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Social Media Prowess, Aggressive Shallowness & Kindly Name 'Clarks' Jamaica's National Shoe

Jamaica, a land of unbelievable athleticism, pulsating music, and stunning scenery. But beneath the idyllic surface lies a complex and nuanced economically emerging society grappling with the challenges of modernity. One of the most pressing issues facing Jamaica today is the rise of social media prowess and aggressive shallowness, particularly among the country's brightest minds.

Social Media Prowess Social media has become an integral part of Jamaican culture. It is a platform for people to connect with friends and family, to stay informed about current events, and to express themselves. However, I criticize social media for promoting a culture of narcissism and superficiality. Many Jamaicans use social media to curate their online personas, presenting a highly idealized version of themselves that is often carefully edited and filtered. This can lead to a sense of dissatisfaction with one's own life, as people compare themselves to the unrealistic standards they see on social media.

Aggressive Shallowness The term "aggressive shallowness" is used to describe a culture in which people are more concerned with image and presentation than with substance and depth. This culture can be seen in the many ways that today's Jamaicans use social media to flaunt their latest fashion trends, their lavish lifestyles, and their connections to other "successful" people. Why?

I see aggressive shallowness as a negative development, as it can lead to a number of problems, such as:

  • Increased materialism and consumerism: People who are caught up in a culture of aggressive shallowness are more likely to spend money on material possessions in order to project a certain image to the world. This can lead to unsustainable debt and financial problems.

  • Decreased self-esteem: People who compare themselves to the unrealistic standards they see on social media may develop feelings of low self-esteem and inadequacy, and entitlement..

  • Increased mental health problems: Aggressive shallowness can also contribute to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

Clarks Shoes on the feet of Jamaica's Brightest I also make specific reference to the fact that many of Jamaica's brightest minds are wearing Clarks shoes. Clarks are a Colonial brand of shoes. Clarks, is a British international shoe manufacturer and retailer majority owned by Viva Goods. It was founded in 1825 by Cyrus Clark in the village of Street, Somerset, England. They are often seen as a status symbol in Jamaica. The fact that many of Jamaica's brightest minds aspire to wearing Clarks shoes suggests that there is a certain level of conformity, stush-ness and consumerism even among the most intelligent and successful Jamaicans.




But where’s the meat? Social media prowess, aggressive shallowness, and the must-have shoes branded "Clarks" on the feet of Jamaica's brightest? On its rutted streets in matching cars and drinking French (burnt) brandy-wine? My column's title risks being evocative because it deliberately juxtaposes the homely rutted streets of Jamaica with the social media prowess and aggressive shallowness that is prevalent in Jamaican society. It also seeks to highlight the fact that even Jamaica's brightest minds are not immune to the pressures of consumerism, conformity and entitlement.

The impact on Jamaican society The rise of social media prowess and aggressive shallowness is having a negative impact on Jamaican society. It is leading to a pandemic of gaslighting, arrant narcissism, materialism, and conformity. It is also contributing to burgeoning mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

What can we do? We can set about doing a number of things that can address the problem of social media prowess, aggressive shallowness, and conformity in Jamaican society. One important step is to educate people about the potential negative impacts of social media. It is important to make people aware that the images they see on social media are often carefully edited and filtered, and that they do not represent reality. "Influencers" rarely become "Wise Ones". Here, I pause as 21 names spring to my mind: Kylie Jenner, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Morgan, Kim Kardashian, Xinyu Addae-Lee, Amb. Byron Blake, Berl Anderson-Francis, The Mitchells, Dr. Nigel Clarke, Radley Reid, Esther Tyson, Alfred Sangster, Mia Mottley, Edward Seaga, Burchell Whiteman, Dr. David Henry, Rev Dr. Burchell Taylor, Fitzroy Wickham, Gaston Browne, Dr. Carlton Davis, and Ronald Hugh Small, KC---my unsorted mix of Influencers and Wise Ones---recent and current.

Another important step is to promote self-acceptance, self-love, and profound other-love. People should be encouraged to embrace their own unique qualities and to value themselves and others for who they are, not for what they have. Schools and families can also play a role in addressing the problem of social media prowess and aggressive shallowness. Schools can teach children about the importance of critical thinking and media literacy. Families can talk to their children about the importance of substance and depth, and about the dangers of comparing themselves to others. Finally, it is important to promote positive role models. People who are admired for their intelligence, their kindness, their achievements, their tact, and their character can help to show young people that there are other ways to succeed in life other than through, blatancy, materialism and consumerism. By taking these steps, we can help to create a more inclusive and accepting Jamaican society, where everyone feels valued and respected for who they are.

Here's the thing: The rise of social media prowess and aggressive shallowness is a complex and challenging issue facing Jamaican society today. However, it is important to remember that we have the power to create a better future. By educating people, promoting kindness, self-acceptance and self-love, and promoting positive role models, we can help to create a more inclusive and accepting Jamaican society, where everyone feels valued and respected for who they are. Over to you Beloved Babsy, Empathic Fayval, Esteemed Andrew, Astute Mark, and Sister Elaine of the JUGGCC.

Thank you for the benefit of your time. Regards, Dennis A. Minott, A-Q

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