Everybody wants to be somebody!
In the age of social media, everybody can share their lives with anybody else. Becoming an “influencer” has become one of the most desirable occupations of our time – just share your thoughts and pictures on social media and you’ll make loads of money through sponsorships and affiliates.
When asked what they want to be when they grow up, a recent survey of kids and teens showed that the most desirable future job was YouTuber.
However, there are a couple of problems with the goal of becoming a somebody. First of all, it’s not that easy to become a somebody. Anyone who has tried to make a living sharing their ideas on Instagram and YouTube will quickly find how difficult it actually is. For every “somebody” with a large following, there are probably 10000 nobodies. Any serious attempt to become a somebody can become frustrating to say the least. Just like actors who try to make it in Hollywood, most will fail, and most will fail trying to “make it” on social media.
Assuming you do succeed at becoming a somebody, numerous unforeseen challenges are likely to follow. Anonymous internet trolls will start to attack you. You will get compared to others. Jealousy will emerge. And having an army of followers means you have to continue to share your life with strangers in order to maintain whatever status you have achieved. Just like with famous actors and musicians, the road to popularity is hard and the road after popularity is even harder.
Our obsession with virtual life has become overwhelming for many, and leads to a vacant sense of emptiness – even if, or especially if, you become a somebody. Many famous people would love to go back to being a nobody. They wish they could go out into public and not face hoards of fans. They wish they could dine in a restaurant without being approached for an autograph. They escape to their mansions and have to guard their surroundings to feel at peace. They have a hard time making new friends because most strangers are after them for money or favors or whatever.
So, why not become a nobody instead?
The idea of becoming a nobody is simply that you don’t want any attention, not from strangers, not from anyone. A nobody is not seeking approval, likes, ratings, or followers. A nobody wakes up with his or herself and has nobody else to impress. A nobody can take a walk in the woods, or down a busy street, and not share it with anyone. A nobody can treasure his or her experiences without trying to make a public presentation out of it. No pictures need to be taken for Instagram, no social proof that you did something is necessary. You know what you did, and that is all that matters.
The idea of being a nobody is related to the idea of letting go of the ego, which is a key step in personal development. “Lego my ego”. Instead of trying to prove yourself to everyone else, you practice enjoying the now moment, being grateful for who you are, and being fully present with the people who are in your real life vs. your virtual life.
So practice enjoying being a nobody. Be comfortable with yourself and take pride in the fact that you appreciate the simple things in life, and nobody else needs to know about it.