The Fear of Insignificance, a Current Epidemic
Fear of insignificance is a current epidemic. You have a tendency to compare yourself with others which might then make you envious. But you need a frame of reference to know if you’re in a place where you can survive or not. You might have done this up to now by comparing yourself to your family or people from your town or neighborhood. In other words, people who think like you do.
But now you might compare yourself to unreachable characters. Characters who are products of marketing. And when you compare yourself with them, you’ll inevitably “lose out”. Such is the fear of insignificance. And it’s pretty awful when you realize that most of these images are manufactured and fake.
Faced with this type of situation, it’s really important that you learn to have your own values and set your own goals. In a society that pays little heed to your inner feelings, this fear of insignificance has gained ground. Many people grow up not really knowing what’s important for them.
You don’t need to be famous, you don’t need to be someone. You’ve been someone since the day you were born.
Influencers’ effect on the fear of insignificance
You’re living in a technological world which is becoming more technological by the day. You have the means to communicate, publically or anonymously, on a global level, at your fingertips.
Social networks give you a space to express what you think and feel. They’re used by brands in approaching people and by people in approaching brands.
Companies are increasingly spending money in order to increase their community of active social media followers. They want them to recommend their products and services instead of advertising directly. More and more companies are banking on this method and more and more are willing to pay for it.
The majority of influencers are brands in disguise. But projecting fake lives and lifestyles, that’s not influencing. That’s a dangerous process whereby influencers both project and recommend distorted images. We must remember the importance of education, responsibility, and personal effort. We’re confusing our young people. We live in a world where people want to be brands and brands want to be people.
Devalued normality and the stigma of mediocrity increase the fear of insignificance
Normality makes the world go around. As a species, our evolution has been marked by normality. But at present, there’s a growing devaluation of normality, despite it being one of the basic pillars needed for our society to function.
More and more parents want their children to excel in some way, whether it be sports, school, music, etc. The problem is that they’re willing to pay a very high price to achieve this. In fact, in some cases, they aren’t even aware they’re paying a price. This increases the fear of insignificance. Our goal should be to give children the idea that they’re responsible for the goals they choose to pursue, along with all that goes with it.
Lessons in understanding frustration, as well as personal and collective efforts, will give the next generation an opportunity not to suffer from this fear of insignificance. It must be remembered that, in many cases, fear of insignificance results in anxiety disorders and depression.
Being important in society doesn’t guarantee well-being or happiness. In fact, it’s more likely to prevent it. But these new social epidemics tend to divert you from yourself and your own goals. You’re constantly bombarded with alien goals or those of other people, creating both dissatisfaction and non-existent needs inside yourself, thanks to excessive consumerism.
In an episode of the Spanish TV series, Gente Hablando (In English: People Talking) a father tries to convince his partner to buy a very expensive space suit for his son, who says he wants to be an astronaut when he grows up. The father believes the spacesuit will help the boy realize his dreams whilst the mother feels it will lead to frustration. The couple considers the stigma of mediocrity and how parents exercise self-realization through their own children. In this discussion, you witness the conflict between reason and parental feeling.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Castoriadis, C. (1998). El ascenso de la insignificancia. Universitat de València.
- Punset, E. (2014). El mundo en tus manos: no es magia, es inteligencia social. Grupo Planeta Spain.