Friday, October 23, 2015

"A Deadly Flaw," by Hunter Vega

One of humanity’s most delicate conventions is vanity. In fact, this is a vicious flaw present in many people. In such people, it is far too easy to destroy something that may have spent years in the making. This trait is a terrible weakness. Unfortunately, it’s all too common, especially in this day and age. In fact, the powerful weakness of vanity can be shockingly impactful today.

The current social climate is often thought of as an incubator for people’s natural self-congratulatory nature. This ties into the misconception of a common culture of vanity. There’s also an idea of social media providing every individual with a soapbox that they never had before. This may be true, but the platforms people stand on are in no way as stable as they are made out to be. The nature of these soapboxes are such that they may tumble at any jab.

This is, of course, all based on generalizations. It does not ring true for all people, nor are all people susceptible to failure based on vanity. The fact is, however, that this is a common occurrence in many, particularly young people. It is a dangerous, exploitable chink in an armor that should protect a person. Additionally, this is to say that the generation of young people entrenched in this culture is not an army of vapid, mindless morons watching ourselves through our phone cameras. Nor are we a volatile, fragile mass of unstable personalities. There is range, and there are exceptions and inclusions with people of all ages and groups.

Thinking back to the idea of social platforms, it is important to note that in some cases, they serve as extra “padding” on the armor, not the exploitation. In fact, the power of social media, selfie culture, and millennials’ fixations is in strengthening self- image. All the facets of our society commonly criticized for encouraging vanity actually encourage morale in people who may have problems in the area. An important part of building up that morale in the first place is in celebration of one’s own image.

There’s so much talk surrounding the presence of vanity in modern society. There are also many observations on the fragility of this personality trait, as the way it’s viewed is so negative. It’s even thought of as a deadly sin. In fact, vanity plays such a prolific role in many people’s lives that their sense of pride may be harmed when their vanity is attacked. It is also true that the condition of our culture plays a large part in the way we view ourselves. The digital age we live in makes it possible for us to access a wider audience, but also to process information faster. A fixation on the individual may be a product of a vain society, but a fixation with the culture in which the individual shines is a symptom of a certainly self-absorbed species.

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