I just read a book set in the future. Everyone has their own feed - posting pictures and blogs and videos - everyone is always connected, everyone wants everyone to look at them. To be famous is to get what you want, no questions asked. Not too different from the world as we know it now, is it? But it brought to my attention a certain question: what if you unplug, and no one is looking at you anymore. Do you still exist?
The answer is yes, of course, but the frightening truth behind the question lingers: most (if not all) people want to be acknowledged, to really prove their existence to the world. They want to leave something behind, to be remembered. But it's also a question of security. Do you still feel comfortable in your skin, doing what you're doing, if you're the only one giving yourself approval? Or do you feel you need the eyes of the world on you, nodding, giving you a pat on the back?
A rough quote from the book is, "Don't worry, you'll still exist, even if you don't have a camera pointing at you."
There are so many people I know and look up to, all of whom are confident and happy and secure in who they are as people. But I still can't help but feel bad for the people out there that think they need to be showered with attention to feel alive, and as soon as there is no one looking at them, think they're alone. That doesn't seem like a happy or fulfilling "existence" to me, if it can be called one.
So here I write my own philosophical inquiry:
If you do something and no one knows, did you do it? If you did something only so someone would know, was it worth doing?
If you're alive but no one knows, do you really exist? If you live only so people know you exist, is it a life worth living?