An email conversation has gotten me thinking about attention-seeking again.
I'm an attention-seeker. I won't deny it. I have the classic symptoms--excessive blogging, eating disordered behaviors, annoyance at being ignored, etc.
When I read autobiographies of actors and actresses, I could really relate to some of their feelings and problems. Give me attention! alternated with Leave me alone! I want my privacy! Okay, crap. Stop. You're leaving me alone TOO much.
I think anyone who has a blog is an attention-seeker....at least to some degree. Otherwise, why do they have a blog? We could say they need to vent. We could say they want a place to record things that are happening in their lives....keep a record. We could say they want to provide entertainment and information to others.
I'd say fine. Why not keep a private journal?
And if you think you have something valuable to share with others? Well, there's probably something vain in that.
Would the world collapse upon itself if I stopped writing about Australia? No. I'm probably providing less of a service to my readers than they're providing me.
I give people information they could find elsewhere. They give me the attention I've been desperately seeking my whole damn life.
What about those who don't blog? Are they less self-centered?
Maybe. But I wouldn't count on it.
They might be the ones that excessively post on Facebook and Twitter.
Maybe they don't have their own blog, but they comment a lot on other people's blog. They pretty much blog via other people's blogs.
I know people who neither Facebook post excessively or have blogs. They sometimes speak disparagingly against those of us who expose ourselves on the Internet. These people don't do THAT. But in their interpersonal conversations, the subject is usually themselves. It's very hard to steer the conversation in other directions. They talk on and on and on about themselves. It's like my blog, but they're doing it via email or real-life conversations.
How about those who don't talk about themselves? What if they just quietly listen?
Well, they MIGHT not be attention-seekers. I wouldn't count on it though.
During my childhood and teen years, I was extremely shy. I would have liked to talk on and on about myself. I just didn't have the strength/courage to do it. I'd do it in my imagination instead.
Honestly, I feel MOST people love attention, praise, and validation. I personally don't see a problem with it. To me, it's being human. I see it as a negative ONLY when someone seeks the attention, gets it, and doesn't give out in return.
I do know a few people who might not be attention-seekers. They don't have a blog. They don't update on Facebook or Twitter very often. When I talk to them, the conversation seems pretty balanced....some about me, some about them, and some about other stuff. And when they talk about their lives, it's less about them, and more about them gushing over the people that they love.
I have a hard time relating to those people, because I am SO not like that. But I think there's something admirable about them. At the very least, it's good they're in the world. They probably help balance out us attention-seekers.