Why one student believes getting ghosted by an aspiring public figure isn’t okay
Hordes of millennials are trying to become famous. And these aspiring public figures all seem to have one thing in common: they are convinced that they have the potential to positively impact the world. They want fame, not just for fame’s sake, but because they believe they’re more perceptive to society’s problems than most—and whether through music, writing, or simply sharing their personal stories, they claim to have a sincere, overbearing desire to help others.
And yet, many of these same people put their “hustle” above anything else, including friends and family. When you need a shoulder to cry on, or an activity to get your mind off things, do not call an aspiring public figure. Between perfecting their craft and practicing the answers they’ll give Ellen DeGeneres in their success-story interview, many simply don’t have time for your mediocre company. Aspiring public figures also experience extremely unique emotions that only Oprah Winfrey can understand. Trying to express their feelings to small-minded people is exhausting.
For this reason, the aspiring public figure has the absolute right to ghost you. And you’re not allowed to be disappointed or hurt when it happens. Instead, you should automatically support their decision to move onto #BiggerThings.
Ok, enough with the sarcasm. Some aspiring public figures are hypocrites. Behind goodwill hashtags of “authenticity” and “purpose,” these hustlers operate on selfish agendas, and very calculated displays of compassion. Notice my use of the word ‘display’ here. These people jump on social and charitable opportunities that can be plastered all over Instagram, but never take the time to help anyone behind closed doors.
I’m speaking from both observation and experience. I, like most millennials, have befriended some people who are trying to grow their platform. And unfortunately, I’ve found that most have no problem dropping me like a hot potato. I can’t count on them to check in with me.
Instead, I must chase them—and if I somehow do manage to squeeze into their impossibly tight schedules, I find myself being treated more like a fan than a friend. The most selfish aspiring public figures will have you believe that their grind is eternally sacrificial. If you comment on how much fun and freedom their lifestyle provides, they’ll follow up with a reminder of the pressures and vulnerabilities involved. This is a clever and profoundly manipulative way to downplay how much fun they’re actually having. They don’t want us to notice the pleasure and freedom involved in chasing big dreams, because that’s how we’d begin to perceive flaws in their integrity. I personally believe many aspiring public figures are using “passion” and “purpose” as excuses to absolve themselves of responsibility. With swollen egos, these people have grown to believe nearly everything—and everyone—is beneath them.
Disclaimer: not every aspiring public figure is like this. Some are genuine, and their grind is sacrificial. But, to those who might see themselves through my words: Mother Teresa once said, “If you want to bring happiness to the whole world, go home and love your family.” To be clear, that’s not to say you shouldn’t help strangers––but it is to say that you should be willing to help people in private too. If you forget how to be a friend on your way to being that world-renowned public figure, truly, there is no point.
Graphic by @spooky_soda