Global celebrity culture fuelling ‘fear of insignificance’ warns psychologist

February 16th, 2011 - 3:46 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 16 (ANI): A university psychologist has warned that the global celebrity culture is adding fuel to the “fear of insignificance” by undermining one’s self-image and sense of self-worth.

Dr Carlo Strenger of Tel Aviv University said over recent years people around the world have been suffering from an increasing fear of their own “insignificance”.

He started a project on the subject 10 years ago after noticing a surge of this fear in his own patients, and found an unprecedented increase in levels of anxiety and depression.

By using a wide-ranging framework Strenger thinks he has pinpointed the cause.

“The impact of the global infotainment network on the individual is to blame,” the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.

“A new species is born: homo globalis - global man - and we are defined by our intimate connection to the global infotainment network, which has turned ranking and rating people on scales of wealth and celebrity into an obsession,” he said.

He said that as humans we naturally measure ourselves to those around us, but now that we live in a “global village” we are comparing ourselves with the most “significant” people in the world, and finding ourselves wanting.

He said that in the past being a lawyer or doctor was a very reputable profession, but in this day and age, even high achievers constantly fear that they are insignificant when they compare themselves to success stories in the media.

“This creates highly unstable self-esteem and an unstable society,” he added.

The findings have been published in his book, ‘The Fear of Insignificance: Searching for Meaning in the Twenty-first Century’. (ANI)

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