And other things the world tells me I’m owed
This will most likely be the boldest blog I’ve ever written, but I see a major issue with social media that no one seems to be addressing. Entitlement. We are lovers of our selves more than lovers of each other. Our entitled spirits give us false power to inflict our will on anyone who seems against us, creating witch hunts on people who were used to gain this power to begin with. This disease of entitlement tells our youth that since everyone can be famous, if you’re not famous then you are entitled to do something to get everyone’s attention. Even shoot up a school. Likes equal love, and status is all that matters in this entitled world. Between school shootings, bullying, and suicide, the next generation is Entitled to Kill.
Where did we go wrong?
Without boundaries, everyone is in control. We are all the gods of the worlds we build and everyone within them are just movie set extras. If you can’t afford it, steal it: you deserve it! If you don’t like what they say, berate them in public…that’s what gods do. Worship yourself with a social media presence and then build your platform so your voice can be heard. But when everyone’s screaming, no one’s listening. White noise. Then a kid shoots up a school and we act surprised. Or another one commits suicide and we wonder why.
No one’s listening.
Social media has disrupted the system. It’s a hybrid society that has grown within the center of our own. It sprouted with no rules or boundaries, no expectations or consequences and disrupted our ideas of commerce and communication for good. Don’t get me wrong. I love being able to video chat with my husband on a cruise through Messenger and send money to my kid through my phone with Cash. My observation on social media isn’t that in and of itself it’s “bad” rather it is an abandoned child turned adolescent; a wild animal set loose in a single-family home.
What’s the answer?
There’s only one answer I see to counter entitlement, and this is accountability. This starts in the home, by telling your kids to be thoughtful of what they post, to be aware that they don’t have to engage in every fight brought to them, to be taught they don’t need fame or likes to have worth. Worth is God-given and it starts the moment you’re conceived. It isn’t earned or built on a platform, though it can go untapped and be lost. We all start with a purpose; whether we fulfill it or not is the journey of life. Accountability trumps entitlement. Living as a servant to one another instead of gods over one another changes how we post, drive, talk, and live. We expect our kids to treat each other with respect, yet we drive with disregard to everyone else on the road and say things on social media we would never have the courage to say face to face.
Here’s the truth…
We won’t all be famous. We can’t all be in the spotlight. We don’t all need to build a platform. And we certainly aren’t owed anything. We live in this connected world and need to start acting like we co-exist. Or else one day we might find ourselves on the other end of someone’s entitlement-driven witch hunt. Then we’ll wish we’d live life with a little more empathy and a little less expectation.
JAIMIE ENGLE is the author of dark thrillers for teens where magic turns ordinary into extraordinary. She weaves history, magic, and lore into her books, which take readers on wondrous adventures, though her passion is talking to kids about writing and social issues because words have power. She loves coffee, cosplay, podcasting, and making Wick Books® candles inspired by scents from her novels, and lives in Florida with her awesome husband, hilarious children, and the world’s best dog.