Conversation the other day about attention seeking and people saying that when someone posts a selfie, that’s what they’re doing. Attention seeking; seeking attention.
And it made me think – dangerous, I know – aren’t we all attention seeking? When I write these words am I seeking attention? My primary reason for writing stuff down is to empty my head, but I could scribble on bits of paper and throw them away. Instead I present words in a format easy to read, add a pretty image, add a link to go out into the world via twitter, and hit ‘publish’. Should that button not be labelled ‘seek attention’?
There is nothing wrong with it. Understand that. When you say hello to a stranger in the street you are attention seeking. When you smile at a passer-by you are attention seeking. Each time you text, email, write, speak, sing, shout, gesture, it’s an act of seeking attention.
Every time you Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine or Periscope, you are an attention seeker.
I’ll accept, to some extent that there are degrees of ‘attention seeking’. If you post a picture of your tits or your ass you’re seeking – if not more attention, certainly a different kind of attention. But I’m okay with that. I’ll never go out of my way to criticise someone for posting a photo of them in an effort to gain attention. For some, sadly, it’s the only attention they will ever get. So go easy on the attention seekers, because each time you broadcast into the world (real or digital) you too are looking for validation, you too are looking for some acknowledgment, you too are seeking the attention that you criticise others for looking for too.
Be kind, because the path to hypocrisy is short and slippery.