The New American Dream: How Gen-Y's Obsession With 15 Minutes Of Fame Should Be Used For Good

by Sydni Lewin-Epstein

The classic American Dream is to be presented with many opportunities to reach success. Whether this success is a humble lifestyle or an extravagant one, as human beings, we strive to make our dreams a reality.

However, for Generation-Y, this concept has taken on a whole new meaning.

In 2014, the majority of society has taken to the Internet like someone with a crack addiction. We really can't get enough of it.

Our generation is filled with YouTube personalities, Internet startups and style bloggers. The goal is to make your voice heard, your face seen and to make a lasting impression all over the world. People of our time are constantly pondering what the next big thing is going to be, and how they can be the ones to create it.

For those of you who claim money cannot buy happiness, you are right. Money cannot necessarily “buy” happiness, but it sure can create the life you’ve always dreamed of. Whether you like it or not, money is a necessity for survival.

The steps that some Generation-Y goers are willing to take to turn their American Dream into a reality has surpassed the standard routine of getting a job, starting a family and living comfortably.

I genuinely feel bad for our generation, because to make it in this new-age world, one must go great lengths to reach success. Going to college no longer guarantees a person a job he or she is qualified for. You need to have something more attached to your name in order to impress people.

For some, this notion of impressing others comes by having their 15 minutes of fame. Andy Warhol was accurate when he said, “In the future, everybody will be world famous for 15 minutes.” This form of success comes in many variations. From Internet blogging to reality television, society has become addicted to attaining their very own 15 minutes -- and they don’t seem to care how this notoriety is accomplished.

Take Snooki, for example. Being wasted on television once a week for countless seasons made her instantly famous and generated a hefty income for the reality starlet. Being laughed at by the entire world didn’t seem to faze her; after all, she was still getting paid and being talked about.

Society seems to idolize people for their stupidity and reward them with sh*tloads of cash in the process. This type of buzz generated countless other reality shows and more people doing dumb sh*t all over the Internet in hopes of making it big. The American Dream no longer involves respect, but instead getting the most “likes,” “hits” or “shares” for the most ridiculous and embarrassing stunts a person can think of.

However, I do not want to discredit the geniuses of our generation. They do exist. They are the few who created intelligent and noteworthy startups and blogs. Yet, all too many still occupy their time with Facebook and pointless social media outlets to recognize it is still okay to be creative.

Our generation is too busy staring at Miley Cyrus’s music videos to be aware of how beautiful the Internet really can be. Instead of hoping that your crazy antics will stir some controversy and gain attention, Generation-Y should start using their 15 minutes for something a little more -- how do I say -- intelligent.

Shock people with your wisdom, your knowledge, your beauty and your brain. Make others want to be as smart as you. Encourage those around you to reach their version of the American Dream by doing something that will change the world, not just by being the person who got millions of hits on YouTube for breaking a coffee table because it couldn’t hold their weight.

Generation-Y, I ask you to show the world how f*cking fantastic we are! We are living in the age of technology, where absolutely anything is possible. Prove to society that we are NOT a lost generation, forever glued to the screens of our smartphones.

Instead, show them that we are using those phones for something that is actually smart. Share innovative ideas, concerns and worldly advice. YOU are intelligent and respectable, so start acting like it.

Take those short fifteen minutes and make them worthwhile.

Photo via We Heart It