of campaigning and influencing is always to convince society that even something which is not good or not worthy is indeed good and worthy to look at and to be followed. However, deep down most of this content, these stories, and these achievements are just overrated. We all need to ponder how this meaningless promotion is basically pushing us away from reality.