Fame and fortune do not dictate respect.
$2,100,000,000. A number to truly put you in the 1%. Most of the world will never even meet someone with that much money. You may see them at an event, or walking down the street (doubt it), but most of us will never even get a taste of that much money.
$57,980. That’s the average wage of someone in Australia. That’s the median salary, which is a quick way to semi-eliminate as much of the boost by the 1% as possible, without to much calculation.
$26, 695. That’s the average wage of someone in the United States. Again, that’s the median wage.
Both of those stats could have gone up and/or down since the time of posting, 2011 and 2013 respectively, but that’s not my point. My point is, the first number cited, 2.1 billion dollars, is the net worth of Evan Spiegel, one of the creators of Snapchat…an app…that allows you to send photos…that disappear. Groundbreaking stuff. Strongly follows in the footsteps of electricity and the wheel.
You’ll hear the “that’s just how the world works” reasoning, and the “that’s what happens when you’re educated” justification, but ultimately, this man has gained a fortune that most will never experience, through useless means. The only purpose his app actually serves, is the jobs that it creates, which is into the 300’s i believe, so thanks ev-dog.
I have little respect for this man. I would do nothing more for him than i would a homeless person, in fact less, as i would potentially give my lunch or money to a homeless person. I do not care how hard tech is, fact of the matter is, the app serves no actual function to society and yet has created billionaires and millionaires, while people who work necessary and useful jobs are struggling to feed themselves and their families, struggling to keep them housed, properly clothed, educated, etc.
Australia, along with many other countries, is facing an economic downturn. Jobs are few and far between, and if you land one, chances are it’s low pay, whether it be labour or academic based…but hey, atleast Evan Spiegel is living comfortably in his $12 million home with his ex-supermodel girlfriend Miranda Kerr.
Now i don’t know Mr. Spiegel personally, I’m not rich enough to. He could be really genuine, intelligent and kind. That doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that this man has topped an “influential media under 30” list, has been included in the TIME 100 most influential, and is/was the youngest billionaire in the world, a fact in itself that would gain anyone fame and influence. Yet how has he earned that influence? Simple. He hasn’t. He created an app (there’s your first clue) that is rendered useless with no data/WiFi connection.
As it currently stands, Mr. Spiegel has no direct influence over me. Not an ounce. He couldn’t influence my political alignment, my career choices, my personal life, or even what kind of clothes to wear, and yet some spiegel-sucker will inevitably tell me, tell others, or at the very least think quietly to himself that I’m an idiot for thinking that way. That’s fine. Getting pressured by someones fan base is no excuse to flip on your beliefs and be a wave rider.
I’m a labourer, and will never see any big money, should i continue my current trajectory, and again, that’s fine. That’s my choice, and for that i hold no grudges against Mr. Spiegel, or anyone earning more than me for that matter. I can assure you that when it comes to tech and other careers in the same vein, i have no idea what I’m doing, and should i pursue an academic career, i probably still wont earn close to what the founder of snapchat has. Fine. Fine. Fine.
What’s not fine is that your average joe walking down the street, the one I’m sure earns less than $57,980, could hold the knowledge to world peace and worldwide economic growth in their tiny little head, and while it stands to reason that such a person would inevitably gain fame and fortune through the achievement of such things, it’s also fair to say, this person will live on in obscurity because to most of the world, they are a nobody from the underclass. Someone not worth listening to because they don’t have billions of dollars.
“Oh but Lucy, you don’t have to have money to be influential”. That’s true, you don’t. Yet more times than not, that influence will end up making them money in one way or another, and in doing so they run the risk of losing sight of whats important. Chances are the only ones to read this, will be people within my circle on twitter, so I’ll call it the Yiannopoulos effect. Not the best example, as he still posts relevant information, informative articles, fights for logic and wrecks feminists/SJW’s occasionally, yet it does seem like a growing number of his posts lately are ego driven, often about how much money he has, or his follower count, post reach, etc. So although he isn’t fully corrupted yet, the potential is there, and it will be a case of someone who worked their way up from relative obscurity, to gain influence among hundreds of thousands of people, largely through the power of 140 character tweets, turning his back on what got him there, only to focus on his fortune and fame instead. A day i hope i never see.
Basically what I’m saying is, someone with fame and fortune should not, by default, have the right to be called influential, because when put bluntly, they haven’t always actually earned it, likewise, someone influential, who gains fame and fortune, can potentially lose the side of them that got them there, and we as a people need to be aware of it when it starts to or does happen. And finally, the scruffy labourer in line behind you at the supermarket, buying whatever supplies he can with whatever money he can spare, may have an extremely solid theory to solving major issues, or at the very least, could have information that could push some people sitting on the fence about a certain subject one way or the other…Or he could be a dumbass.
To summarize; fame and fortune, or lack thereof, should not dictate how much of our lives we let said person influence.